12 Days of Christmas – Caroline Magerl

This has been fun exploring the memories and reflections of some of my friends (and there will be more – next Christmas time) but for now, it is absolutely thrilling to have Caroline Magerl with the final memory for this year’s 12 Days of Christmas — the search for her perfect Christmas Tree.

Caroline Magerl Head shot

A prized tradition we look forward to every year is the ‘Finding of the Tree’.

It is our own spin on this tradition and involves a certain amount of sneaking about with a hacksaw.

Living in the sub-tropics presents little hope of finding a traditional fir or spruce, however there are a number of radiata pine plantations nearby. These provide plenty of trees that have self seeded freely on the sides of local roads and highways. Sadly these trees are a poor substitute, image not so much a perfect cone but more a giant green candelabra.

No one seems quite certain of the legalities of this amateur harvest, however I ruefully note that the best shaped specimens seem to grow annoyingly close to the local Police Station.

Once our tree is chosen and coaxed away from its roots, it is carefully maneuvered into the car. Our choice of tree height is based as much on the internal dimensions of our vehicle, as that of the room in which it will feature.

Our trip home usually features our daughter, Jen, stoically accompanying our new find in the back seat on the way home. Some of my favourite memories are of Jen almost completely obscured by the foliage, gamely batting the bugs that seem to explode out of the tree the minute we drive off… a smile here … a slap there. No Christmas is complete without some flailing about in a car full of pine needles and insects. The needles often found in hidden crevices of the car all year long.

It is somehow grounding after all the tinsel and fluff that is thrust our way to view to sit back and enjoy our tree, free and festooned with an eclectic mix of homemade and traditional German decorations, often leaning so heavily to one side that a string is engaged to avoid it tipping over. A bejeweled reminder; that the big day is meant to be enjoyed … not perfect.

Maybe I should get in the back seat this year. As if ..!


And Caroline created this piece of glorious Christmas art just for these 12 Days of Christmas. How absolutely wonderful.

Cheng Xmas small


Caroline Magerl lives in Buderim, Queensland and is an award-winning and internationally distinguished illustrator, cartoonist and painter, who is now recognised as a unique and arresting presence. Her work spans from dark, enigmatic oil paintings, through incisive cartoons, to lively children’s book illustrations. It has been exhibited in a variety of galleries and art fairs and celebrated in numerous publications. (Chris Beetles Gallery – St James London).

Visit Caroline’s at her website www.carolinemagerl.com and do check out her latest lovely book Hasel and Rose (Penguin Australia) which I also adored.


… and if you want more – all the posts for the 12 Days of Christmas are here.

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