The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Merriment & Mood


It’s different getting into the spirit of Christmas in a climate one isn’t traditionally acquainted with. Note I stated different, not difficult. Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we walked around the small town of Cedar Key and please, don’t despise, in shorts, flops and tanks. Butterflies flutter about, flowers bloom. Festive indeed.


As I walked around I fretted just a little because well, Christmas is coming up right quick! But this is one of the many things I enjoy about my Winter home … Christmas isn’t a grand retail event here. It is a one to two-day holiday celebrated but for a brief time of the year. I like that I shop and celebrate all within a week or two. It is not a long, arduous, stressful, has-to-be-perfect performance. I don’t decorate our rental. Sure, I miss a Christmas tree but I prefer live Christmas trees and well, the last one I put up really stirred up my allergies so it was probably my last. One day I will figure out how to display my favorite ornaments. I also prefer living plants so I just may splurge on a Poinsettia. Last year, my tree was a small Rosemary topiary. This year, this is the extent of my decoration (or celebration) if you will.

I no longer bake cookies since I’ve become Vegan. Not that there aren’t some incredible Vegan cookie recipes, just that I don’t indulge as much. There is so much food around the holidays. I will be making a Vegan key lime pie for Christmas dinner. That seems to be my new tradition.

Here, I really don’t have neighbors since we are transient. That will probably change over the years and I’m sure I will bake or make homemade treats once again for giving.

Anyway, I’ve digressed. Yesterday we walked around town and it was the day of the annual Christmas boat parade so the decorations came out and about and I took some time to admire them and get in the mood. I love the nautical and local feel of these festive feasts for the eyes.

I thought the live greenery around this ornate door particularly beautiful.


This manger scene is beautiful day and night. At night, if you look carefully on the trunk of the tree, the starfish lights up in tiny blue lights.


This angel is merry and poignant.


The colors of Christmas here are slightly different in hue.


Then we made our way towards the town beach to get a little sand in between our toes. Wreathes along the way remind us of the sea.



I loved the use of palms in this gated door adornment.


Another wreathe that sparkles day and night.


Another merry reminder of the nearby sea.


Around here they say the mullets jump for joy so when you see them jumping up out of the water you exclaim happy mullets! A tribute perhaps on the town lights?



Finally we reach the beach and the town tree!


By far the most fun to be had was watching the Christmas boat parade. One can sit on a select few balconies of restaurants high above and look over to town on one side and the ocean on the other where the boats parade by all lit up.





My favorite decorated boat was not a boat at all but a small kayak carrying a lit up Christmas tree of which I did not manage to get a picture. My second favorite boat was this “jellyfish boat” – creative and beautiful streaming by.


We were able to stroll back home among all the lights now in a festive mood.


Bringing you tidings of comfort and joy from Cedar Key.



Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

11 thoughts on “Merriment & Mood

  1. my Swiss husband still misses his snow …

  2. Diana, I was fortunate to see the first snowfall before traveling … I do like snow but once I arrive here, well, all that “nostalgia” melts away!

  3. I think it is so interesting to see how other regions decorate for Christmas. Few places in the US actually have a white Christmas. (Sounds like we won’t this year – 50 degrees all this week!)
    A boat parade sounds like a great event to witness. Your post was delightful!

    • I am so glad you enjoyed Eliza! I have heard it has been 60° F (!) back in my Northern home. In a way, I find that terrifying. Now that I think about it, you are so right – very few places actually have a white Christmas! Maybe that will become fewer still over the years. I am not as worried about my houseplants this year as I brought some with me (I’m allowed one plastic tub) and the ones I left in the cellar are the strong survivors from last year. With these mild temperatures I am certain they are just fine!

  4. Fabulous Kathy. I used to spend Christmas with family in AZ…now that is strange with lights around the cactus and palm trees. I love seeing how other areas decorate and celebrate…so much fun in the discovery! Looks wonderful there. No snow still here but some feet in the Tug.

    • I really enjoy a “bright, green Christmas” now Donna. It still has magic. I hope you do get a pretty snowfall for Christmas. Doesn’t surprise me the Tug has snow. I guess Clayton received a “dusting” but the temps still look mild! Whatever the weather, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Thanks for sharing the Florida decorations. I love your glittery palm leaf and the wreath with the sea-glass colored balls. Merry Christmas!

  6. Hi Kathy-been away from my blog the past few months..long story-I”ll catch up soon:-) Love your post from Cedar keys. I am so tired of all the commerical side of Christmas. I AGREE with everything you said! It annoys me so much. It has lost the magic since the stores push the stuff at us before Halloween! I love all the colors down there + look forward to hearing all about your adventure. We have had such wonderful weather that it seems more like spring than winter. We have had days in the 60’s over the past few weeks!!! What happened to winter…just stopped by to visit + let you know, I am still here but not on as much..hope to change that in 2016-Happy 2016:-)

  7. Oh, so nice to hear from you Robbie. I hope you have been away for good reasons – growing reasons. So glad to know you’re still out there. I had a lovely little Christmas in Gulfport, FL and actually spent Christmas Day Eve in a bar by the ocean listening to a live band (that played Christmas carols!) with a jolly ol’ crowd. I discovered Christmas is fun again. It was 80° F here in Florida but back home it also reached 60° F! I wonder how the weeds in my garden are fairing and if my garlic is knee high! Looking forward to the New Year and hearing from you. Merry merry. Happy happy.

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