Nothing like sitting down by the Christmas tree with a cup of hot apple cider this time of year and reading your - Christmas tree.

You can read your Christmas tree, sort of, when it's made of newspapers, which is exactly what fashion designer Frank Agostino has used this year in his annual endeavor to create a different holiday tree for his Agostino clothing store in Bryn Mawr.

He and an employee spent four days cutting hundreds of sheets of newspapers, bunching and twisting the middle of each one, and inserting the "stem" into holes in a homemade tree stand.

The result is about 10 feet of shadows, highlights, and unexpected elegance. At night, when the store's spotlight shines on it, he said, the tree looks snow-covered.

Observers are surprised and delighted, Agostino said, when they realize the tree's material.

"To see them walk by and smile. . . . That's part of the joy of Christmas."

   - Carolyn Davis