Friday, December 16, 2016

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Michelle Styles

This year’s Christmas tree is a Nordmann fir. My daughter and I picked it out with a little assistance from one of the workers. Apparently we were very easy to please. ( a short fat tree was required rather than a tall narrow one). That morning she had had one couple nearly come to blows over the tree and she is certain that several more couples from that morning will be divorcing soon. Another friend is dreading when her husband comes home from a business trip as the tree she bought is far taller than she had considered. She can’t even lift it.  What is it about choosing a  tree that causes such anxiety?

I love having a Christmas tree but  I never go with an exact tree in mind. I also don’t tend to go Christmas tree shopping with my husband. Sometimes he gets a tree, sometimes I do. However, I am the one in charge of decorating the tree. I love the decorating part as all the old ornaments come out and I am able to remember past Christmases and think about when various ornaments were acquired. For example the mice are from my first married Christmas, the little snow queen was given to me in high school by a friend whose sisters was dancing in the Nutcracker at the SF Ballet as snowflake, and my sister gave me the US angel ornament after 9/11. 

This year’s big change are the strings of chilli pepper lights. Many years ago a neighbour had a fire due to faulty Christmas tree lights, so we change the lights every 3 years. My daughter wanted tasteful Victorian lanterns but when I saw the chilli peppers, I knew we had to have those. My husband agreed. The kachina dolls which belonged to my father also have their sled and skis at the ready – so there is a distinct South Western US flavour to this little corner of Northumberland. I got the sled and skis a few years ago intending to put them on the tree but they were the right size for the kachina dolls and so they now go there. 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

"We have the summer, Alwynn. It will have to be enough." 

Washed up alone on the Northumbrian shore, Valdar Nerison is a stranger in a foreign land. He has unfinished business in Raumerike, but first, he owes his rescuer, the beautiful Lady Alwynn, a life debt. 

Alwynn is wary of Valdar's promise to protect her—after all, she has known only betrayal at the hands of men. But as summer's end approaches, Valdar must choose whether to return home and fight for his honor or to stay and fight for Alwynn's heart… 

"Maintains the myth while adding sexual tension, nonstop action and spice" —RT Book Reviews on The Viking's Captive Princess

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