We have, for the past few years found alternative ways to decorate our home over the festive period. The placing of a Christmas tree is linked to the bringing indoors of something that is growing. In the Northern Hemisphere daylight is short lived and indeed, the further north you travel the shorter the days become. Long ago we would have simply hunkered down and made ourselves as comfortable and safe as possible whilst always waiting for the earth to be reborn with the coming of spring. Therefore a fir tree or something green and verdant represented that possibility of life and regeneration.

In previous years we have had a large holly branch, a recycled tiny Christmas tree in a pot and a variety of twigs sprayed gold or silver and then bedecked with baubles and lights. We have also had the compulsory and gorgeous fir trees found in all garden centres and outdoor markets. 

This year we are not actually entertaining the family, we are being entertained. Which is lovely especially as our front room has become a vital holding area for other people’s belongings! An attractive selection of boxes and bags are artfully arranged at one end of, as the electricians came to call it, lounge one. We have piles of books that will eventually find their way back to my friend who has just moved house. The boxes, bags and all else will move south with the arrival of the spring months when lovely daughter and husband finally move into their new abode.

This year husband and I sat wondering if we had a suitable branch in the garden and concluded that there was nothing petite enough to fill the tiny space we had available. We decided instead to simply cut some greenery and place it on top of shelves and mirrors and dangle bright things amongst the fronds! Our neighbours’ leylandii hedge was an obvious place to start as it has become something of a monster and they, with the forthcoming birth of their babe, have had other priorities then hedge trimming. 

We seemed to come to the same thought within seconds of starting….why not tie several branches together and anchor firmly in secure base? It was perfect and so green and lush. Whilst I popped ‘things’ gently on the frondy branches John placed more of the same greenery up top of bookcases and now we have a lovely festive feel to the space available to us.

Obviously the shape of our ‘tree’ in no way resembles that iconic Christmas tree shape but we are rather pleased with the result and it felt worthy of being photographed and remembered. 

May I wish you all a peaceful and as calm as possible run up to Christmas. Take a few moments to sit, quietly breathe and rest whether you have decorations or not. Simply being still and attentive to how we really feel can be healing. Light a candle and soften…namaste.

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