Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Shrub

Our Christmas Shrub is now up.
Right up, being safely out of reach of inquisitive hands, on top of the fridge.
Please note the word shrub. I went into Bunnings to look for our Christmas tree in order to have a receptacle for some very sweet decorations. Pink, to match all of the Poppet's clothes.
And fell in love.
I'd eyed it off before, but this time when I saw it, I just knew.
Partly because the little Christmas trees Bunnings were selling were too small for my christmas decorations and because they had the potential to turn into massive great trees when planted.
Partly because my shrub smells divine and came decorated with 3 flowers.
It's a gardenia and brings back memories (yep, sweet nostalgia) of Tonga where they used to make leis out of them.(Although frangpanis were more common)  I've been wondering for years what flower it was - and now I know.
Whenever I got a lei (hmmm that sounds dodgy) I'd hook it over my bed-head or door knob for a few days until the flowers were brown and shrivelled, just to drink up the scent. Let me just say that a small room full of a few hundred gardenias on a string - smells like heaven, rich and heady and opulent.
So, not pine, but the house is still full of a scent of nostalgia.
I'd like to say we decorated our Christmas Shrub as a family, but, it was just us girls in the end. The Poppet supervising and myself placing. The Sprocket was running around shouting about trucks (what a surprise) and then over at his Nana's doing his usual tricks (stealing her walking stick, upending her cat's food...) and Ron was in bed with the Leurgy.
But hey, us girls got it done.
My family haven't had a traditional Christmas tree in awhile. When I was little we would cut a branch down from the pine tree at the bottom of the garden and it was always a massive great thing that had to be placed in a bucket and filled with bricks and was always, always lopsided and shed everywhere. Although again, it smelt divine.
Later, we took to buying a fruit tree and decorating that, and then planting it after Christmas.
My great aunts had a denuded Eucalyptus branch that they had painted gold (or maybe silver)
And when I lived down at the beach (sigh. sniff.) I use pieces of beautiful driftwood to decorate, which my aunt referred to as a 'Christmas twig.'
I figure the tradition of a Christmas tree hasn't been around that long, I'm happy to tweak it a little. Technically I'm thinking an olive or palm tree would be more in keeping with Bethlehem, but pines do bring to mind many beautiful memories of the festive season, and most particularly the ideal of a white Christmas and gentle falling snow. And sleigh-bells and warm plum pudding and custard and roasts and mmm....
Sniff. Nostalgia.

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