Day 347 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

P1010184Well folks, our poinciana tree is in flower with those beautiful red flowers on green leaves which always herald that Christmas is near.

The Christmas tree too is looking beautiful filled with decorations: some sentimental and old and other newer pieces that warm my heart every time I put them on the tree. I am always on the look out to add pieces that tell a story or give character to that old familiar tree.

My brandy Christmas cake was made two weeks ago and is maturing brilliantly wrapped in foil in the deep dark recesses of the cupboard. And yesterday, I made my Christmas shortbread. Yes, it is all happening around me with only 13 days left until Christmas.

The shopping centres are busy too, filled with people out and about looking at gifts to buy for those they hold dear. People seem to be in a good spirits and will stop and chat as they go their way.Is all this getting you into the Christmas spirit yet?  Well, I hope it is because this is the way it has affected me..

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For example, yesterday I spent a lovely morning baking shortbread and putting cherries on top of the small round biscuits that my mother taught me to make when I just a girl. I put on an old favourite CD of Glen CampbellThat Christmas Feeling” to give me the ‘Christmas feeling’ that Glen sings about.

I have lit up the Christmas Tree, looking full of splendour in its formal attire. The lights sparkle and jump about as if keeping time with all the activity around it. I was in Christmas heaven as my whole being readied itself for the coming of the Christ child as I baked and created shortbread with love in my heart. It was a special time.

So today, as I have come home from our Book Club luncheon, I am filled with bonhomie. I feel happy and content so I would like to share with you some photos of my favourite pieces on my Christmas tree and tell the stories behind why they mean so much to me.

I hope you enjoy this little taste of the season. My aim is to give you that Christmas feeling just as Glen Campbell gave it to me …

My tree and next to it the Nativity scene

My tree looking gorgeous and next to it is my Nativity scene

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I saw this fish in 2003 while I was standing in line at Shute Harbour (North Queensland) to buy a ticket on a catamaran to one of the Whitsunday Islands for the day. There it was off in the distance. I said to Geoff: “hold this spot I have to buy that fish!” and off I went. It was a little costly but every time I put it on the tree I am back in tropical north Queensland once again.

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It was our last day in Paris (2008) before flying home to Brisbane. I saw this silver angel in a gift shop when I was buying last-minute gifts for the family and knew I had to have it for my tree. I had been so busy buying for everyone else, I had very little for myself! Every year when I put it on the tree, I almost start speaking with a French accent as I am taken back to Paris once again.

P1010204Christened ‘Duckie’ I bought this little snow-duck in 1973 when we were newly married and struggling financially, but I saw him in a department store and simply had to have him. He is old and faded now but my son has been putting Duckie on the tree since he was a boy and he is now 37. He still likes to be the one to put Duckie on the tree when he helps us with the decorations. Pure sentimentality as Duckie is showing his age!

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Geoff and I were travelling in our camper-trailer in 2004 and were staying in a little town in Victoria called Benalla. It was pouring rain so we packed up early and went to town for breakfast. There was a gift shop attached to the cafe and there I brought this strange little man: a cross between Santa, an angel and an elf! I knew he had to go on my tree. He is simply amazing and I found him thanks to pouring rain!

P1010198My friend and neighbour Barbara, made this angel for me many years ago and it is beautifully crafted. It always adorns the top of the tree under the star. I love it! Barbara has brought me back many pieces from her travels overseas, but she has also given me a lot of angels and I love them all. I think of friendship when I put this angel on my tree.

P1010196In 2001 I saw this delightful Santa with the dangling legs in a shop window when I was at a place called Sanctuary Cover for a family birthday. We were window shopping after lunch when I saw him and I knew that I had to have him. I love the way his legs dangle over the branches. It is strange how I ‘know’ when I MUST add a piece to my tree.

P1010202This angel is a sentimental piece and is gaining in age now. I crocheted many pieces circa 1986 but I always loved this one the best. I put glitter on her wings and sequins on her halo and completed the look with a gold bow. I then starched her with glue and she is still going strong today. When I put this angel on the tree, I remember my children watching me make the crocheted pieces when they were only young.

P1010210A work friend gave me a pair of these glittering shoes for Christmas, to put on my tree. When I hang them, I remember the good times that I had working with her and two other girls in the City in 2007/8. Mostly I remember the camaraderie we shared and going out every morning at tea time to buy fresh coffee. We worked hard but oh how I remember the fun we had together in those days!

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