Thanks to Queen Victoria marrying Albert Prince Consort in 1840, the Christmas tree has become a festive icon after he introduced it to the Royal family from his home country, Germany. Its success became widespread across Britain and is probably the most popular element of celebrations today.

Our tree has been standing proudly in the lounge since the beginning of December. Every year I can’t wait to titivate and add the twinkle of fairy lights. I’ll never tire of the joy, or the warmth it brings on dark winter evenings. Most ornaments have a happy memory or story to tell, and not one year passes that I don’t add to the collection. This year a hand-painted elongated glass teardrop from Bourton-on-the Water’s Christmas shop made its debut and complements a tiny cascade of glass cups that form a dangling bell from the seventies. Most disappointing this time was finding a broken transparent bauble brought back from Venice. The miniature gondola and gondolier had come adrift inside with no way of repairing it.

As you can tell, mine isn’t a sophisticated or colour coordinated decked tree, unlike the beautiful themed examples at St Nicholas and St Faith in Saltash, Cornwall. The Christmas Tree Festival held there has finished, but my grandson and I gasped in admiration at the display of more than seventy trees lining the walls and alcoves. Thoughtfully and creatively decorated by local organisations, some traditionally and others with a modern twist, or conveying a message. I never cease to be amazed at other folks’ ideas, but none of them as special as our piney splendour, loaded with a sparkling assortment of all sorts and cherished.

Until next time,
Sue. X