I set out on a blustery day this week to choose the tree , after a certain amount of time spent in reconnaissance admiring beautiful trees for sale beside the road or leaning near shop doorways. I’ve learnt over the years to take a thick pair of “prickle proof” gloves with me to aid my shopping deliberations because of course faced with a neat bay of Christmas trees, carefully sorted by size and price, my theory is the best one lays undiscovered at the back.
First – choose the perfect Christmas tree!
This is probably the reason that Charles now refuses to come with me as I shuffle and move the trees to compare the density and branch distribution until I find “the one” that says “Take me home for Christmas” I must say I struck lucky quite soon this year, so after putting the other ten trees carefully back and dragging my chosen tree to the packing bay, a nice young man not only neatly wrapped my tree in a white net (of which see more later) but insisted on carrying it to the car for me too! No glove required!
As the tree came into the house yesterday, it brought with it the very smell of Christmas – the wonderful aromatic scent that takes you straight back to childhood Christmases – well it does for me anyway. I sometimes wonder about the generations brought up with a faux tree – for me, at least, nothing beats the magic of the real thing. There are dropped needles of course but we set ours on the old slate flagstones in the hall each year, so the stray needles are easy to sweep up each day.
Decorating the Christmas tree – revisiting Christmas memories
Each year I get out “my” traditional box of decorations bought from R.J. Supplies (a wonderful end of line store at Praa sands) when we were first married twenty three years ago. Some are unusually made of velvet and Hessian, supplemented by glossy dark red silk and paper machete baubles and a few gold cherubs to fly in the branches. I finish our tree with a swirl of red and gold checked ribbon, the fairy of course and a faux robin that it must be admitted is starting to look a little thread bare in the tail feather department! I took a quick snap I as I finished long after dusk, as it glowed against the old slate flagstones complementing our atmospheric beamed hallway, just as it should.
For our entrance gate and front door we wove two wreaths from the foliage in the garden. If you would like to try to make you own, I’ve found this a simple method
Start by twisting long lengths of Ivy into a circle to make a strong base and then tuck shorter lengths of Holly interspersed with aromatic bay and rosemary into the base. I did tie some short pieces of string at intervals hiding it amongst the leaves, to guard against the Cornish gales at this time of year but that is basically it – quick and simple! But oh such cold fingers by the time we had finished I was only too happy to go indoors for a hot cup of tea and a mince pie! My Christmas decorating will continue over the weeks coming up to Christmas so if you are in the festive mood or feel in need of inspiration do pop back. My next tree for the guest sitting room is far from traditional.
If you are in Cornwall this week don’t forget the famous lights will be switched on in Mousehole this Friday. Mousehole has such an untouched, atmospheric, charm with traditional cottages, huddled around the harbour leading to narrow cobbled streets. It comes alive at Christmas with a fantasia of lights from inner harbour to hillside, carol singing and a bustle around the local restaurants and pubs. Yet still beneath the joy the hard life of the sea still reaches a poignant finger and the lights will be dimmed in memory of the Solomon Brown on the 19th of December.
For more Christmas blog posts
To follow our Christmas Tree again into 2015 please click here