A mazillion years ago, when Ian lived in Sweden and I was visiting at Easter time, we saw everywhere in Upsala bare branches decorated with colorful feathers. We wondered, is this sympathetic magic? If the Swedish people decorate bare branches with feathers, are they invoking the coming of springtime? Of course, at Easter time, the ice and snow still holds sway, and warm days are still several months away. (As I type this it’s currently 27 degrees F there.)
“The Easter tree, or “påsk ris”, can be seen all over the country this time of year. Outside shop entrances, in peoples’ living rooms, outdoors in the neighbours’ gardens.”
I’ve had these bare branches in a vase in my home for a couple of months now. They held hearts on Valentine’s Day and they’ve lingered through the month of March. I’m pretty sure they’ve poked everyone in the eye at least once. I’m also sure that my Ian has wished I would take them away.
But, NO! I had a secret plan, you see. I wanted us to make him a påsk ris as a surprise. Because once, a mazillion years ago after we came home from Europe, I made one of these to decorate our very first apartment together at Easter time, and it was sweet and lovely and back then life was uncomplicated …
So anyway, Lucas, Asher and I made a påsk ris to surprise Daddy.
- colorful craft feathers
- glue gun
Get out your low temperature glue gun and your patience and start gluing feathers on. That’s it. It takes a good long while and maybe an extra pair of hands to hold the feather in the warm glue until it sets.
But you can get funny photos while you’re doing it.
And then you can surprise people you live with and people who visit, and they’ll say, “What the heck is that?”
And then you can explain that the symbolism of the Easter tree is not about bringing on the spring, or sweeping out winter, or even about Easter witches—which is a Swedish thing! Really.
“But, apparently the Easter tree has a completely different origin and symbolism. It comes from the 1600′s. Swedish people in the 1600′s used to take twigs and sticks and beat each other with them on Good Friday to commemorate the suffering of Jesus. In the 1800′s and 1900′s, they started to be decorated and became a symbolic decoration for Easter.” —from Watching the Swedes