Shopping for Our First Christmas Tree

This will be my first Christmas in India and the first Christmas away from my family! I will be honest, I have been absolutely dreading it. Christmas is such a special, magical time in England and in this region of India, it’s just another day. It would be so easy for me to grumble about it, but I have decided to get excited and bring the Christmas spirit to us! This will be my husband’s first Christmas, he has shown me so many beautiful festivals, it’s my turn to show him one! 

As the Diwali lights were being pulled down in India, the Christmas lights were going up in England. We may not have the Christmas carol choirs singing on the streets, Christmas themed everything in the supermarkets or a forecast of snow… but we do have a Christmas tree!

In England we have a pretty convincing artificial tree which we store in the shed until Christmas comes around again. We have brought a real tree in the house on several occasions, that Christmas tree smell is too gorgeous to resist. One Christmas we bought one so huge, we had to cut the top of it off so it could fit in the house. We wouldn’t have that problem this year though, most of the Christmas trees were still babies.

baby Christmas trees

Christmas tree babies

We had such a lovely surprise when we went to find our first Christmas tree, a small section of the nursery was full of poinsettias! Last Christmas, during our family visit to Church for the Christmas carol service, the rector told us the story of these beautiful red plants and their significance during Christmas.

poisettias

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To get us in the Christmas spirit, I will have to retell you my retelling of the story of poinsettia:

Maria was too poor to give a gift to the Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, this distressed her so much she wept for days. A beautiful angel wearing golden robes came down from heaven to comfort the weeping child,”The most precious gift you can give is your love”. Maria smiled through her tears and lovingly gathered the small weeds around her, she tied them together as neatly as she could and ran to the Church. The child placed the weeds on the altar and squeezed her eyes tightly together in prayer, when she opened them, to her amazement she saw her weeds had spouted crimson leaves in the shape of the star of Bethlehem. The star of Bethlehem is the Christmas star, the star which appeared when Jesus Christ was born. A gift given with love is the most beautiful of all. 

Ahh, isn’t it a lovely story!! If you’re in India, you could visit your local nursery and see the poinsettia for yourself!

Holy star

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After much deliberation, we chose the petite but perfect Christmas tree. My husband and I are excited to decorate it in a couple of days. It’s so lovely to have that Christmas tree smell in the house!

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Poinsettia: The Christmas Plant

Every year, my family attend a special Christmas service held in a small village Church. During the service, carols (Christmas songs and religious hymns) are sung and stories about the birth of Lord Jesus Christ told. The Church had been beautifully decorated, as always, with candles,holly, ivy and a huge Christmas tree stood next to the altar.

church christmas

christmas tree

Christmas tree 2014!

 

Here is the Church font, a font is usually full of holy water which is used to Christen babies (I was actually christened in this font when I was a baby!)

Here is the Church font, a font is usually full of holy water which is used to Christen babies (I was actually christened in this font when I was a baby!)

During the service, between the carol singing, the rector (priest) took some time to tell us about the poinsettia plant and it’s significance at Christmas. This plant with it’s striking red leaves is always sold in supermarkets and florists during Christmas, featured in Christmas cards and decorations; and I’ve never known why. I just assumed it was because their amazing red colour was so, well, Christmasy. Just before I left India, I was surprised to see poinsettia for sale in a garden shop! They are everywhere!

Here is my retelling of the story of the Christmas plant…

The legend of a small girl called Maria has been told in Mexico since the 16th century. Maria was too poor to give a gift to the Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, this distressed her so much she wept for days. A beautiful angel wearing golden robes came down from heaven to comfort the weeping child,’The most precious gift you can give is your love”. Maria smiled through her tears and lovingly gathered the small weeds around her, she tied them together as neatly as she could and ran to the Church. The child placed the weeds on the altar and squeezed her eyes tightly together in prayer, when she opened them, to her amazement she saw her weeds had spouted crimson leaves in the shape of the star of Bethlehem. The star of Bethlehem is the Christmas star, the star which appeared when Jesus Christ was born. A gift given with love is the most beautiful of all. 

Source: wikipedia

Singing in Church is a form of worship, and going to the Christmas service was delightful and nostaglic. Christmas is a magical time of the year, I thought it would be nice to share a video of one of the Christmas carols we sang on Sunday, Merry Christmas

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him”

-Romans 15 v 13

P.S. I just had to share the photo I took two years ago at the same service, I think this photo is particularly beautiful because the sun hadn’t set, so you can see the beautiful stained glass window next to the Christmas tree!

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012