Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Tree Wishes to You and Yours

Every year, when we put up our Christmas tree at Darlington House, I'm convinced it is the prettiest, most magical one ever.  This year is no exception.


As I've written before, I long ago surrendered decorating our Christmas trees to Boy.  He's so much better at it than I am.  Also, I tend to get in the way when I try and be helpful in such things as decorating trees or arranging flowers.  I'm very happy to be Boy's cheering section, where I am joined by our dear little Pompey.


Every year Boy comes up with a different theme for his Christmas tree decoration.  This year's theme is "Silver and Pine Cone Wonderland."


He has covered the tree with vintage silver ornaments and with pine cones harvested from the trees on our property.


Boy has collected silver pine cone shaped ornaments for years.  I like the juxtaposition of them with the  real ones he's added to the tree.


He also added a flock of little birds to the tree, perched on the tips of its limbs.


Doesn't it look lovely?


Boy further decorated the room with bowls and urns filled with silver ornaments.


He covered the mantel with a forest of little frosted bottle-brush trees.  He also nestled loads of pine boughs atop all of the picture frames in the room.  It's really quite enchanting.

But the magic really comes out at night, Dear Reader, when the tree's tiny white fairy lights are illuminated, and the room glows like a winter solstice fire.


I have a lot of admiration for people, like Boy, who can photograph a lit Christmas tree.  It's not as easy as you'd think.


I like the way the ornaments and tinsel icicles glitter in the light.


Don't the pine cones look marvelous?  So woodsy, I think.


I count at least six vintage silver pine cone shaped ornaments in the preceding photograph.  Do you think I've missed any?


Here's the little silver barrel ornament we found last year on our travels.  I've become intensely fond of it.


But it is the little birds that really make the tree quite magical, I think.  I love them.


See all of the birds in a flock, perched on the top of the tree?  I think they may be hiding there so they won't frighten Pompey.


But, then again, Pompey seems to have his mind on other things than the little birds.  I suspect he's more interested in hastening the delivery of his next yummy treat, particularly since he was such a good and obedient model for this photograph.  We make sure that our little Pompey joins in the fun here at Darlington House during the Christmas holiday, too.  And why not, since he's part of our family?

And with that, Dear Reader, we in our family—Boy, Pompey, and I—wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Photographs by Boy Fenwick and Reggie Darling

57 comments:

  1. Seriously, the most spectacular Christmas tree I've ever seen. Merry Christmas to you, Boy and Pompey.

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  2. Oh, the tree is lovely! The birds are an especially beautiful touch.

    Merry Christmas to you, Boy, and Pompey!

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  3. Reggie, it IS magical! Just lovely. Happiest of Christmases to you, Boy and Pompey.

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  4. It is a beautiful! I particularly like the birds and the fact that y'all used one on top of the tree, instead of a large overpowering ornament.

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  5. Pompey knows that when there is a tree a standing rib roast is not far behind. Dogs are pretty smart about those things you know...

    Every tree Boy has made is gorgeous. I couldn't pick a winner and yes, photographing a lit tree is tough. I haven't seen a bottle brush tree in years. They look divine in those silver thingies. Didn't know they were still around.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, dear friends. I will be thinking of you from my sickbed as you celebrate in style and I eat a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

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    1. Lindaraxa: As you know, it is your standing rib roast recipe that we consumed on Christmas day. Dear Readers -- do check out her marvelous blog if youy haven't already! RD

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  6. Magnificent! And Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  7. Absolutely beautiful! Merry Christmas!!

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  8. Oh I knew that Boy would decorating it but it even more beautiful than I had imagined. Wishing you both a very Merry Christmas.

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  9. exquisite. Your 2012 and 2011 trees burned into my brain...as two of the most elegantly decorated trees. Merry Christmas to you both...and Pompey

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  10. Yes, a beautiful tree in an inviting setting. Well done to Boy!

    Merry Christmas,

    Ulrich von B.

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  11. Beautiful though I wouldnt expect anything else.

    From a cool rainy Sydney on Christmas Day, best wishes.

