Suddenly the holiday season is here! Shopping centre parking lots are full and lineups at cash desks are long. Tempting seasonal treats spill out into the aisles of the speciality food markets and all the chocolates….ooohhhh…and the shortbread!!!
Another sure sign of the season is the pop-up Christmas tree lots along the main boulevards. The tradition of the Christmas tree goes back 100’s of years. Evergreen trees were a symbol of life in the midst of winter with the promise of Spring to come. Martin Luther, a German preacher, was credited with being one of the first to bring an evergreen tree indoors…sometime in the early 16th century. His trees were decorated with lighted candles said to symbolize the stars in the Christmas skies. Other decorations included fruits, gingerbread and nuts. German glassblowers started making ornaments of fruits and images of important religious leaders. The Christmas tree gained popularity in Britain during the Victorian era in the 1840’s. Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert set up a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle for their children. It is believed that the Prince may have brought this tradition from his homeland, Germany. Immigrants from Germany and Ireland brought their Christmas traditions with them when they made America their new home. Tree lights were invented by Thomas Edison in the 1880’s, however, only the wealthy could afford to put lights on their Christmas trees as a string of lights cost $300.00 (about $2,000 in today’s dollars).
I have put up an artificial tree this year. In keeping with my personal style, I choose a muted Christmas colour scheme to compliment the decor of my home. The Christmas tree is cream and flocked with lots of mini lights. Although it looks great, it is quite messy. It seems like I have been wearing faux snow for the last couple of weeks and every time my dog brushes by the branches a trail of snow is left behind. But it’s beauty is worth it. I have only hung glass and vintage ornaments on the tree with no two baubles being the same. Some time ago my mom gave me some of the glass ornaments that hung on the trees from my childhood. Since then I have picked through vintage ornaments whenever I see them in antique shops and now have quite a lovely collection.
My dining table will be done in cream, pink and gold. I always use fresh roses regardless of the season because they are my favourite flower and are complementary to the other accessory pieces I use. I like to mix ornaments in with the flowers and candles. As I have mentioned before, decorating the table is my favourite part of entertaining. The cooking part (still and probably always will) makes me nervous!!
This little bird sits on my fence to wish my neighbours and passersby the best of season.