Every year, without fail, Christmas arrives with Honey bringing me the centerpiece “Apple Tree.” The smell from the apples and pineapple bring (for me) the scent of Christmas…the longer the centerpiece stays in place…the more the apples and pineapple ferment until the most delicious aroma permeates the dining room and “Happy Room.”
Today, whenever we think of fruit and greenery together…we think of Colonial Williamsburg. Brooke and I, my cousin Bobby and brother David visited there one year for a few days after Christmas and it was just beautiful. However, the history behind the pineapple actually goes back to the days of the explorers.
Columbus and his crew “discovered” the pineapple in Guadeloupe in 1493 on their second (less famous) voyage to the New World. They called it the piña, due to its resemblance to a pine cone, and brought the “exotic” fruit back to Spain.
It took awhile but England and a few other European countries figured out how to grow it and soon it became a sign of hospitality. Captains of ships going to and from Central America, upon their return home, would often spike the pineapple and display it on their front porch as a way of letting the town know that the Captain was home.
Soon the hospitality extended to carving the symbol of the pineapple on bedposts to show their guests that they were receiving the nicest room and bed in the home in honor of their stay.
Today there is a town by the name of “Pineapple” in Alabama. It was originally named “Friendship” but another hamlet had beaten them to that name…so it was changed to Pine Apple… (this area was filled with pine and apple trees.) It has eventually evolved into one word.
(Signs of this universal symbol of hospitality are seen painted on the front doors of homes and the town’s welcome sign, carved in fanciful Christmas decorations, atop gate-posts and roof-tops, carved into bedposts and head-boards, and found in a variety of table centerpieces).
I have come to realize, however, that even if I could manage to stick the apples in the nails correctly (Mike built the platform) and get the pineapple on and the greenery in place…it wouldn’t be the same without Honey. Christmas doesn’t come until Honey arrives bearing friendship…which is the essence of Christmas.
Every year I tell Honey to please let the Apple Tree be the gift…it is all I need…but if you know Honey…Santa Claus pales beside her. Yesterday she also brought ginger snaps, canned tomatoes/soups, and this Christmas butterfly for the Christmas garden.
So until tomorrow….the only real center piece we need at Christmas is God… who is LOVE….symbolized for us through friends and family. There will never be a centerpiece more beautiful than this love.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Last night the family met at John and Mandy’s to exchange presents with Walsh, Mollie, and Rutledge since they will be flying to Washington, DC to spend Christmas at Mollie’s sister’s (Chelsey) home and all the family. Merry Christmas Temples!
The theme for us last night should definitely have been the “Night of Caps” because we saw all shapes and sizes of them….starting with Rutledge’s new sporty cap and scarf….to be shared with his cousins.
I had bought two woolen caps for Eva Cate and Rutledge from Ireland…but getting them to both look at the camera wearing them was harder than going to Ireland….so we decided to just go for random photos…worked better.
Rutledge tried on Eva Cate’s tiara….and Jake told mommy he wanted to announce the family Christmas present.
A swimming pool! I think they are going to be very popular this summer!
Walsh made the barbecue for the party and it was delicious…I found myself going back to get some more without the bun….it was too good to spoil it with bread. Then our birthday boys had a cake….Kringle Dingle (Walsh) Dec 23 and Deduction Dingle (Tommy) Dec. 29. They had a little help from Eva Cate blowing out the candle.
The center piece of birthdays and Christmases gatherings: family!
Merry Christmas from all the Dingle/Turner Family!