Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's Under Your Christmas Tree? Blog Event. Hywela Lyn.


Welcome! For those of you just joining me, it’s all about Christmas at this blog. Now through December 25th, sixteen authors and jewelry vendors are visiting A Writer’s Mind to share some heart-warming holiday stories and offer some fabulous giveaways. As an added bonus, everyone who comments on any of the posts between now and Christmas Day is entered for a chance to win the grand prize, a $100 gift certificate to Amazon!

It's time to continue my ‘What Every Woman Wants Beneath Her Christmas Tree’ blog event. Today and tomorrow I’d like to welcome over romance author and dear friend, Hywela Lyn. Lyn is graciously giving away to one lucky commenter a PRINT copy of Dancing with Fate and a hand-crafted Christmas ornament from the Christmas Tree Farm in the UK.

Let’s hear from Lyn now! From Lyn’s lips to this blog…

THE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM

I love Christmas – as long as it doesn’t start too early! I like to have the ‘magic’ feel fresh and new, so we don’t put the decorations up until a week before the great day and in keeping with tradition, don’t take them down until 5th January, 12th Night.

I really enjoy the build up to Christmas, and one of the things that makes me feel Christmas is really close is choosing our Christmas tree from the CHRISTMAS TREE FARM. After our artificial Christmas tree at last gave up the ghost and went to the ‘great artificial tree farm in the sky’ my husband and I decided, to revert to the real thing.

There are a number of reasons why we decided to go ‘real’. For each tree sold from the farm, another is planted, Since it absorbs carbon dioxide and 'breathes' out oxygen, each tree is helping reduce our collective carbon footprint. Although an artificial tree can be used for several years, the noxious chemicals produced in their production do nothing to help the fight against global warming, and they are certainly not biodegradable like a real tree. Also, it’s a great day out and we can take our dog Bouncer as well.

At the entrance to the farm is a full size Father Christmas. A little wooden fox greets visitors as they go through the gate and we pass by the little workshop where animated elves are busy making the gifts for Christmas and preparing Christmas trees. (Although one in this picture seems to have decided it was time for a mug of tea!)

The Farm uses two Shire horses, Thomas and Ambassador, who are working forestry horses. They are owned and trained by Steven Jones, who is a highly skilled forester based in Wales. Shire horses are a breed of horse which was used as draft animals on English farms for centuries. They are believed to be descended from English "Great horses" which were also used to carry armored knights in medieval times. Shires stand at least 17 hands tall (5ft 8in - 6ft/1.7m-1.8m) and weigh slightly less than one tonne.

Despite their size, the horses have a very gentle temperament. The horses leave the fields in much better condition than modern tractors. Tractors running over the ground can damage the soil structure and reduce its fertility by compacting it. Horses weigh less than tractors and their hooves spread that weight over a larger surface area. As a result, even in wet weather, the field is not damaged by the use of the horses, and the farm tracks are left un-rutted.

At the end of the rows of trees is a corral where we love to make friends with the horses, who, in this picture, were having a well deserved rest.

We spend a long time choosing our perfect tree. There are many different varieties and sizes to choose from. Choice made, while our perfect tree is being ‘netted’, we visit the Christmas Tree Farm shop. It is always like a fairy land, with a huge selection of beautiful ornaments and decorations - and close to the counter, a full size sleigh with a moving Santa on his sleigh drawn by a beautiful reindeer.

There are also woodland animals in various places around the shop, with twitching noses and paws, looking very realistic. They also sell things like magical reindeer food and special keys that only work for Santa, for houses with no chimneys. The display changes slightly each year, but it is always full of enchantment.

Before I leave, do you know the legend of the Christmas tree? This legend comes down from the early days of Christianity:

In Britain, Saint Wilfred was a monk who was helping to spread Christianity among the Druids. One day he struck down a huge Oak tree, which in the Druid religion was an object of worship.

As the tree fell to earth, it split into four, and from its centre grew a young Fir tree, pointing its topmost branch towards the sky. The crowd gathered around the monk gazed in amazement.

Wilfred dropped his axe and turned to the watching people. "This little tree shall be your Holy tree tonight," he said, "It is the sign of eternal life, for its leaves remain green all year round. See how it points toward the heavens. Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child. Gather round it, not in the wilderness but in your homes, surrounded with loving gifts and gestures of kindness." And so it is, to this day.


Sky here. Oh, I’d love to visit the Christmas Tree Farm! It certainly sounds like my kind of place. Thank you so much for sharing these stories, Lyn. I didn’t know the tale behind the Christmas Tree. While I mourn to hear of any Oak being chopped down, I love the part about the fir being a sign of eternal life.

AUTHOR BIO

Hywela Lyn lived in Wales for most of her life, and the beautiful countryside and legends inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background. She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds. Her pen name is a combination of her first two names.'Hywela’ is Welsh and her first name but it was never used and she has always been called by her second Christian name, Lyn. One thing remains constant in her writing: The power of love. Love, not only between her hero and heroine, but between friends and siblings, and for their particular world and the creatures that share it.

She is crazy about all animals, especially horses. She lives with her long suffering husband, Dave, and her animal family includes two horses, two ferrel cats and an adopted Jack Russell terrier called Bouncer.

Lyn’s first novel, 'Starquest', a futuristic romance, and and the sequel ‘Starquest’, 'Children of the Mist' are available in Ebook format or print from the Wild Rose Press and she is currently working on the third stories in the series. (Please watch her blog for more details) She has recently self published her fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' featuring Terpsichore, Muse of Dance, on Smashwords.

