What Sits At the Top of Your Christmas Tree?


Mark Roberts "Golden Age" fairy sits at the top of our Christmas tree.

Mark Roberts “Golden Age” fairy sits at the top of our Christmas tree.


What sits on top of your Christmas tree? 

Hugh Roberts, of East Sussex UK,  is politely curious.

In fact, everyone who responds to his query will help add another pound sterling to the charitable contribution he plans to make in January.  His goal is L250. That is a lot of Christmas beauty!

Blogging friend Sue posted her tree topper earlier today and alerted me to Hugh’s challenge.  What lovely Christmas postings you’ll find from Sue!


Mark Robert's Sugar Plum Fairy

Mark Robert’s Plum Pudding  Fairy


When we moved to this home (and garden) a few years ago, a Christmas tree left behind by the previous owner was waiting for us in a huge box in the garage.  It was a pre-lit tree, with white lights, and we decided to make it our “den” tree that first year.

There was very little Christmas joy as I tried, in vain, to get all of the lights working.  I finally gave up and just put a string of colored lights on top and used this as our “overflow” tree for ornaments not displayed in the living room.  This tree held lots of childhood memories and fun ornaments given over the years by students and extended family.


Mark Robert's "Mistletoe and Holly" fairy

Mark Robert’s “Mistletoe and Holly” fairy


That January, we decided to just leave this tree assembled, covered in plastic dust covers, in the basement.  The ornaments were packed, but we just left the lights in place.  We’ve used the tree another time or two, but last year was so hectic that it never saw the lights of Christmas.

Earlier this month my partner began the discussion about discarding this old tree.  I think he planned to use its component parts in the deer barriers down in our ravine.  But I kept putting him off… and finally, took the trouble to go and lift the dust covers.  Not bad….


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 021.

I had been half-heartedly  shopping for a “new” artificial tree for the den.  I love the lights in the area where we sit and cook, and really wanted to bring some of those old ornaments out again.  But nothing I had seen online or in stores seemed worth the asking prices.  (Yes, I know, after Christmas sales…)

And so in a moment of sheer stubborness I wrestled this old tree up from the basement and plunked it down beside my chair.


A new "Santa" ornament handmade from a cypress knob by a local artist.

A new “Santa” ornament handmade from a cypress knob by a local artist.


There wasn’t much enthusiasm in the house, I must admit.  But when I plugged in the string of lights, it did look festive.

We began “fluffing” the tree.  The tree stood there the rest of the day with just the lights burning.  I was off to my parents’ home for the day, and needed to get on the road.  I planned to decorate it the following day.

Well, my partner continued to fluff it and bend it back into acceptable shape.  Its cheery glow greeted me when I returned home that evening.


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 026.

I was at peace with the decision to save the tree.  That is, until the following morning when I plugged it in on the way to the coffee pot.

The lights lasted maybe two minutes, and then nothing.  I tried and retried the plug, the fuses, the cord… Nothing would bring those old lights back to life.  They were more than 10 years old, but I still hated to give up too easily.


December 22, 2014 closeups 004


My partner is no fan of non-functioning Christmas lights.  He helped out by disentangling them from the tree.

I plugged them into another outlet and went through the string bulb by bulb.  And again, and again.  No amount of jiggling or replacement bulbs brought them back to life.

By this time he was on his way to Walgreens to find us some new lights.


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 022.

But there was still the problem of the factory lights, burned out and hard wired onto the tree.  Most of the bulbs were blackened from their little explosions years ago.  They were clumsily attached, and just marred the tree in every way you might name.

And so faithful partner went to work with wire snips, pliers, and brute force.  He liberated the tree.


Handmade "Santa" purchased from the same local artist last year.

Handmade “Santa” purchased from the same local artist last year.


Hours later, we were finally ready to place the new strings of white lights.  What light!  What brightness! 

This was no longer a cast-off.  It was transformed into a thing of beauty.  And I decorated it accordingly.


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 025.

Our Mark Roberts Christmas fairies, usually enchanting the mantlepiece, took places of honor on the tree instead.  We decided to dedicate this tree to the magic of Christmas.


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 027.

It holds many of our Santa Claus ornaments, including  one crafted from a cypress knob by a local artist, which we purchased from her earlier in the month.

We created this tree to celebrate the love, generosity, kindness, and miracle-making magic the Christmas season always brings.


A gift on my first Christmas.

A gift on my first Christmas.


It is decorated with gifts I have  received from my very first Christmas until this one.  It celebrates the power of belief, the power of persistence, and the power of love. 


Another gift from one of my childhood Christmas celebrations.

Another gift from one of my childhood Christmas celebrations.


So will you join me in answering Hugh’s challenge?  If you blog, just make a post about your own Christmas tree, and link back to Hugh.  You’ll find instructions on his page.  If you don’t have your own blog, he explains how you can join in, too.

It doesn’t cost a penny to participate… only a loving heart full of joy and goodwill!


December 22, 2014 Christmas tree 024

Merry Christmas!

Woodland Gnome 2014


December 22, 2014 closeups 001

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

10 responses to “What Sits At the Top of Your Christmas Tree?

  1. Thank you so much for participating in my Charity Christmas Tree Topper challenge. Your tree is very festive and we love your tree topper very much. In fact we love the whole tree and the story you told about it and would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Thank you once again.

    With very best wishes for the season,

    • Thank you so much, Hugh and John 😉 What a wonderful challenge you’ve created! I love your idea of making a contribution for each response you get. Your decorations are lovely and I can feel your love for the Christmas season in your post. Thank you for visiting Forest Garden. Best wishes for Merry Christmas to you and yours. WG

  2. Love the tree, WG! And so glad you decided to tell its story for Hugh! 🙂 Happy Christmas to you. x

  3. your Christmas tree looks lovely 🙂

  4. I’m impressed with your not tossing the tree in the landfill, but rehabbing it instead. Brava! Love the vintage ornaments and the Mark Roberts elves – very cool!

We always appreciate your comments. Thank you for adding your insight to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues

Please visit and follow Our Forest Garden- The Journey Continues to see all new posts since January 8, 2021.

A new site allows me to continue posting new content since after more than 1700 posts there is no more room on this site.  -WG

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 780 other subscribers
Follow Forest Garden on WordPress.com

Topics of Interest

%d bloggers like this: