Sunday, December 20, 2009

Voila Christmas

I thought perhaps this year the muse of Christmas trees might pass me by. We bought live trees for planting out after Christmas and I had begun to think that it was too much bother to bring it in and decorate it.

Silly me.

With the help of Nat King Cole, some Handel, and my two cats, this little Nordman fir was transformed from its humble status to the most wonderful Christmas tree ever--until next year. Christmas trees, like babies, are all uniquely wonderful.

And each tells a story or two.

The porcelain star came from New Harmony and was only discovered when we moved and I unpacked some long forgotten boxes. It is a gift from a dear friend who keeps Christmas in the way she learned as a young mother in Switzerland--candles on the tree that are lit only on Christmas eve. If you have never seen it, let me assure you that candles on a tree are truly beautiful. They give a lovely soft light and warm the tree. So that ornament reminds me of my friend and her trees and good times shared.

The wee hearts are also a present and designed to reflect the glow of the lights as are the icicles and the disco balls. "There is a little Grandma Jan in all of us." I am old enough to be not too uncomfortable to discover that I am growing into some aspects of my mother that I was not always happy to observe. My mother was much more into glitter and sparkle and glamour than I ever will be, but a little sparkle is not a bad thing.

The flying cow--perhaps her wings are not so apparent in the photo--is also a gift. A gift from astonished friends when they learned that their urbanized vegetarian friend was going to marry a beef farmer and move to Scotland. It made no sense at one level and so of course it had to be celebrated with a flying cow Christmas ornament. Christmas trees have their own logic.

This morning as I was hauling out Christmas ornaments and wondering if the cats would break one or more of them (these, unlike the antique glass ones I inherited from my mother are pretty much indestructible), I remembered some wisdom from a friend of mine in Philadelphia. When her young daughter broke an ornament, instead of grumbling and regretting the loss, she said, "Good, now the tree decorating is complete. It isn't complete until a decoration is broken."

Right on cue, as I bustled about my wee tree, great fat soft snowflakes hurried to the ground.

So it's now almost Christmas and in the best of Christmas traditions, I am not ready: some gifts are not yet sorted, none of them are wrapped, not even my email cards will get out on time, but for lunch today we ate Christmas pudding and ventured down the road as far as local shop and good friend and shared a laugh over a cuppa.

May the Christmas spirit find you wherever and however to make the season joyful.

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At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 1:37 AM, Blogger Hayden said...

lovely reflections.

I haven't done a tree in years. Next year, I think, will be different.

At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't put up my tree this year, but I did put my tabletop decorations around. Also hung the Joyeux Noel banner Miranda brought us from France many years ago, over the fireplace.

At 1:13 AM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

That last one was from me.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

I tried to simplify this year. I wrote about my unsuccessful attempt to get by with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I'd always thought that artificial trees were more "green" than real ones but, as one of the comments to the linked post noted, this may no longer be the case because Christmas trees are grown as a renewable crop... like corn, only slower. I later heard something on the news that endorsed that view. But your solution... a real tree in a pot to be planted after the decorations were taken down... is truly elegant.

A Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy New Year.

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Jackie V. said...

Happy Holidays to you. Your Christmas tree is so cute and so wise to plant a tree. I've always wanted to do that. I'm still reading your blog and enjoying looking over your shoulder to Scotland. Jackie V.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Nest year, Hayden you may have a forest full of trees. It will certainly keep you busy!

At 4:10 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Any decorations that make the spirit bright are good. As you sdo well know, I'm not a stickler for details!

At 4:12 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Cur, thanks for your good wishes. I saw a TV program about how retired Christmas trees can be used to stabilize dunes, so there is a way to being green, if we can just find it.

The little trees that we planted last year are still green and, well, maybe growing--it is so hard to tell with those tiny little things, but I take green and alive as a good sign.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Hello, Jackie V. I am so glad you are here. Happy New Year. We are getting a pile of snow here.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous ampiggy said...

It seems that there were sparkles on the decorations for a wedding I attended about 5 years ago :)


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