I customarily don't have an indoor tree except for a 10" one that is part of a display I set out on my glass-topped wine rack each year.
Instead, I decorate "Oliver's tree" - a potted evergreen on my patio, named in memory of one of my shelties who passed away the weekend I bought the tree.
Except for this year. This year my daughter was coming for a short visit the weekend before Christmas, when we would celebrate Christmas early - the stockings from Santa, the presents under the tree, and the dinner with Christmas crackers, plum pudding, and a table full of guests.
Wait....presents under the tree......how are we going to do THAT around either a 10" tree on the wine rack or an exposed outdoor tree? And so I went in search of a tree for the house - one that the cat wouldn't climb (or eat), the dogs wouldn't crash into, one that I wouldn't have to store from year to year but also one which wouldn't die an early death from being chopped down, roots amputated from a sturdy trunk. I thought of a live potted evergreen that I could plant in the garden in spring, but research and the nursery tells me they seldom survive as the warmth of the house brings them out of dormancy far too soon and affects their growth cycles, causing them to die the following year. And then a helpful staff member at my favourite nursery made a suggestion: Winter Jasmine!
Winter Jasmine blooms in January here on the island, so with some planning it can safely be moved into the house in December, allowed to come out of dormancy, and then transitioned back outside in early January to continue its winter blooms and early spring growth. And though winter jasmine isn't evergreen, the many spikes that form its limbs retain a greenish hue year round.
So that's what I did - in mid-December, I brought home a good-sized winter jasmine, small enough to be up on a table out of harm's way (with the help of a dog's x-pen), large enough to support a small collection of very lightweight ornaments, most of which my daughter made back in daycare several decades ago. Its graceful boughs cascade down, dripping with little microdot lights and golden tinsel-type garland, like cascading silvery water with sunlight shining through it. The photos simply don't do it justice.
And so, while others enjoy their evergreen, or their blue spruce, or even their silver aluminum tree this Christmas, I enjoy a Christmas tree that is yellow - yellow, the colour of spring, the season of new birth and renewal and hope. It may not be traditional but it certainly seems fitting for a holiday which celebrates those very same things.