Like Scrooge, we’re all haunted, a little bit, by the ghosts of our Christmases past. In my ‘Blog Advent’ post on December 6, I wrote a little about my memories of St Nicholas, from the time I spent growing up in Switzerland as a young child. These were my formative Christmas memories, so of course I hark back to them every year.
One tradition which is still widely practiced in Switzerland and Germany – and not at all, in the UK – is the habit of putting real candles in domestic Christmas trees. I love this – it feels so utterly ‘proper’ and festive to me! Yes, of course it’s a fire risk – but so is any lit candle or open fire. Our neighbours, in the small Swiss village where we lived, seemed to manage to avoid setting fire to their houses every year!
Hubby is very British about this – the whole idea seems to him like a huge fire hazard just waiting to burst into a ball of flames. I asked him to suggest a title for this post and his suggestion ‘Flaming Torch of Christmas Death!’ rather sums up his position on the issue! It’s not so black and white, to me – after all, people were managing to set fire to their living rooms with the small incandescent Christmas tree lightbulbs well into the 21st century.
But all good relationships are about compromise, so while I wait for him to come around to my way of thinking (this, folks, may well be some time!) I picked up these pretty hanging baubles designed to take tea light candles. Rather than equip them with a naked flame, I’ve used some LED tea lights which, while not *quite* convincingly the real deal, flicker gently with a warm golden light, and, at least out of the corner of your eye, might just be little candle flames in my tree.
Not many days left on the advent candle, either! I had so many bits and pieces I wanted to get done today – my last weekday off between now and Christmas – but instead I spent most of it gently nursing this nasty cold. Here’s hoping it’s gone by the weekend!
I’m trying to write a post a day during Advent, so, please come along with me while I try to Blog Advent – the Country Skills Way – and forgive me if I don’t quite manage it!
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