“Dating back centuries before Christ, cultures brought evergreen trees, plants, and leaves into their homes upon the arrival of the winter solstice, which occurs in the northern hemisphere between December 21st and 22nd. Although the specific practices were different in each country and culture, the symbolization was generally the same: to celebrate the return of life at the beginning of winter’s decline.”-  read more about the History of the Christmas Tree .

In lieu of purchasing an evergreen tree, either big, medium or small, I decided to out source ‘my tree’ by walking a short distance to the side of my house. I picked up the Ilex berry at the store and added a few snipping of the wild red berries I picked down the street. The greens are random as they come and are quite hearty. It was not only until after that I realized I had just selected my holiday ‘tree’. I initially was just gathering greens to fill my vase and then it became quite a serendipitous moment.

As much as I love the smell of evergreen, I don’t love the shedding..but that really isn’t the reason I didn’t go out and purchase a ‘traditional’ Christmas tree this year. I tend to lean toward the more non-traditional ways of celebrating (the season) and alternative ways to bring fresh greens indoors while still maintaining the symbolism behind said greens.

A few weeks ago my step-sister and her husband, invited me over to her house to partake in quite a festive night of decorating their very large Christmas tree with my two young nephews. It was an absolute joy and delight to help them unpack their special Christmas ornaments and watch them be boosted up to hang these precious decorations. After the tree was decked we sat down, enjoyed cups of eggnog and watched a Charlie Brown Christmas. It was the first time I had watched this iconic special in quite some time. It was so refreshing to be reminded about the true spirit of Christmas, as at times it can be easy to forget. Amazing that a Charlie Brown Christmas aired in 1965, and even way back then the premise was about “the over-commercialization of Christmas” and well, the enlightenment of Charlie Brown, so to speak. Or rather, how Charlie Brown discovered the true meaning of Christmas.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'”

“…And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

It is truly an animated classic worth watching again each year. Preferably enjoyed in the company of family, and friends with a warm cup of kindness and cheer. It is also a time of reflection and appreciation. Appreciate and give thanks.

Happy Holidays!

Red, Green and December

Nothing like a rescued pine cone and some red and green to make it feel all warm and holiday like.

You know me, always looking on the ground for some new and exciting specimen to collect. Did I ever mention that as a kid I spent hours and hours digging in the ground looking for rocks and fossils? Sure did. That was when I wanted to be an Archaeologist (logic) and an Astronaut (reason). Alas I am currently flower foraging (=Math) and loving it.

I discovered this tangled vine of beautiful red berries on the same fence, in the same vacant lot as that wonderful pink Coral Vine. It quickly went into 1 of my 3 vases.

Easy Holiday Decor

Before I left chilly SF for the warmth(chilly) of the beach, I did a bit of Holiday decorating. Though I knew I’d be spending a bit of December in a (usually) warm environment, I wanted it to feel like winter. In an earlier post I exhibited how one might decorate simply without breaking the bank.

Silver ball ornaments in clear vases & greens from the yard

A clothing store around the corner has in their window display a familiar site:

Silver ball ornaments in glass vases.

Just fill clear vases(you probably already own) with assorted ornaments and stagger them together. Voila!

Simply and easy. Not that I’d do this every year, but it is a cute, simple and shiny way to decorate. Again, it won’t set you back a fortune either.