O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum

Digging Deep-Gardening with Cynthia Brian

By Cynthia Brian

Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.  ~Andy Rooney

When my children were youngsters, cutting a tree was the big event of the season. We’d don our Santa hats, grab a bundle of rope to tie the tree to the top of the car, put film in the camera, and off we’d go, singing Christmas carols while plotting our adventure. It could take hours walking through a farm, checking out tree after tree, debating the merits of each. Sometimes we’d visit two or three farms before finding the perfect one. Afterwards, at home with our freshly cut treasure, we’d light a fire, drink hot cocoa and eggnog, eat persimmon pudding and Italian panetone, put on the Christmas music, and dance around the house as we spruced the fir with popcorn and cranberry strings, homemade ornaments, tinsel, and of course, plenty of twinkling lights.

One day my son had the bright idea that we should grow our own Christmas trees in order to have a never-ending supply of Yuletide enchantment. With the best planting season for evergreens between January and March, as soon as the small containers of conifers went on sale for $1.00 post holiday, we nabbed twenty for our forthcoming Christmas tree farm. We chose a prime spot at the top of our hill, prepared the plot, cleared the weeds, planted the seedlings, protected them with wire from marauding munchers, maintained soil moisture, and waited. The kids were very attentive to their trees. By year three, pruning and shaping the trees into conical forms began. Who knew that “Christmas trees” didn’t automatically grow into perfect Christmas specimens? By year seven, they cut their first glorious imperfect tree and by year thirteen all of the trunks were too large for any tree holder. Instead of cutting another tree, we potted a large Norfolk pine, added it to our entrance, where this oxygen producing, carbon dioxide absorber has served as our beloved arbre de Noel.

History, legend, or a combination of the two chronicles the tales of 16th century Germans bringing evergreens into their homes as holiday decor after Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, witnessed the stars sparkling through the forest trees and cut a tree to enjoy indoors. In 2014, Christmas trees are as significant to American culture as apple pie. But it wasn’t until 1848 that Puritanical America embraced the idea of the “pagan” Christmas tree.  The ever-popular Queen Victoria and her German Prince Albert were sketched with their children gathered around a decorated Christmas tree and East Coast society adopted this new fashionable trend. Currier and Ives jumped on the bucolic family festivity bandwagon by immortalizing vintage America in historic lithographs of cozy Christmas scenes including sleigh rides, crackling fires, candle lit chapels, snowmen, and tree decorating.

Yet, the love of winter evergreens was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity. In ancient Egypt, the sun god Ra was honored on the longest night of the year, December 21, and the shortest day, December 22 with palm frond decorations to symbolize life over death. The Romans marked the solstice with evergreen boughs in anticipation of a prosperous spring. The Druids used greens as symbols of eternal life while the Vikings believed that evergreens were the chosen trees of their sun god, Balder.

With the advent of electricity, Thomas Edison presented the possibility of twinkling tree lights without as much fire danger from branch tied candles. Europeans preferred small trees of four feet, Americans sought plants that would reach the ceiling. Decorations in the early days included strands of nuts, berries, apples, and popcorn. Today, a fortune can be spent on accessories and unique ornaments fit for a king from hand carved Nativity scenes to hand blown glass angels.

When to buy, cut, and trim the tree vary from country to country. Many American families get into the December spirit immediately following Thanksgiving while many Europeans wait until Christmas Eve to launch their rituals. Evergreen garlands, boughs, ivy, mistletoe, wreaths, poinsettias, and holly join the enticing kitchen aromas of gingerbread, marzipan, and hot mulled wine making our Christmas castles merry and bright.

Grown in all fifty states, Christmas tree farming is big business, although it is mostly small farmers who do the growing, planting as many as two thousand trees per acre. Seventy seven million trees are planted annually as American consumers purchase approximately 30 million farm grown trees valued at more than $1 billion.  Fresh trees (to me the only way to play) outsell artificial trees three to one. Young families who are starting their own traditions often prefer to cut-their-own at a Christmas tree farm, enjoying a day in search of the perfect tannenbaum, as our family did in years past.

