Sunday, 20 December 2009

An alternative Christmas

With less than a week to go to Christmas Day, we gave up searching for a reasonably priced traditional tree and settled instead for what we already had. So out from the cold I brought a lollipop holly, a sweet-bay tree (lauris nobilis) and a Christmas box (sarcococca hookeriana humilis) - all evergreens that were flourishing in pots on my mini-terrace under the cider-apple tree. The Christmas box has sweetly scented but insignificant white flowers which are just about to open in the warmth of the lounge. Decorations have been kept simple, just some red and gold baubles. We have tucked this 'arrangement' into a corner by the sideboard. No fairy lights, but we have lit three candles on a high window cill; the roadside window lacks wooden shutters (we would never reach up to shut them) and so passers-by can see into the candlelight-room as dusk approaches. That is, if anyone walks past - it's extremely cold here in the high Cotswolds, with an easterly wind; down to -9C last night (15.8F). 

And now an enormous 'thankyou' to everyone who left me such kind messages after my unexpected hospital stay. I really did appreciate them, and apologise for not responding personally to each one. I am absolutely fine, such a silly scare; but it's odd how timing can so affect the aftermath. Even after a fortnight back home, I still haven't caught up with myself; it felt as if I had lost a week of work and have much to do before I can take a break over the festive fortnight that we try to keep free for family and friends; and for me personally,  catching up on all the blog posts I have missed - and for some creative journaling in paper and fabric.


  1. It is good to see you back and slowly regaining your footing. Take all the time that is necessary.

    The last few years I have seriously contemplated upon not having a real Christmas tree, only because of the environment. This is the first year in twenty-one years that we do not have a tree. It is a bit sad, but like you we have made an alternative.

    So what do we do with all the ornaments I have collected in more than 30 years? Will just have to wait and see.

    Wishing you and your family all the very best this holiday season and I look forward to our continued acquaintances.

    Warmest regards this holiday season,

  2. Glad you are feeling better Ann - take care of yourself. I love your trees - it always gives me a good feeling when I can make do with something I already have - these look fab. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.xx

  3. Your greenery and candle lights seem perfect to celebrate Christmas!

    Guess that I would advise you to slip from your mind any notion of catching up. As January is just about here, join the rest of us with our notions of a bit of a look backwards, while truly accenting the dynamic of looking forwards to that New Year.

    Meanwhile, Happy Christmas to you. xo

  4. So glad you are feeling better and hope you do not have another one of those episodes.
    Your alternative Christmas trees are very pretty. How lucky to have them to use.

  5. Did not know you were ill. So happy to hear you are fine. The small trees in pots are a lovely compromise with chopping down another tree. - jeanne in Oregon

  6. I think I prefer you trees!

    Take things slowly, enjoy your festive break. I think we often place too much pressure on ourselves to be super human and fit too much into our lives.

    I loved your poem on your other blog :)

  7. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog in some time and I am very sorry to read that you gave been in hospital. I wish you a speedy recovery and a Christmas of peaceful joy, from just a little further down the road in Gloucestershire x

  8. I just wanted to drop by and wish you peace and happiness this Christmas. I am very sorry to read that you have been in hospital and wish you a speedy recovery. Cold and wet at this end of the Cotswolds!

  9. What a lovey lovely post...I love your alternative trees...Thank you for all the pleasure that your posts have given me .......Every blessing to you and yours this Christmas....H

  10. What pretty little trees. For several years when I was a child we couldn't afford a "proper" tree, so we always had a willow branch in a pot or one year, a little gorse bush, which we covered in flower and water paste and then shook glitter over. Sometimes, I think I may do that again, as they looked pretty with decorations on.

  11. We haven't had a proper Christmas tree in a number of years--they are so expensive and so soon have to be thrown out. One of my favorites years ago in another home was a little evergreen in a tub--I could plant it in the spring.
    Our resident cats are too interested in any small decorative touches I might put out, but I do prefer a collage of items [for want of a better term] something that draws the eye and provides a restful theme, rather than a big splash. Your potted trees fill that need beautifully.

  12. Hi from America's upper mid-west. I really like your alternative Christmas tree. The others seem so wasteful and just disrespectful. You have started a trend! I wish I'd been there for the cake...

    I like the peaceful feel of your blog. I'm turning away now to read your other blog.