The little Christmas Tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Some day its boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.
O little Fir! Your forest home
Is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright,
For this is Christmas Day!
Fairies of the Trees by Cicely Mary Barker (1940)
Garden lore: A Flower Fairy Christmas
Despite having an English mother, the flower fairy books were not a part of my childhood. It took Mark and his mother to introduce them to our daughters. A friend squealed in delight when she saw them again and commented that she learned all she knew about wild flowers and native plants of Britain from them in her childhood. Today’s quote is from this little series of seven books.
To be honest, the poetry isn’t great by any manner of means and it is very girly-girly. These days there is an entire industry of fairy memorabilia spawned by the series. At its best, that memorabilia is ethereal-faerie in nature, at its worst it lacks both charm and subtlety. But the books holds special memories for our family. I have a photo of our eldest aged 3 at the Playcentre Christmas party dressed as the sweet pea fairy. A few years ago she made me a quilted Christmas table runner based on the flower fairies and every year it makes me smile as we look at the fairies of winter in a New Zealand summer Christmas.
Happy Christmas to readers. Maybe there is somebody out there with greater poetic skills who could do a flower creatures book for our native flora?
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.