The Christmas decorating happened quite suddenly this year. Last year, I went long into the night crafting a garland of magnolia leaves that featured my grandmother's soft pink ornaments from the 1930's and large gold pine cones. It hung on the mantel making a huge swath, thick and rich with color and texture. This year was done on the fly after lunch on Columbus Avenue, the thought entering my head as strong expresso touched my lips.
"Go to the tree stand on the corner by Starbucks and ask for cuttings." A voice said in my head. So I did. I came home with a big armful of Fraser and Spruce cuttings as well a wreath and a small tree that sits in an old Chinese cloisonne pot on the hearth. The cuttings were free and refreshed after a week, large branches gracing the top of a large Belgian armoire (c. 1910) made of burnished walnut. They are still fragrant as I write, with bright and lemony notes filling the air. The baubles can wait another year.