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  12. Yes, lovely! The tree theme is particularly successful, too. Best wishes!

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  13. Dearest Reggie,
    I've escaped from the kitchen just long enough to take a peek at your tree- it's another magical creation from Boy and reminds me of all the things I love and collect. I would kill to go shopping with you two as you do find the best vintage ornaments!

    Wishing the 3 darling men of Darlington a very Merry Christmas!!!
    xo,
    ~Rebecca

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  14. A very merry Christmas to you and yours, Reggie Darling!

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  15. Are you planning to decorate dear Pompey?

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    1. Dear Anon: Yes, we did decorate Pompey! He wore a jungle-bell collar that Boy made for him several years ago. It is beyond adorable! RD

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  16. A stunning tree....very impressive. Merry Christmas to the Darlington crew!

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  17. It is beautiful and quite magical!

    Merry Christmas!

    Andie

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  18. The same to you and I thank you for the gift of your very thoughtful and charming postings...

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  19. What a beautiful tree. It is magical. Merry Christmas to you, too, and thank you for sharing your blog with us.

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  20. The magic of Christmas! Boy is such an artist to create such a beautiful tree. It must bring you so much joy all through the
    Christmas season. I am enchanted by all of
    beautiful ornaments, especially the birds.
    Best wishes to you for Christmas and Peace, Tranquility, and Good Health in the New Year.

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  21. Hello Reggie, Boy and Pompey,

    Your tree is a magical winter vision to behold. Thank you for sharing it with your loyal readers. I agree with your observation when you state the difficulties of photographing a lit tree. Boy certainly met and exceeded that challenge. Do you know the little secret to collecting silver vintage ornaments? In the past when I've found an unusual shape I want to add to my collection, but it was the wrong color (retail red usually), I would remedy that problem by carefully washing the ornament under warm running water, and using a cotton swab to wipe the remaining paint off the crevices and bumps that make up the shape. That is how I've managed to collect more silver ornaments than any other color. If you try this, be careful not to get the water into the ornament where the inner silver layer is.

    Merry Christmas to you all and I hope St Nick found his way to Darlington House with something special for dear Pompey.

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    1. Dear LizaE: Thank you, that is a terrifuc suggestion for doing away with unwanted colors on ornaments. I think I might have to go looking for a particular one that I passed over because it has bits of retail red (thank you!) on it... Reggie

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  22. Hello Reggie, I too am enchanted by that barrel ornament, and am especially glad that it ended up in your collection, the best possible place for it given your fondness for collectible barrels.

    If the principle holds up of people getting the vintage ornament they deserve, I'll somehow acquire a lump of coal blown in glass.

    By the way, I'm sure that you liked Mark Ruffner's Christmas greeting, featuring a poodle with a basket of flowers reminiscent of your ceramic one:
    http://allthingsruffnerian.blogspot.tw/2012/12/merry-christmas.html

    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Hello Parnassas: Thanks, I am a fan of Mr. Ruffner's blog and have seen the charming poodle you mention. Rgds, Reggie

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  23. Merry Christmas, Reggie, to you, Boy and Pompey. Your tree is gorgeous!

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  24. This may be the very best Christmas tree EVER. It's a beauty.

    Happy Holidays to all.

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  25. Brilliant tree... have a good one!

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  26. Merry Christmas to you, Reggie, and Boy and Pompey. Thank you for another year of beauty. (...and saucers...)

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    1. Thank you, Muffy! Is it preppy enough? Rgds, Reggie

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  27. Hello Reggie,

    The tree is perfect for me. The pictures are verry well done and I like to say at boy that he hase a real big talent.
    to you, boy and Pompey
    XX
    Jérôme

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  28. Dear Mr. Darlington,

    Gorgeous tree! I just had one question. What do you do with all the theme decorations after the tree comes down? Do you ever use them again? This theme idea is starting to grow on me. You must have a storage room the size of an airplane hanger! Merry Christmas to all at Darlington House.

