As you remember, we started our series of Christmas blog posts with the previous article on the 10 symbols of the Dominican Christmas season. In this following post we decided to have some fun because the Christmas season is a time for happiness, joy and laughter. That’s why we’ve chosen to write about different types of Christmas trees that you can run into in the Dominican Republic. As you understand, natural X-mas trees are not really characteristic of the tropical climate though some exceptions apply. But the Dominican people are very creative and come up with all sorts of ideas how to substitute a traditional Christmas tree. So let’s look into the 10 most common types.
1. Standard Christmas tree
Dominican families usually buy artificial Christmas trees at supermarkets. They can come in different sizes and colors. Moreover, the decoration style may also vary widely. Some choose red colored balls, while others opt for silver and golden tones. Decorating a Christmas tree is a whole ceremony for which the extended family usually gets together. Normally it happens over the weekend and is accompanied by Christmas songs, movies, gift wrapping, lunch and soft drinks. Nevertheless, there are also families who pay for the Christmas tree decoration services.
2. Christmas Palm Tree
While there are few conifers in the Dominican Republic, there is no shortage of palm and caoba trees. With the right lighting they look no worse than any traditional Christmas tree. Seeing is believing.
3. Charamico Christmas Tree
Those of you who have read our previous post are already familiar with this Dominican phenomenon. These charamico trees made from dry branches look magical at night.
4. Millennial Christmas Tree
Since we have mentioned charamicos, we can’t omit another similar type of Christmas trees also made from old wood rods. We called it a Millennial tree because you can normally find it in places with a predominantly Millennial public promoting creative alternative mindset and ideas. The Cabarete based famous waffle and coffee shop Vagamundo is a great example.
5. Metal Christmas Tree
Not only wood, but also iron and other materials are used for making a Christmas tree. These trees look somewhat odd during the day. But it’s a whole different story when the night comes.
6. Jewish Christmas Tree
The Dominican Republic is open to people from other nationalities. Many don’t know but Sosua was developed by Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi regime. In 1938, the United States convened a conference in France called the Evian-Les Baines to address the massive exodus of Jews from Nazi Germany. The Dominican Republic was the only country that agreed to accept large numbers of Jewish immigrants. The government offered free land use and settlement. As a result, the Jewish heritage and ancestry make an integral part of the Sosua reality nowadays. It’s also one of the reasons why one of the areas in our cultural center will be dedicated to the Jewish History Museum.
7. Presidente Christmas Tree
Presidente is the most popular beer brand in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans are so loyal to this brand so they even make a Christmas tree from beer bottles.
8. Baileys Christmas Tree
Since there are no limits to creativity, other bottles are also used to make a tree. Thus, the Sosua popular restaurant Bailees puts a creative Baileys tree every year.
9. Plantain Christmas Tree
Plantains constitute an important part of the Dominican diet. There are yellow and green plantains used to prepare a number of dishes such as mangu, tostones, pastel en hoja and many others. And probably there is no expat in the Dominican Republic who wouldn’t have mistaken green plantains for bananas at least once in their life. The below plantain Christmas tree highlights the importance of this product for the local people.
10. Candle Christmas Tree
Lax Ojo bar in Cabarete has established a beautiful tradition of putting a special Christmas tree. It’s a metal structure representing a tree where guests put candles and make wishes. They charge no fee for candles and wishes. The melting wax hardens afterwards taking all possible forms and creating decorations which look like icicles.
We hope you had some fun reading through these 10 types of Dominican Christmas trees. Let us know if you have some other funny examples and we’ll include them in our post. Otherwise, which one did you like most?
Update thanks to our readers sending us more Christmas trees.
11. Cinder Block Christmas Tree
Probably when you look at the picture below, you wouldn’t guess what that tree is made from. We couldn’t tell it either. And you will be surprised but it’s cinder blocks decorated with nice ribbon knots and fairy lights. Isn’t it a creative attitude? In case you’re curious where to find it, it’s situated at the entrance to Charamicos area in Sosua.