V.A.C. #5- One word: GREEN

And I’m back Travellers,

Due to my previously mentioned wobbling, I missed a day here and I owe you another tiny little door, don’t I? Because if this was an actual Advent Calendar and you forgot a day, you’d open a second door today wouldn’t you? It’s like eating a second cookie or piece of wedding cake when no one is watching…

Behind the little door today, is a picture of a blooming Christmas cactus…in case you are unfamiliar with that plant, here are some images of mine…


Let’s say that you are not in the mood for a tree this year, because you are sitting this one out. Well, you are in luck because I have two extremely affordable options that will bring a little green merry into your home without a large tree. Because even if you don’t like this holiday season or really don’t feel like a tree, you should still find a little joy for yourself.

First option is the above blooming beauties, which lend a sort of desert charm to your Christmas days. The real name of this plant is Schlumbergera truncata, but we can just go with Christmas cactus. And this time of year you can find them for around $5-12 in grocery shops and even Walmart. This pink cactus is actually about 15 years old and came from a Walmart, the peach one came from Whole Foods and I have a red one that isn’t in the photos from a different place. Every year without fail, December is bloom time.

These are fairly easy plants to care for and again, always bloom each year without fail for me. Nature is festive all on it’s own. They come in a variety of colors as well, each one as vibrant as the next. Admittedly, I do have a green thumb, but I know someone who doesn’t and she successfully resurrected one from the dead. It’s still kicking. Simply water them, let them dry out, water again, dry it out, maybe fertilize once or twice a year and put them in or near a window. And it’s so nice to see something thriving inside your house while the world outside your windows is going  gray and dull.

Second option is an actual tiny Norfolk Pine tree, which you can get at any gardening center and many grocers in North America. It’s like having your own version of the little tree in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, though no blanket is required. Again, the prices on these are very reasonable ($7-15) and tiny ornaments are easily found at places like Target or even fairy lights if you should choose to decorate it. And I’ve found these are easy care as well. I had one for over 12 years, and just bought a new one this year to live in my kitchen.

If you’ve been reading awhile, you know I like to garden, but really there is something about tending to another living thing and watching it gradually grow. Something wonderful and stilling in our souls. Kids, dogs, cats, gerbils, Gerber daisies, trees… And the gradualness is the big thing, no great change happens overnight, which is a lesson I struggle to fully embrace. I’ve said it before and will mention it again the natural world is our greatest teacher.

AND there’s something about humans and plants that feels like a natural connection. Something grounding. And don’t we all need to be grounded more this time of year?

And I’m not gonna say listen to Oh Christmas Tree, but instead, try THIS. It’s Robert Downey Jr. covering Joni Mitchell’s “River”. He did a brief stint on Ally McBeal in between his other struggles and it’s just heartbreakingly good. Did you know Iron Man can sing?!? Indeed.



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