*For us, our Christmas pages would not be complete without this poem and song from the Flower Fairies of Winter book by Cecily Mary Barker. We hope you enjoy them also. :o) Further down the page we have included a few details about Cecily Mary Barker.
The Christmas Tree Fairy
The little Christmas tree was born
And dwelt in open air;
It did not guess how bright a dress
Someday it's boughs would wear;
Brown cones were all, it thought, a tall
And grown-up Fir would bear.
O little Fir! Your forest home
is far and far away;
And here indoors these boughs of yours
With coloured balls are gay,
With candle-light, and tinsel bright
For this is Christmas Day
A dolly-fairy stands on top,
Till children sleep, then she
(A live one now!) from bough to bough
Goes gliding silently.
O magic sight, this joyous night!
O laden, sparkling tree!
The Song of the Holly Fairy
O, I am green in Winter-time,
When other trees are brown;
Of all the trees (so sayeth the rhyme)
The holly bears the crown.
December days are drawing near
When I shall come to town,
And carol-boys go singing clear
Of all the trees (O hush and hear!)
The holly bears the crown.
For who so well-beloved and merry
As the scarlett Holly Berry?
Cicely Mary Barker (1895 - 1973)
Cicely Mary Barker was born in Croyden, Surrey, England on 28 June, 1895.
Her family had a long history of creativity. Her father, Walter Barker, was descended from a line of wood carvers, and he continued in this trade. In 1909, he is known to have donated a hand-carved pulpit to his family's church. Cicely was gifted as a child, and spent hours drawing and painting.
In her early years she suffered from epilepsy, although this seems to have disappeared later. Due to this condition she was educated at home and Cicely appears to have flourished from this period. Her father enrolled her in a correspondence art course and when she was thirteen she attended an evening class at the Croyden School of Art, where she later became a teacher.
When Cicely was 15, the publisher Raphael Tuck published some of her illustrations as a set of postcards and the year after she won a prize in a poster competition sponsored by the Croyden Art Society. Soon afterwards she was granted a lifetime membership in the Society, becoming their youngest member.
Cecily carefully studied plants, flowers, insects and butterflies, and her artistic studies of children are evident in her work. Her Flower Fairy series of books, which she both wrote and illustrated, first appeared in 1923. They were very successful, and she created seven more after the first one.
Cecily's sister, Dorothy, was a kindergarten teacher, and her students doubled as subjects for Cecily's illustrations. Dorothy died in 1954, and Cicely designed a stained glass window for St. Edmund's Church in her memory.