Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

17/12/2020

Chrimbly Count down - Tree

Trees - I decided, rather than share stories and photos of my own tree (other than the one I posted last Friday) I would choose 'street' trees. 
Council decorated ones , people's own in their gardens, outside of pubs and churches and the delightfully differing village green trees.  I wanted to share the joy and the celebration of these trees - be they simple white lights or hand made decorations or bedecked with so many bulbs that the tree can barely stand and those with just enough to be classed as decorated.
The trees we decorate in our homes have origins haling from a pagan winter festival where the ancients thanked the gods for the harvest by hanging fruits and gifts. It was believed the gifts would also safeguard the following year's harvest, making it as productive or hopefully even more so.
Some time during the 16th century, so the stories go, a poor glass maker could not spare the fruit to decorate his tree as he needed them to feed his children, so he blew glass fruit to adorn his tree. The legend goes on to say that others fell in love with his work and asked him to make more .... however... the same gentleman apparently ALSO did all this in the mid 1800s - he either was an exceptionally long lived glass blower or the story has been woven through history and mislaid the true origins.
Hanging gifts in the trees was believed, by the Druids, to bring rewards to the giver, so leaving coins or fruits in the branches would ensure wealth and a good harvest.
To the ancients, ever green trees had magical properties and were sacred as they remained vibrantly green all year round.
Hanging bells in the tree seems to have various origins too - one is the robust ringing of bells to frighten away deamons and to call back warmer days. Another was to hang small bells in the branches to call the small woodland faery folk, offering them a safe harbour through winter.
Red apples - be they real or glass - are popular in France as a tree decoration, having a strong religious meaning related to the Garden of Eden.

Queen Victoria's consort - Prince Albert, is usually credited with introducing the Christmas tree to the UK in 1840, however, a full 40 years earlier, the German wife of King George lll set up the first tree in the 'Queen's Lodge, Windsor during December 1800.
Many of the tree decorating traditions originate from Germany, the most famous being lighting up the tree. Legend has it that Protestant reformer, Martin Luther used real candles to decorate a tree in the 16th century to recreate a starry sky after he had been inspired during a walk through a pine forest near his home in Wittenberg. Fortunately we have moved on and use fairy lights ( I am lucky enough to have four vintage candle clips and decorate my tree with them, however they never get lit!).
In the Ukraine, trees are decked in spider webs, more something we identify with Samhain or Halloween. However, glittery cobwebs are associated with luck and good fortune. The story goes that a poor woman and her children, with hardly a penny to their name, allowed a spider to decorate their tree. The spider covered the tree with silvery webs and by the morning the webs had turned to gold, saving the poor woman from complete destitution. 
In my mind the street trees with their simple lights do have cobweb qualities.
Finland uses twisted straw decorations - rather like simple corndollies in geometric shapes. These rye straw decorations often stay up until Midsummer to help safe guard the following harvest.
One evening, on a whim I took my camera on a walk and just snapped trees knowing my camera would just capture the movement of light rather than the tree. 

Have yourselves a safe, gentle festive break - here is to 2021, may she rise from the ashes of 2020 as beautiful as a phoenix - things will get better xxxxxx



Sending love and socially distanced hugs xxxxxx

17 comments:

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    1. Have a safe one Jill - make sure you get plenty of vitamin Sea air xx

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  2. Lovely words, thoughts and photographs. I recognise a few as having been taken in our village. Thank you for organising this blog meet up, its been fun. Wishing all your fellow bloggers a wonderful, safe and healthy Christmas and New Year. πŸ’“πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸ’“ xx

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    1. Thank you :) Yes got most of your village trees last week when out walking :) far better than our rather sad and hardly dressed one - suspect it will be better next year after the many complaints on the village FB page πŸŽ„πŸ˜

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  3. Your camera has certainly captured some wonderful trees and images. Interesting to hear about the trees origins too. X

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    1. Thanks Sharon, I'd taken so many during December (wealth of choice with everyone decorating early this year) that these are just a few - thought that 30 or so photos of trees might be a bit much!!

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  4. Love them all and all the more so as I recognise some. So glad you included more than one photo as I thought I'd gone over the top! It's such good fun. Can we have more please in 2021? x

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    1. I knew you would have a lovely selection of photos of your twig - I mean tree! And I was correct hahah πŸ₯°
      We will have more scavenger hunts in 2021 - don't you worry😁

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  5. I just love Christmas lights and you captured them wonderfully x

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  6. A lovely post Kate with lots of interesting information. Do love your pics with the fascinating lightshows. Thanks for hosting & I'll do mine this afternoon after a mighty chaotic week. Looks like holidays further than our own state will be on hold again. Take care stay safe & huggles.

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    1. Just read and commented on your post - thank you for joining in. Stay safeπŸŽ„

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  7. I like the tree with the red lights, it looks lovely against the blue of the late afternoon sky, though my favourite is the second 'abstract' shot, the bright colours and wavy lines are fabulous. I think it should be hung in a modern art gallery :)

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  8. I do like how you have added all those snippets of intriguing information about origins,legends and myths connected with decorating trees. IMO the comment about the glassmaker is just so fascinating! Superb light effects in those photos. The third from the last with that orange ,red streamer of light is fabulous!! keep well Amanda x

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  9. So many trees ... and stories behind them. I have to say I do love outdoor Christmas lights, they always raise a smile. I remember playing at counting Christmas trees in house windows as a child and it’s something I still look out for ... Merry Christmas and thank you for organising these scavenger hunts ... I’ve really enjoyed taking part and seeing everyone’s posts πŸ˜ƒ

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  10. Such a loveley variety of trees. I love seeing them decorated outside, especially if you are walking around. My Mother grew up in Germany with candles on their tree, but we never did it.

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  11. Some fabulous ones there. My favourite is the one with the red lights. Arilx

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