Today I thank one of my neighbors for letting me harvest a small native cedar on his larger-than-average island property. It's only been in recent years that islanders have had access to store-bought trees. For generations Ocracokers had only cedars and yaupons to decorate their homes for the holidays.
Yaupon, most well known for the tea popular with Outer Bankers of years ago, is a member of the holly family. In December many yaupon bushes sport bright red berries. I have several yaupons on my property, as well as large cedars. This afternoon I will trim my trees and use the clippings to adorn my windowsills and the yule log on my dining room table.
Candles are in the windows. A traditional wreath with a red bow hangs on my front door. Christmas stockings are hanging on the mantel. I finished wrapping Christmas presents this morning. By this evening I will be ready for the holidays. It will be nice to have a whole week to listen to holiday music, to enjoy my Christmas tree, and in the evening to curl up in front of my gas log stove with a good book.
Our current monthly Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke's Street Names, published November 19, 2005. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news111905.htm.