    P.S. Boy should do a style blog of some sort. I have SO many questions...
    Regards,
    W.D.

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    1. Dear Useless, Thank you for your question. We have, literally, thousands of Christmas ornaments, which Boy dips into for ornaments, depending on the year's theme, so yes we do use them again (and again). We store them in our basement in clear plastic ornament boxes, divided intocategories and colors (gold, green, pink, blue, silver, etc.). Needless to say, the basement is rather crowded! Thanks, Reggie

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  29. Ever so beautiful. I adore Boy's photos as I do your writings and thoughts.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.

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  30. Merry Christmas Reggie! Your tree is Magical!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us at this wonderful time of the year! Your page helps chase away the homesickness I have for my home in Maryland. Japan is a beautiful country but it is not home, being able to read your wonderful page is a wonderful treat! Thank you Reggie! Our best wishes to you and yours! Jane Keller

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  31. Dear Reggie,
    A most beautiful tree, I adore the silver and pinecones with the flock of birds...perfect!

    Wishing you and Boy all the best in the year ahead!

    Love and Hugs,
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  32. This tree is truly beautiful! When decorated like this they are worthy of the whole Christmas celebration. Sadly most aren't! But hey, it's all over, and in our own simple way we had a terrific time, so I feel a sense of achievement, and fulfillment.

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  33. Reggie, the tree is just perfect. You are so correct. And I love the picture of Pompey in front of it.

    Continued holiday blessings to all of you.

    Elizabeth

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  34. JUST BEAUTIFUL!BOY did a VERY good job this year!Love the ochre~yellow walls too!HAPPY BOXING DAY!Enjoy your writing very much!THANK~YOU!

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  35. An absolutely magnificent tree, Boy. One of the loveliest trees that I have ever seen !

    Bonnie

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  36. How do you do it? It is wonderfully fabulous. The chicest tree of the year, possibly of all time. Thank you for sharing.
    Madonna xo

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  37. What a magical tree...just lovely! And Pompey made for the perfect final touch, so sweet. The birds are brilliant, if ever there was a christmas tree for woodland fairies...this is it!
    Many blessings for the New Year to all...
    xo J~

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  38. What an exquisite tree...although I noticed in a few pictures that the wiring from the lights are visible - florist wire (green to match the tree, of course!) can help hide the unsightliness.

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  39. Divine! Congrats on your beautiful tree and lovely photos. You are absolutely right: quite challenging to photograph a decorated tree, day or night. I adore the columnar form of your tree....so thoughtfully selected and pruned. Tom, Panda, Mocha and I would like to visit and trade vintage ornaments :) We love your collection!
    Cheers from DC ~
    Loi

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    1. Loi Thai: Thank you very much. We would welcome such a swap meet any time! Rgds, Reggie

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  40. Merry Christmas, Reggie! A stunning tree.

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  41. That is just beautiful. I love the addition of real pine cones and the flock of birds at the top. I hope you don't mind if I steal these ideas for my own tree next year. Hope you both have a truly wonderful new year.

    Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie: Thanks -- feel free to adopt as many ideas here as you like, I am pleased to inspire you. Rgds, Reggie

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  42. Truly gorgeous Reggie!! Hope you and Boy & Pompey had a lovely Christmas!

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  43. Very sweet. A couple of years ago I started doing the library Christmas tree as a "bird tree," festooning it with gilded pine cones and a variety of bird ornaments--porcelain, cloisonne, feather-over-styrofoam, felted wool, wood, and various natural materials. It's not quite so elegant as yours, however, and nor is it nearly so beautifully illuminated.

    The only drawback is that my three cats are neither as well-behaved as Pompey nor as intimidated by the birds, and I come down every morning to see a different one lying (intact, fortunately) under the tree.

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  44. The Christmas tree is splendid - the density of the decoration should be spectacular in firelight . Superb .

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  45. Dear Reggie,

    I've been eyeing your tree for weeks now. And even though everything at my house is taken down, it is lovely to be able to still see your tree. Really. Quite. Lovely. Thank you.

    Daniel from across Town.

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