Today marks the 12th night since Christmas in the Christian calendar and is traditionally the time to take the decorations down if you haven’t already.
Putting up the Christmas tree has brought great joy to millions of people this winter. A symbol of the light shining through the darkness. For many there is a magical connection to childhood memories of Christmas with our families and turning on the lights gave us a special extra boost this year.
By the time we get to New Year most of us have seen our fair share of real and simulated fir trees in all their glittering varieties, both large and small. Here are a few of the best Christmas trees from travels around Sussex and the Solent coastline in the south of England.
We like this alternative seasonal installation by Tracey Graham which comprises of a tall green cone of 600 recycled bottles. They look great lit up by fairy lights too. This is the second year I have seen this display in Chichester so the recycled artwork has given joy to many people and is a reminder to conserve, reuse and rethink in order to help conserve the environment for future generations to enjoy.
In Chichester harbour is a town called Emsworth in Hampshire. This fabulous nautical feature sits at the edge of the quay complete with gold tinsel and gold, red and green baubles. It is cleverly made out of old lobster pots and is a hit with the residents of this idyllic fishing village. Also lifting the spirits in this close knit community this year, is a small Christmas tree sitting in a dinghy in the middle of the Mill Pond.
We wanted to include this festive scene into our alternative to the usual winter festival display report. A nearly empty pub at lunchtime further along the coast towards Portsmouth Harbour opted for traditional Christmas trees plus the addition of a North Pole grotto. The large carvery restaurant Langbrook Farm had pulled out all the stops to furnish the capacious dining rooms with an impressive array of Christmas embellishments. It was disappointing that everything has had to close for the holidays this year but at least they will have everything they need to pop up their Christmas show again in December 2021.
One enormous decorated fir tree sponsored by the local Rotary Club is also a regular fixture at the medieval Market Cross in Chichester, West Sussex. It looks wonderful set against the stone architecture with the cathedral behind it.
We are fortunate in our area to have some stunning waterside walks and many historic streets. A massive Christmas tree in the centre of Arundel is just perfect simply adorned with white strings of lights and set against the Georgian and Tudor four storey buildings. Taking the inside out has been a theme around the towns and villages of Sussex.
Another example is the tree at Bosham Walk Arts and Crafts Centre which looks splendid and welcoming whilst keeping things minimal with just sparkly white lights. This classic fir is located in front of the cafe’s bunting that hangs from the beams of this 100 year old establishment, that used to be a boat building business that could be easily found right by the shore.
Being creative, thinking outside the box and enjoying what we can to lift our spirits safely has become a lifestyle in 2020. The reductions in transport and industry has significantly lowered emissions this year and reusing and recycling is definitely a trend that is here to stay in all parts of our lives and in our festivals. We all need to work together to minimise the impact on our environment from burning fossil fuels unnecessarily when celebrating our holidays.
We are rooting for commercial life to get back to a new normal as soon as it is practical to do so safely. After the 3rd lockdown and all the vaccinations are completed it will be a treat to more freely meet again. It will be super to marvel at the festive city decorations which we will all hopefully be able to do again by the end of next year. It may all look a little different but we can all look forward to the wonderously joyful experience of ‘seeing the lights’ and enjoying the delightful windows in London and our other major cities in the UK and beyond in December 2021.
Tracey Graham Rubbish Artist, 6th January 2021 Tracey Graham Rubbish Artist Facebook page
Rotary Club Chichester, 6th January 2021, Rotary Club Chichester
Langbrook Farm, 6th January 2021, Langbrook Farm, Farmhouse Inns
Bosham Walk Art and Craft Centre, 6th January 2021 Bosham Walk Art and Craft Centre