This was originally one of nine stories in the Wild Rose Press anthology ‘Song Of the Muses.'

Lyn loves to hear from fellow authors and readers and can be found at her...


VIDEO: ‘DANCING WITH FATE’


Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a print copy of Dancing with Fate, a Christmas tree ornament from the Christmas Tree Farm and a $100 gift certificate to Amazon. Contest ends Tuesday, November 29th, 12 AM, EST.

33 comments:

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning Sky, dear friend,

Thank you so much for inviting me to guest on your Blog for this very special feature.

I agree about the Oak Tree, I hate to think of one being cut down too, but I suppose the fir tree was its reincarnation in a way - from the ancient sprang the new.

Wishing you and everyone who visits your special Christmas event, a wonderful Christmas time, even though it is several weeks away yet.

Lyn xx

Alisha said...

Lovely blog post, Lyn! Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas!

Hugs from across the pond to the my wonderful muse sister! :)

marybelle said...

Thank you for the legend of the Christmas Tree. Just wonderful.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Alisha, oh isn't it lovely when muse sisters come together!

Huge hugs back and wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas too.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Marybelle

Thanks for visiting, glad you enjoyed the legend

mamabear said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing with us! I hope you have the best Christmas ever!

~Cathy McElhaney~



clm_77@verizon.net

Hywela Lyn said...

hi Cathy

Thank you so much - and I hope you have a beautiful Christmas too.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Sky and Lyn, as always, such a beautiful blog. Lyn, dear friend of mine, I love your magical description of the Christmas farm. I'd never heard the legend of the Fir before and found it fascinating. Wishing all a joyous and wonderful Christmas!
HUGS

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much, Sharon, sweet friend, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, I thought you'd like the legend, knowing how fond you are of such tales.

Have a lovely Christmas.
Hugs, Lyn x

Sky Purington said...

Lyn, it's always so wonderful to have you visit, especially for Christmas! Lovely post. :-)

P.L. Parker said...

What a wonderful place! Love the post and the pictures!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much Sky, you are always such a lovely and graceful hostess.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Patsy, dear sister roast host.
Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Mary Ricksen said...

Hello my wonderful friend. You never cease to amaze me with your delightful blogs. This one almost made me feel like Christmas already!

Suzy said...

Great story and pictures, lovely winter sites...Happy Holidays.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Mary, sweet friend, thank you so much for your lovely comment. Wish you could come with me to visit the Christmas tree farm for real!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Suzy, thanks for visiting and I'm so happy you enjoyed the post.

Rynne Raines said...

Fantastic post, Lyn. I loved the whole thing. My favorite part had to be the Magical Reindeer food and Special Key for Santa. Love it. Sounds like an amazing place.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Ry xxx

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Rynne

Thank you so much - I'm so pleased you enjoyed the post - and yes, the magic reindeer food and Santa's special key are the stuff of fairy tales and add to the aura of enchantment at the Christmas Tree farm.

joder said...

This was a great post and I'd LOVE to be able to go to such a magical tree farm! The ones around her don't go to near that much effort. The ornaments and other decorations look beautiful and I LOVE picking out ornaments and other pretties. My family has always had a real tree, no matter how poor we've been around Christmas. Just seeing a real tree in the corner of the room brightens up our holidays.

Thanks so much for being here and for the great prize you're offering!

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Joder

Yes, they go to a lot of trouble at the Christmas tree farm to make it a real 'Christmassy' experience.

I do agree, I too love picking out a few new decorations every year too -and you're so right there's nothing like a 'real' tree.

Thank yoy for your kind comment - and thanks go to Sky too, for organising this great event, and generously offering such a fantastic main prize

Sheryl said...

What a fabulous blog, Sky! And a lovely blog post, Lyn :) I'm tempted to go to the Christmas Tree Farm myself. It sounds so festive and Christmassy - in keeping with what Christmas should be. Good luck, girls! :) xx

Debby said...

Beautiful. There used to be a farm which displayed animals and had a talking egg called Eggbert. It burnt down. W e went every year and had so much fun with the kids.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Debby

Eggbert sounds like great fun. So sorry the farm burned down, what a shame.

Chicks of Characterization said...

Lyn, that a WONDERFUL post!!

I love the legend of the Christmas tree and the decorations in th Christmas store- OMG, HEAVEN! I could spend a lifetime in there!!!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas!!!

Hugs,

Andrea
atsnider@verizon.net

Debbi said...

A wonderful story. We used to go and do the tree hunting when the kids were small. I kinda miss doing that.

Debbi

Sharon Donovan said...
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Sharon Donovan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sheryl my friend,

Thanks so much for stopping by, so lovely to have you visit Sky's blog for this special Christmas event.

The Christmas tree farm is well worth a visit and so much more fun than buying a tree from a supermarket or somesuch!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Andrea
Aw thank you SO much, I'm glad you enjoyed the post, I always look forward to our visit to the Christmas Tree Farm, and yes, I practically have to be dragged away myself. The only thing that gets me away from this Christmas 'Aladin's Cave' is the thought of taking our new tree back home to decorate!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Debbi

Thanks so much for stopping by - you're never too old to enjoy the magic of Christmas - or to go tree hunting, whether you have small kids of not! ;)

Sky Purington said...

It was so wonderful having you over, Lyn! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! (((Hugs)))

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks again for having me on your Blog, Sky, it's such a pleasure to visit here always.

Blessings to you and your family and wishing you a Happy and Peaceful Christmas