I haven’t had a Christmas tree in many years – we live in a small space. I used to have a small tree in a pot which came indoors during the winter. Back then James was a child, and he liked the idea of Christmas trees, so we used to do that together.
I like a bit of cheer at this time of year, but I’m also painfully conscious of how much waste the festive period sends to landfill. As a household we’re committed to throwing away as little as possible, and this impacts on how we handle December. As a Pagan, I really don’t want to participate in the planet-wrecking commercialism that is at its worst for midwinter.
Cyclamen (as in the photo above) are charming little plants. Finding them wild is wonderful because they bloom when there’s so little else out there that’s colourful. I’m aware of a few likely spots for finding them locally. This one came home in a pot, and will live on the altar for the coming weeks. I also have a number of seasonally confused Christmas cacti around the flat. Some of them decided to celebrate Samhain this year, one still has buds on it and will probably bloom soon. The geraniums are still cheery as well.
There are all kinds of ways of decorating that don’t release microplastics into the environment, or leave us with things we can only throw away at the end of the season. Greener options aren’t inferior choices, we aren’t depriving ourselves if we reject throwaway culture. Being able to invest more in the things we bring into our homes is far more rewarding. This small plant will give months of delight, and might survive for years – I have a varying success rate with houseplants.
Handmade decorations, things sourced from your local makers, things passed down in families – these all bring riches with them that a cheap but mass produced item can’t.