For most of my life, my family had a real Christmas tree, generally a pine tree planted by my dad, or a branch cut from one. For me the smell of the freshly cut pine was always a big part of Christmas. When my parents got too old to host Christmas, my sister and I took it in turns, but hating the dropped needles of the real tree, she bought a fake one made of fibre optic strands that reflected many colors. Pretty enough, and no needles but none of that magic, evocative pine fragrance. When it was my turn, of course, I continued to have a real tree, sometimes a branch from the trees that Dad planted, sometimes a bought tree.
But many of my childhood Christmases were spent beside the beach, and though we did have a real tree either at my grandparents’ home nearby, or once in the annex of the caravan, the beach is the strongest memory. It’s a bit of an Aussie tradition, and the photo of this little driftwood tree is a wonderful reminder of those days.
I had a chuckle this morning at an article about bad Christmas trees. It’s here.
I wish now I’d taken Mum and Dad’s boxes of decorations, but they were stolen by thieves — along with a heap of other things. Stinkers! I gather that beautiful antique Christmas ornaments are worth something. For me, they involved priceless memories.
These days, with no family closer than a thousand kilometres away, I don’t make such a big deal of Christmas. My gatherings are of friends, not family. I still have a tree of sorts, but a teensy tiny one. This was the smallest yet — a sprig in an old glass inkwell, and yes, that’s a match box beside it. I’ve also used bunches of twigs, sometimes spray painted silver, and hung small paper ornaments from them.
I love making things, and have a pile of hand-crafted ornaments that I’ve made — quite a few from paper, and easily made. If you’re interested, I’ll share some, along with instructions for making them.
I have two gatherings planned, the first in my new house. One is for a small group of friends — we’ve been meeting for dinner and cards for decades. That will be a reasonably traditional dinner. And on Sunday I’ve got some of my old school classmates coming, and that will be a surprise, as it’s “bring a plate” — which I think is a bit like an American “potluck.” But I’m not sure how much Christmas decorating I’ll do. I’ll keep you posted. I’m always interested in what other people do and eat at Christmas, so feel free to share yours.