I have the greatest amount of respect and admiration for people that go to the effort of making their neighbourhood look pretty at Christmas time, so I was particularly taken by the story of a Christmas angel in Hawthorn.
Mother of three, Cath White, has a 20 metre Norfolk pine tree towering majestically above her home and surrounding houses. She describes this, combined with her love of the Christmas spirit, and having a brother who is professionally qualified to climb trees as ‘the perfect storm’.
In a tradition that began last year, Cath cleared the Christmas light shelf at Bunnings and her brother Will Jones, an arborist for the Royal Botanic Gardens, spent four hours up the tree hanging 16 boxes of lights, all in the name of bringing some festive cheer to the neighbourhood.
It’s difficult to do this tree justice in pictures, but the lights are so bright, Cath’s father swears he could see it from the top of the Eureka tower.
A Christmas tree isn’t quite a Christmas tree without a star or angel at the top though, is it? The year the brother and sister team upped the ante. The upper branches of the Norfolk pine don’t exactly look sturdy, but that didn’t stop Will going back up the tree to complete perhaps his most important task to date – to place a star at the top.
Cath’s neighbour, Isabella Patterson, says:
We are so lucky to have a neighbour that goes to such extraordinary lengths to heighten the Christmas spirit in our neighbourhood. It’s the most beautiful experience for our children.
“We have a competition in the street for the best lights, but now the competition is about who gets second place, because Cath automatically gets first place,” says Isabella.
What will next year bring? Cath hinted it could be giant presents under the tree. Have you got any ideas? Cath is all ears… bearing in mind the need to balance the workload for Will, of course!
This Christmas angel is creating memories the children in her neighbourhood will no doubt treasure and tell their grandchildren about for decades to come. It may be too warm for snow in Melbourne but this White Christmas could just be the next best thing.