The leaves of the variegated pohutukawa, aka the New Zealand Christmas tree – which is why (silly) it’s not flowering in April!
Eva had three daughters and a son. Their names were Jill, Lyn, Rosemary, and Phil. Each had a special Christmas decoration with their name on it. Each year they hung it on the Christmas tree. Eva had made each decoration herself on each child’s first Christmas.
And now the family had all grown up and the three daughters were married with children of their own. Eva made a special Christmas tree decoration for every grandchild.
But tragedy struck. Phil, her only son, was killed in a war. Christmas came. Eva didn’t know what to do with his Christmas decoration. It’s not that she didn’t want him remembered; she simply didn’t want to make Christmas sad for her three daughters and their children when they called on Christmas Eve. Eva left Phil’s Christmas decoration in the cupboard.
Jill arrived. “Where’s Phil’s decoration?” she asked upon seeing the tree.
Lyn arrived. “Where’s Phil’s decoration?” she asked upon seeing the tree.
Rosemary arrived. “Where’s Phil’s decoration?” she asked upon seeing the tree.
Mother and three daughters hung the decoration in pride of place, and all had a little weep.
Every year since, it’s always been the last decoration to be hung. Always on Christmas Eve. And always accompanied by a little weep.