All over Toowoomba in shops and businesses I find I am looking at a Christmas tree. On Thursday 6th December 2018 there is the annual Christmas street parade beginning at the City Hall, Ruthven Street, around the corner into Margaret Street, arriving at the Grand Central (shopping centre) community space. Then there will be the official lighting of Toowoomba’s largest tree! Families will be out in their throngs, and maybe a few in thongs, enjoying the activities.
I enjoy this time of the year, the decorations, the lights, the Christmas trees, the hustle and bustle and joy of Christmas shopping. Decorating the Christmas Tree can be a family event. However, for me with my son living in Western Australia and no grand-children I decorate the tree on my own! Why do I do it? I enjoy looking at all the decorations, the ones with memories and the flashing lights. So beautiful to look at and therefore worth the effort.
Do you have a Christmas tree at your place? If not, then it is time for Christmas tree shopping! Even if you live alone it is good to bring some Christmas cheer into your life – buy a small fake tree, some lights and baubles. I am sure you will find just looking at it will give you joy. Or if that is too much for you then go into your local shopping centre and enjoy the sights and smells of Christmas.
This week I was talking to someone who was about to shop for a new Christmas tree – yes, a fake one! Fake trees are very popular today. I do like the smell of a fresh cut tree for Christmas. When I was growing up, we would often have a freshly cut tree, that is, until my parents bought a fake one. The most popular cut tree in the USA is “Monterey Pine” from the Californian Coast. Then there is the Fraser Fir tree knowing as the “Cadillac” of Christmas trees. They have a great smell and good pine needle retention. Another popular tree is the “Spruce”.
For me, I’m going to go with the fake Christmas Tree. I bought it 2 years ago from Balsam Hill Trees. You might find the tree of your dreams on the Balsam Hill website to give you Christmas joy year after year. You may even find a fake, but one that looks like the real Monterey Pine.
Where did the Christmas Tree tradition begin? It started in the 16th Century in Germany when Christians bought decorated trees into their homes. Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer is thought to be the first person to place lighted candles on a tree. It came about as he was walking home one evening composing a sermon. He was so impressed by the stars twinkling through the evergreen trees on arriving home he set up a tree inside the house and decorated it with lighted candles. Note: not a good idea to try this as it is a potential fire hazard!
Today in Germany not only is the Tannenbaum (Christmas tree) popular but so is the German Christmas Markets. The world famous Christkindlesmarket (Christmas Market) is in Nuremberg in Southern Germany. It brings more than 400 years of tradition to locals and visitors from all over the world. The atmosphere in the colder climate is very different to what we experience in Australia – hot weather, the middle of summer.
In Toowoomba we have the Bush Christmas Exhibition. The market celebrates outback creative talents selling gifts, art and gourmet foods. It started two days ago and runs until Friday 7th December from 9am-6pm. See more details here.
If you want to have a real bush Christmas in Australia, you definitely have to have a Christmas tree, a real one or a fake one – the decision is yours! If you want to experience a German Christmas market and cannot travel to Germany then enjoy the video below – the next best thing!