From the desk of...

Christmas Tree…

Once the cards are sent and the baking is done (or started…) we start to think of another great Christmas tradition – the tree. We had a variety of tree styles in the house as I grew up – from a traditional green tree with homemade ornaments to a very fancy blue spruce, flocked in white “snow” and covered only in red and white decorations – but the greatest tree in my mind is a twist on the traditional European fir with all white lights and heritage decorations. One of my favourite picture book illustrators, Jan Brett, does a fantastic job representing the tree of my dreams in her winter themed books (the one in Twas the Night Before Christmas is amazing…) but I think this year we outdid ourselves with the Martini family tree. It is lovelier than words.

We started with a noble fir…

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…added a tangle of white lights…

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…and then unearthed the boxes of tree things one by one, from the most delicate…

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…to the most sentimental…

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Bringing out the ornaments is a ritual like no other – in a house with more traditions than we can count this one is particularly special. Our collection of ornaments has grown as our lives have unfolded – with each monumental event we have added one to the tree. Each ornament represents a milestone for our family. Starting with our wedding…

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…then the baptism of our first child…

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…and our second…

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…we have continued to add an ornament for every occasion. The children have chosen one each Christmas to mark the passing years, and grandparents and friends (some from far away) have sent ornaments to be part of this great tradition.

This one, chosen by Miss G. for the little “pickle” she was eagerly anticipating…

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…and a special reminder of her first communion…

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One nutcracker bought for me by my grandmother…

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…and one bought for my daughter by her grandmother…

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…our tree has become a symbol of the moments we treasure. It is a celebration of family, of friendship and of life in a dark and wintery season – it holds the light of our love and memories in its’ branches.

Venice…

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…Florence…

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…Appenzell…

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…and treasures from closer to home…

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Every family is a compilation of moments. When we take the time to hang the best of them altogether on the branches of the evergreen tree and see them sparkle in the light of this sentimental season we can’t help but marvel at the beauty of it all. There are many moments in every life that are dark and difficult – it makes the marking of the beautiful moments that much more essential. If you had to choose just one moment from this last year to celebrate – what would it be?

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