In the buld-up to Christmas, Lynne Harkes, author of Gabon-based memoir Spinach Soup for the Walls: Finding my spirit in Africa (Local Legend, 2012), was reminded of Christmases past and of some of the “trees” she put together in far-flung destinations.

“In the Sultanate of Oman, a country of spice and home of Frankincense, the tree was adorned with cinnamon and huge bows made from the plentiful array of stunning  fabrics available in the souqs.”

“In Nigeria I made a chicken wire tree by rolling meters of wire over and over to form a large cone shape which I sprayed gold and hung imported glittering decorations on.”

“In Gabon … the tree was made from local ply-wood and I hung wired crystals on it. I still consider it one of the most beautiful trees we’ve ever had. It had such a simple purity about it…homemade and with an almost bare living room as a backdrop. It was a happy Christmas, stripped back and appreciative for our blessings and the wonderful natural jungle setting we were lucky to be living in.”

Find the full blog post – and photos of Lynne’s unusual Christmas tree (this time at home in Edinburgh) – here.

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