Christmas Lights

By Vladimir Brezina

We always get our Christmas tree only a day or two before Christmas, barely hours before the Christmas-tree vendors in the streets pack up for their migration back north. We do this not just because we procrastinate (we do), but because Johna follows an older tradition. According to Wikipedia,

Traditionally, Christmas trees were not brought in and decorated until Christmas Eve (24 December) or, in the traditions celebrating Christmas Eve rather than on the first of day of Christmas, 23 December, and then removed the day after Twelfth Night (5 January); to have a tree up before or after these dates was even considered bad luck.

So, even as our neighbors’ Christmas trees are already out in the street for removal, our tree is only now reaching the peak of its transient glory—

Christmas tree lit, 2012DSC_0074 cropped smallDSC_0037 cropped smallDSC_0091 cropped smallDSC_0103 cropped smallDSC_0117 cropped smallDSC_0123 cropped small

48 responses to “Christmas Lights

  1. Love the real candles and glass ornaments. Merry Christmas

  2. You have a passions in photography in there.:)

  3. Wow, real candles! Oh, so romantic…adds an old world charm. Enjoy your beautiful tree :)

  4. Beautiful photos! You’re brave to use real candles. My mom said when she was little (1920s) they would go to bed on Christmas Eve, without a sign of Christmas in the house. In the morning they would wake up to a tree in the parlor and presents, and any other Christmas decorations that Santa saw fit to set out.

  5. the candles are a really special touch, though wow, i think of how fast the tree could go up in flames! it’s lovely, and i love your respect to the old traditions.
    happy new year!

  6. Beautiful! Love tthe candles, I probably wouldn’t try though… Happy 2013!

  7. What a beautiful, traditional tree — love it! Cheers to a wonderful 2013! ~ Kat

  8. Brilliant tree, candles and all. Familiar tradition :-). Have a fabulous year.

  9. I have been looking forward to seeing another beautiful tree from the both of you – simply gorgeous! Growing up, we always put the tree up on Christmas Eve; my favorite memory was to stop by the tree for a quiet moment, inhaling the fragrance, before leaving for Christmas Eve services. Thanks for sharing this!

    • A wonderful memory, Lynn :-) Thanks!!

      I still haven’t figured out how to photograph satisfactorily a Christmas tree lit only by candles, though—might have to put up another tree next year to try again ;-)

  10. Did I spot a pickle? Great tree…

  11. Beautiful- indeed..looks scarily like my tree..I will post when I stop spinning. Happy New Year!

  12. I think yours is the most beautiful tree I have seen (next to ours, of course! ;-) I love the glow of real candlelight, just like the ones I saw in old Christmas cards.
    Merry Christmas and the best of the new year to you.

  13. Real candles. You clearly don’t have cats. ;) Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and health and love and joy to you and Johna.

    • No cats right now. But when we had some, they mostly ignored the tree. I guess we were lucky?

      Best wishes to you too—have a wonderful 2013!!

      • My current cat ignores the tree. But I’ve (literally, really) come home to a tree at a 45-degree angle and kittehs poking their heads out! Suffice to say, me and the cats didn’t get along very well that day. And then, as fate had planned it, I had them neutered. They never touched the tree again.

        True story.

        • I think it’s a matter of focusing their attention. At one point we had a nice armchair, which they took a liking to and, over time, literally ripped to shreds. But they touched nothing else in the meantime. I guess the armchair made the supreme sacrifice so that the rest might live…

  14. Beautiful photos, but how brave of you to put candles on the tree!

  15. Your tree is beautiful! I heard that in Germany they had the candles on the tree (probably still is a tradition), but they had a bucket of water right next to the tree. I like the fire extinguisher better!

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  17. Beautiful!!!!!
    I would not be able to have real candles…I guess I would be the whole night just sitting in front of the tree!!! But it looks like a magic tree of a magic Christmas tale…And this is what Christmas should be about…Magic, peace, light and love…Thanks for sharing it!

  18. looks absolutely beautiful! but i would be scared of real candles :p

    • Actually experience shows that it’s safer than one might think. Yesterday we lit the candles one more time, preparing to take the tree down. And it’s now bone-dry, the branches are completely stiff. But nothing caught fire even when the candles burnt down to the branches… well, there were a few singed needles, but the fire didn’t spread ;-)

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