As you banish the blues with the greens of a pine, fur, spruce, redwood, cedar, or cypress, you’ll be rewarded with the fresh fragrance of the wild woods. Remember to keep your cut tree watered as most farmed trees are chopped down in October or early November then trucked to the retailer. While they won’t dry out outdoors, once indoors, your specimen will need a quart to a gallon of water per day depending on the size.

This year, whether your tree was grown on a plantation or in your backyard, bring the botanical brilliance of a live tree into your seasonal festivities and celebrate the magic.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us!

Wishing you seasonal sparkle, glow forth to enjoy being home for the holidays.

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Reminders

COOK with either fresh or dried herbs. You’ll need more when you use fresh. Dried are more potent. For every tablespoon of fresh herbs in a recipe, substitute 1 teaspoon of dried.

CREATE a stunning DIY holiday table arrangement using a combination of ornamental cabbage, lilies, evergreen branches, white roses, and pinecones.

LOOKING for a last minute gift that will be unique and useful? Check out your local garden retailers for holiday ideas, including a pot of drought resistant kalanchoe or a Christmas cactus in bloom.

TRIM low hanging branches of redwoods, pines, firs, and other evergreens to use in wreaths, garlands, and holiday ornamentation.

CARE for your land and your land will care of you. Our good earth is Mother Nature’s Christmas gift to us.

Happy gardening, happy growing, fa la la la la!

Cynthia Brian

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0821/O-Tannenbaum-O-Tannenbaum.html

©2014

Cynthia Brian

The Goddess Gardener

Starstyle® Productions, llc

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

http://www.GoddessGardener.com

925-377-STAR

I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.

Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.

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A Holly Jolly Holiday History with Caroling

The magic of December is filled with myths, mystery, and music surrounding  the Holiday Season. Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany deck the halls with boughs of holly…and tell you why that’s a healthy tradition. You’ll learn about the legends and lore, the history and hoax, behind candy canes, Christmas cards, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus. Plus three glorious chanteuses will delight you with their Christmas songs. Be the Star You Are!® volunteer and reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, Jennifer Lee, sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Santa Baby” while British recording artist, Joeleen shares her rendition of Silent Night. Fill your stocking with joy and love, and beautiful Christmas melodies, compliments of StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And don’t forget to make a tax deductible donation to Be the Star You Are!® charity before the end of the year. Go to

http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

’Tis the Season to be Jolly!

Listen at Voice America: : http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/82232/a-holly-jolly-holiday-history-with-caroling

Listen at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions: http://www.starstyleradio.net/Starstyle_Radio/Entries/2014/12/17_Holly%2C_Jolly_Holiday_History_with_Caroling.html

SPECIAL BOOK SALE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Buy Be the Star You Are!®, Be the Star You Are!® for Teens, or The Business of Show Business for the ULTRA DISCOUNT (55% off) PRICE  of $9.99 plus shipping through December 31. Buy ONLY at our STORE and ask for personalized inscriptions. http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

Catch up with all broadcasts on ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

Buy books by Cynthia Brian at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

Congrats to everyone who volunteers and supports Be the Star You Are!®. BTSYA has been named a 2014 TOP NON PROFIT for the 6th straight year and is one of the first to be awarded this honor by Guidestar and Great Non Profits. Visit http://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc. Read more: http://vapresspass.com/2014/06/21/star-501-c3-charity-honored-2014-top-rated-non-profit-cynthia-brian/

The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are.  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.

Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, (http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org) each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.

Previous guests and fans of the program on World Talk Radio will always be able to access the archives at http://www.voiceamerica.com/worldtalkradio/vshow.aspx?sid=764.

Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmET at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are.  and join our empowerment party.

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit http://www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

Lend us Your Ears!!!

Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity. Check it out! There is something for everyone to make a difference. Cool! Thanks to volunteer James for  the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHglz05pBvI&feature=youtu.be

Embed StarStyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2206

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm

Congratulations to Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany for 12 years of weekly LIVE broadcasting of StarStyle®-Be the Star you Are!® on Voice America/World Talk Radio. Tune in Wednesdays 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are. Archives, photos, descriptions and more are available at all times from http://www.StarStyleRadio.com. The program is brought to the airwaves as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org.

