Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Trees

Okay...So, this may not be a fancy white house on Pennsylvania Avenue and I may not be the leader of the free world or even the wife of the leader of the free world or the White House photographer or even a good photographer. But, it won't stop me from enjoying my Christmas trees--up since right after Thanksgiving.

Naturally, they are artificial. What else would we use in a home where the
Christmas trees stay up for about 6 weeks? Every year we modify the tree decorations just slightly but they are all just as pretty as ever, from the biggest to the smallest and from the fullest to the thinnest. Some years we may use more natural decorations on the trees like yarrow and hydrangea from the garden and others years like this year, we go for more glitz. Yrt, every year, each tree conveys the beauty and splendor of season and it would not be Christmas here at Blooming Hill without each one of them taking their rightful place in our home. Each tree represents a special collection of memories through the years.

This one pictured here is the most formal tree we put up with ornaments from my mother's tree as well as the most special and prettiest and most delicate ornaments we have. We flocked this tree last year and loved it so much, we kept it flocked for this year as well. It is draped in sparkling ornaments, festive ribbons and twinkling old-fashioned white lights.

We all know that the Christmas tree originally comes from German tradition and it is Prince Albert of Victorian England who is credited with importing the idea into Great Britain. There is a charming legend also that goes with the British Christmas Tree tradition and it says that the Christ Child was said to have appeared to a peasant family one cold winter's night. The child looked so hungry and cold that the family took him in and cared for him that night in spite of their own miserable surroundings and condition. When the family awoke the next morning the Christ Child was gone but the cottage was bathed in heavenly light. There was also a small branch from a pine tree planted in the ground close to their hut that hadn't been there before. The family came to believe that the child had left it for them to provide shelter and comfort in repayment for their kindness to him.

The real origin of the Christmas tree comes from Scandinavia where the people of these countries celebrated the "Tree of Time," which is derived from the winter solstice they symbols they honor for everlasting life and fertility--from the pine cones. The winter tree is the counterpart to their summer solstice symbol, the maypole. These two trees here, bedecked in a bright red theme, adorn the front entryway of our home.

It has been said that decorating the Christmas tree with lights may have even come from the Jewish tradition, Hanukkah--the Festival of Lights.

If you are one of the traditional traditionalists who remains faithful to the most beautiful of Christmas trees-- a real one--one of the most popular varieties used is the Norwegian Spruce. If you buy one with it's root still intact and water it well, it should not shed its needles if you bring it inside and you will be able to plant it out in the garden when the Christmas holidays are over--providing the ground where you live is still not frozen solid. This tall, narrow tree in the family room is home to a whimsical display of birds with feather garlands and multi-colored lights and topped with a fairie fox, it brightens up the hunter red of the walls.

This feather tree stands in the corner of the dining room and is simple yet sophisticated, shining brightly in blue and white. I think its a wonderful addition to this charming room and a nod as wellto the German tradition in an English inspired room.

And last, another small table top tree in the kitchen is decorated in blue and white ornaments with blue lights. (Is it a bit obvious that I like the color blue?) In any case, I'd love to see your Christmas tree or trees. Send me a picture of your Christmas tree and I'll share them on my blog with everyone.

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