It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Ok, I get it. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and that’s a great thing!  Diversity is the name of the game, but here at the Town Hall, when a decoration obsessed Deputy Clerk is in attendance, soon enough, shades of red, white, blue, and gold start appearing everywhere!

If you haven’t seen the magnificent “Holiday” tree in the front hall, stop down and take a look!  It’s more of a patriotic tree than anything else, and if it were up to me, it would grace the lobby all year!  However, I think Supervisor Rounds might question my sanity if I insist that it stay up all year!  The only thing missing off the 10 feet behemoth tree this year is the addition of the 200 miniature American flags – not because it’s not patriotic enough with the red white and blue ornaments, and snow flakes a plenty, but because my old knees took a beating climbing up and down the ladder!

In medieval days, ‘paradise trees’ (the precursor of ‘Christmas trees’) were used as the main prop in productions about the infamous Garden of Eden and were decorated with gingerbread, apples, and baked wafers.  Passing centuries brought the trees indoors, decorated with lit candles made from lard and beeswax , (can you imagine the panic the TOB Fire Department might endure all season!?), garlands made of strings of popcorn, pine cones, and ‘bird berry twigs’ for color, hand blown glass ornaments (for the wealthy), and miniature figurines made of fabric and stuffed with hay, cotton or old leaves.

As I sit here at my desk, glancing around at the glittery snowflakes hanging from the ceiling in the Clerk’s office, battery operated candles flickering in our main window, and a view of the patriotic tree in the lobby, (… and STILL, NOT ONE SIGHTING OF A BEAR on the hill near our parking lot — however a beautiful fat buck passed through a few weeks ago with such a sizable rack that it would make a coat tree blush!), I for one am glad that the days of lighting lard candles on dried out pines has come and gone!

I hope the upcoming year brings peace and happiness to all, and possibly, some bear sightings at the Town Hall!  With this being said, I’m wishing you all a ‘Happy Holiday Season’, and as we say in my home, Buon Natale y Prospero Anno Nuevo!  

~ Paula (the sad, bear sighting-less Deputy Clerk)

Those wishing to share pictures or reports of bear sightings, please let me know.  Drop the pictures off at the Town Hall or call my extension at the office ( 607 772-0357 Ext: 023) to leave a report with location and date, or feel free to send your pictures via email to me at deputyclerk@townofbinghamton.com


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