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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Christmas Greenery 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Over the years 
my tastes in Christmas decorations 
have changed. 
I have begun this year's decorations, and 
they harken back to the simpler decorations 
of my childhood. 

To a time when our Christmas tree 
was a cedar tree cut from the fence row 
along side an old country road. 
No one bought a tree. 

During late November, I 
would begin sizing up cedar trees along the roads. 
I was always looking for the perfect shape 
and would point out trees that I thought 
would be a great Christmas tree. 
Then, about two weeks before Christmas, 
my dad would take us four children to the chosen tree, 
and he would cut it. 

Christmas Greenery 
in our breakfast sunspace this year is fresh greenery  
and reflects back to a style similar to my childhood. 
One that is simple, filled with fresh greens. 

Last year I was drawn to the photos on blogs that showed 
bare real trees placed in rustic containers such as 
galvanized buckets and wicker baskets. 
Most of these photos were from Nordic countries. 

From that inspiration, this year I placed a fresh Fraiser fir table-top tree 
from Home Depot into a galvanized bucket I found 
at Chipper's antique/thrift store in Alabama. 

This is not the first time we have had a fresh bare tree. 
No, I was ahead of the trend about fifteen years ago 
when we had a large fresh Fraiser fir tree 
on our open back deck. 
We could see it from both the living room and 
the breakfast sunspace. 
Passersby could see it from the road as they drove by. 
At night we left the outside lights on until we went to bed 
so the tree was visible after dark. 

That was the year I just could not get everything done 
by Christmas.  
So, the big beautiful tree sat on the deck without 
a single light or decoration. 
I really liked it. 

Since then, I've had small bare trees outside more than once. 
Sometimes on the front porch. 

Sometimes on the open back deck. 

In 2012, it snowed on Christmas Day in north Texas.
The first snowfall on Christmas Day in decades. 
A magical day. 

Then, in January 2013, we had snow again. 

Our large tree that had been decorated in the living room 
was sitting on the deck awaiting disposal 
when the snowstorm hit. Snow covered the tree, and 
we had another magical moment that winter. 

For Christmas 2013, the breakfast sunspace has 
the bare, fresh Fraiser fir, three olive tree topiaries, 
a couple of ivy topiaries, and a cluster of paperwhites 
in a holly decorated bowl. 

The paperwhite narcissi are sitting atop two red books. 
The New Testament English Version for the Deaf 
belonged to my dad. 
I gave it to him for Christmas one year. 
After he passed away, my mom gave it back to me. 
Inside is the card I enclosed to Daddy. 

Daddy was not deaf. 
This New Testament is a translation by a 
Bible Translation Center that I have supported 
in a variety of ways for almost forty years. 
So, this New Testament is special for 
several reasons. 

The old blue chippy high chair with its woven rush seat 
was used by different children family members and 
children of our dearest close friends over the years.  
Lots of memories of little ones who sat in that chair. 

Yes, I like this year's simple fresh greenery 
in the breakfast sunspace. 

Simple fresh greenery 
complement the old white wicker planter, 
the locker wire basket, the galvanized bucket, 
the red books, the well-loved high chair, 
and my memories of childhood Christmases.  
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