Christmas, like many other key times in our life is firmly etched in our memories. What those memories are will differ for each family of course, but what remains the same is that those early memories have the potential to become our own Christmas traditions in the future.
My childhood Christmas had a smell- I’m sure it was the same for many of you too- the smell of pine is unmistakable, and like fragrances tend to do, getting a whiff of the scent of pine again transports me back to another time and place.
Replicating the perfect Christmas is almost like a step by step recipe that we are unable to deviate from- it is like a sportsman wearing his lucky socks or jocks…. Sometimes it is impossible to put your finger on exactly what element made something perfect so you just repeat everything in the hope that you will be able to create the same magic again.
Everyone’s idea of perfect is different too of course but there is something special about fresh produce, whether we are talking about food, cut flowers, or plants.
NSW is quite unique in that both Christmas Bush and Christmas Bells are endemic to the region. Both these flowers are naturally available at Christmas time as their names suggest, although, weather conditions can influence this. Fresh cut flowers throughout the house is important always of course BUT essential for Christmas.
Christmas Bells are nostalgic for many customers but tend to be fairly pricey per stem as they are a restricted crop. They naturally grow in many low lying areas within National Park areas, however it is an offence to pick them. For that reason, they should be purchased from only reputable suppliers; the bunches are generally tagged to certify that they have been grown independently.
They are the kind of fresh cut flower that many hold close to their heart, and as a general rule, we can never get our hands on enough Christmas Bush. At its best, the Christmas Bush is red and vibrant. Did you know that they begin as a white bract and that the actual flower is quite insignificant? The bract then changes from white to a more peachy, orange tone, before becoming red. It is a pretty temperamental crop, and given too much rain, strong winds or too little rain for that matter, can wipe it out. Some suppliers will be forced to pick crops early, resulting in peachy toned Christmas Bush, or even White.
A gorgeous alternative to traditional choices like Christmas Bush, is the vibrant red flowering Eucalyptus. These little explosions of colour are like mini fireworks. This native flower is endemic to Western Australia however grows well throughout New South Wales. They can be a little messy, but let’s face it- the best things in life tend to be a tad messy 😜
Poinsettia are a favourite at Christmas time as they make a gorgeous gift, but they are also an amazingly simple, and cost effective table centrepiece. If you are short on space, or tight on cash, a single Poinsettia set in the centre of your table is a fantastic alternative to more costly arrangements. Plus, for all you green thumbs out there, plant them in the garden and enjoy the beauty again and again. There are several varieties of Poinsettias available these days- in white, cream, soft pink, verigated pinks, strong pinks, corals and everything in between.
Often the ritual of getting ready for Christmas is influenced by the happy memories of your own childhood, or the wishes you had as a child. It encompasses all the things you love, you enjoy, and the things you are passionate about.
What are the ingredients for your perfect Christmas? I hope the lists are written and you are starting to cross things off because…..there is ONLY 11 sleeps to go!