Oh Christmas Tree.

I was chuffed to have seen Jake’s Sunday Post on Christmas Trees. How nice to have him back.

Here in New Zealand our Christmas tree is the pohutukawa. You can visit the NZ History site to learn more about this beautiful tree if you wish.

One legend about the pohutukawa is about a tree that lives on the windswept cliff at Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most tip. It is a venerated pohutukawa tree.  For Maori this pohutukawa is known as ‘the place of leaping’. From this place the spirits of the dead will begin on their journey to Hawaiiki. Their spirits leap off the headland, then climb down the roots of this 800-year-old tree, descending into the underworld.

Luckily for me a neighbour has a lovely one for me to photograph.

Not far from Katikati is a suburb that you might just recognise the name of…Bethlehem. Yes, we have our own Bethlehem. The post office gets quite busy around Christmas time as people rush to get their letters stamped as coming from there.

Bethlehem New Zealand

Bethlehem is now home to the Bay of Plenty‘s largest Christmas tree. It is quite something.

Bethlehem's Christmas Tree

Each year I spend time with a girlfriend searching out a new ornament or two for my Christmas tree. This year I went a little crazy and got 4 !!!

Two of these…so cute.

Christmas ornament

1 peacock…

Christmas ornament

and 1 ball…which tinkles just like Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer.

Christmas ornament

A Pohutukawa Carol

[Written by Chaplain 2nd Class Edward Forsman, 1941]

Now crimson, crimson Christmas trees
Pohutukawas rim our seas
And flower to flame on every shore
For joy of him whom Mary bore.
Chorus: Babe so poor and small
Jesus God of all
O with us abide
This holy Christmas-tide.
Long raise, O trees about our land,
Your crimson sign on every strand
That we may tell each Christmas morn
Why Jesus was of Mary born.
Such trees gave wood to make his cot,
And all his toys from trees he got,
And when he came to ply a trade
He shaped from trees the things he
made.
Because a tree had brought us doom,
Was Jesus born of Mary’s womb,
To blossom high on Calvary’s tree
The crimson bloom that makes us free.

The tree is up and the lights connected…it feels like Christmas is coming.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

41 thoughts on “Oh Christmas Tree.”

        1. Oh no…when I lived in Holland I loved it. Especially as I got ‘snow’ my first Christmas day there. And it is great. Cold, fires, lights, very Christmas as it is supposed to be, the way you read about it. But for me Xmas is cold meat, barbecues, salads, swimming, tennis…summer.

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  1. What a beautiful tree, and so appropriate for Christmas time, with the lovely red flowers. Your new tree ornaments are gorgeous. i especially love the spectacular peacock; I definitely wouldn’t have been able to resist buying him. 🙂 Thanks for the NZ Christmas carol. I enjoyed it very much. Merry Christmas, Jo! xx

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    1. Thanks Gilly. I think my peacock is rather beautiful myself. So glad you love the pohutukawa…always pleases me to show them off as they are so impressive. But they don’t last long. The tree is already losing its beautiful redness…one good rain and it will be over. Boo hoo.

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  2. Intriguing read, Jo, and what a lovely voice that caroller has! 🙂 The flame tree is glorious and I know a certain young woman who would adore that peacock. Come to think of it, if I send her the image, she may well make her own for next year 🙂 Have a lovely Christmas!

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    1. I loved that version of the carol too. So glad you liked the flame tree. 🙂
      Well…the peacock was hand made. I went to a Christmas Festival at a church the other week, and they had a great deal of handmade ornaments. Lots of birds…and the cutest snowmen…but I had to stop somewhere.
      snowman

      Cute hey ????? Maybe next year !!!

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        1. He is cute. I was so tempted.
          😉
          Thanks. I was inspired by Gilly’s. Been thinking of making a change for awhile, so when I saw how cool Gilly’s looked with this new theme…I thought: “Yes, that’s the one for me.” Still trying to figure it out though. You get so used to the one you use. I also wanted to simplify a bit. Get back to basics more with the way it looks.

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  3. Lovely post Jo and beautiful ornaments. I really enjoyed the song. And I love learning about traditions from different places. Summer and Christmas–reminds me of my childhood in Southern California. When we got new bikes we didn’t have to wait for the snow to melt to ride them. that was always a bonus.

    happy holidays! And I wish you a marvelous 2014.

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    1. Me too !! The Daughter was like: “Oh Mum…not another bird.” I have two owls, two doves [well SHE gave them to me], and then the two new little canaries I already got earlier this month. But when she saw it she conceeded it was a ‘must’ buy.

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  4. Saw the image of the bee on Rommel’s (Sophomore Slump) blog. Amazing1 What a spectacular shot, so I had to see where it came from. The rest is beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing about your traditions at Christmas.

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