Lend us your ears!

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’Tis the Season

Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity presents:

Express Yourself Teens 

With the on-air Be the Star You Are!® youth reporters.

Rejoice! It is the season to be filled with gratitude, merriment, and mirth. Hosts Henna Hundal and Asya Gonzalez have created a fun and festive program sharing creative ways to make this holiday as joyous as possible. Baking, praying, decorating, giving, laughing, and donating are all part of our December offerings. Father of five children, award winning author, Jeff Gunhus thrills our hosts with his books that feature his children as characters. His first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born starring his other children. What would Christmas be without caroling? Our chanteuse reporter, Jennifer Lee, enlivens the discussion with the funny back stories as well as her vocal versions of two favorite holiday songs, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Santa Baby. As part of our Express Yourself!™holiday gift to you, Be the Star You Are!® charity is offering three of its signature books for sale for the holidays at a discount of 55%. Buy Be the Star You Are!®, Be the Star You Are!® for Teens, or The Business of Show Business for the ULTRA DISCOUNT (55% off) PRICE of $9.99 plus shipping through December 31. Buy ONLY at our STORE and ask for personalized inscriptions. http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html. All monies benefit the charity.

Have yourself a holly jolly holiday and may all your dreams for a successful and healthy New Year come true. Celebrate now!

Guest Bio: Jeff Gunhus is the author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA fantasy series, The Jack Templar Monster Hunter Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with his kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. www.JeffGunhus.com

www.JackTemplar.com

Listen at Voice America Kids Radio: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/81837/tis-the-season-to-celebrate

Photos, descriptions, links, and listen at http://starstyleradio.net/Express_Yourself%21_Radio/Entries/2014/12/16_Tis_the_Season_to_Celebrate.html

Listen to all broadcasts at ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/express-yourself!/id481894121?mt=2

SPECIAL BOOK SALE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Buy Be the Star You Are!®, Be the Star You Are!® for Teens, or The Business of Show Business for the ULTRA DISCOUNT (55% off) PRICE  of $9.99 plus shipping through December 31. Buy ONLY at our STORE and ask for personalized inscriptions. http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

Congrats to everyone who volunteers and supports Be the Star You Are!®. BTSYA has been named a 2014 TOP NON PROFIT for the 6th straight year and is one of the first to be awarded this honor by Guidestar and Great Non Profits. Visit http://greatnonprofits.org/org/be-the-star-you-are-inc. Read more: http://vapresspass.com/2014/06/21/star-501-c3-charity-honored-2014-top-rated-non-profit-cynthia-brian/

Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle® Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are!® charity. For information on being a guest email caiekelley@gmail.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Thanks for supporting teens!

For all the latest news on what teens are talking about on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio embed this code into your blogs and web sites http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2014

http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Thanks for supporting teens!

Be the Star You Are!® charity. It’s the Season of Giving Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Buy books and shirts at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html

Watch our newest video of host Hennal talking about Express Yourself! Radio

and Caiseen, Jennifer, and Zahra discussing Possibilities for Prisoners Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWnCxJIrt_k&feature=youtu.be

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity. Check it out! There is something for everyone to make a difference. Cool! Thanks to volunteer James for  the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHglz05pBvI&feature=youtu.be

Posted in Empowerment, Entertainment, Life, Making a Difference, Parent Category, Teens, travel, WRITING | Leave a comment

Is your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush

Is your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush up & decorated? You’ll enjoy O Tannenbaum with history of evergreens! http://ow.ly/G3zXm

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Is your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush

Is your Christmas tree or Hannukah bush up & decorated? You’ll enjoy O Tannenbaum with history of evergreens! http://ow.ly/G3zXm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A college student, Amanda, writes about

A college student, Amanda, writes about the impact Be the Star You Are!® has on women as part of her final. http://ow.ly/G0I1U

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‘Tis the Season for celebrating & Expre

‘Tis the Season for celebrating & Express Yourself!™ teens are caroling.Author Jeff Gunus joins the joy. NOON PT http://ow.ly/FZRMv http://ow.ly/i/7XK6b

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment