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The pine tree lives for a thousand years
The morning-glory for but a single day
Yet both have fulfilled their destiny
quoted in D T Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture
Change your Christmas trees into Kadomatsu!
When I heard my doorbell and opened my door
There stood Santa
With a pistol in his hand
Kurisumasu Tsurii O Kiritaose!
Kadomatsu means gate pine. In Japan kadomatsu arrangements of pine and bamboo and plum are placed in front of doors for the new year. Pine means long life and good luck, bamboo means prosperity and plum means strength or courage. There are different layers of meaning too. Pine can also mean youth or happiness. Bamboo can mean resilience. Or honesty - when bamboo is cut it is hollow and hides nothing. The plum in Asian culture symbolizes winter but also that the spring will come. There was a discussion about some of the meanings after they appeared in one of the poems of O Sensei, the founder of aikido: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19040.
The kadomatsu in the snow is almost like a Christmas tree. The evergreen pine tree is a universal symbol of renewal. It's a good thing to remember. To be ever green. Always fresh. Always young.
I wish you happiness for the season and for the year ahead. And may you stay forever young.