Residence: Jacksonville, FL
Date of Performance/Collection: April 13,2020
Primary Language: English
Decorating “Easter Trees”
“For some reason, we used to decorate the trees around our house like most people would Christmas trees. Many people in the south have egg-like ornaments and easter colored string lights, like purples and yellows and greens and bright blues. It was much more prevalent in South Carolina when I lived there.”
This informant, HA, was born in Pensacola, FL but has lived in a few different parts of the American South for awhile, specifically the Floribama coastal area. His family has stayed in the south for as far back as he can remember. He has learned this piece of folklore from when he moved to the suburbs of Charleston and his family were the only ones on the block that didn’t do it in their first year there.
I talked to HA by inviting them onto a zoom call with a few other friends we both knew from summer vacations where I used to live in Panama City, Florida. After the call I asked if he could stay and chat and we shared stories about our lives while I asked him questions about sayings and activities he remembered from his childhood.
There is a very heavily held belief among Americans that Southern culture is a bit more gentile and ornate than the rest of the country so it’s fascinating to see a piece of folklore that supports this idea. What interests me is how this decorating differs between people of different financial statuses. Looking more into it, it seems like a competitive game as well as it seems articles state that people can try and outdo other people’s easter trees.