In a Vase on Monday: The Past, the Present and the Future

‘I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!’

This was what Scrooge said, after the three spirits had visited him in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.


These three Hellebores (Christrose in German) demonstrate the three stages of life that the spirits made Scrooge visit on his eventful Christmas Eve… the Past, the Present and the Future.

Thanks go to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden once again for the opportunity to show some materials from my garden in a vase on Monday. And this week I have a new “vase” too!


I found these three glass tubes mounted in a wooden block while hunting for Christmas gifts last week; exactly what I had been looking for, and so reasonably priced I decided to treat myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

The ivy and silver fir around the base are added for the seasonal touch.


I like to look at some Dickens every Christmas. It became a habit while I was still teaching, since a productionย  of “A Christmas Carol” is shownย  in English in our town theatre every year and I have often been with students. My own English teacher at school also managed to convince me of the positive side of Dickens, and I admire his ability to entertain with words/wordiness and social comment.

Another couple of Dickens quotes, appropriate for the season:

‘There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.’


‘Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days’.


… and finally
‘Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.’

Have a wonderful week, stress-free with time for some fireside or candleside relaxation and contemplation!


64 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: The Past, the Present and the Future

  1. Lovely to see your Hellebores; I love the new vase, I would like something like that too. Don’t you find that when you’re shopping for Christmas presents you find more things that you’d love to be given than you think will be right for someone else? Or is that just me?

    • Hi Christina. I really had been looking for some time for such a vase and had even considered trying to make my own! Yes, i know what you mean about finding things you like when shopping for gifts – Christmas can get rather expensive if I am not careful! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I too love a little Dickens at Christmas. I enjoy several different versions of the Scrooge story in movies. My favorites coming from the 1930s. So you can image my delight when I saw your arrangement…Perfect for the season Cathy! I am determined to plant a few Christmas roses in a special spot next year. They would have bloomed early this year with our weather if I had planted them this year.

    • Mine started flowering in October this year Donna! I also have a beautiful red one that won’t flower until spring. I usually buy a new one for a winter pot each year, and plant it out afterwards. The white ones (without names!) seem to do best.

  3. that green hellebore is so pretty and I am sure you will get much use from those stylish tubes. I came to Dickens quite late, (even though I am an English graduate!) but agree that he is quite appropriate at this time of the year.

    • Hi Ann. Yes, I also like to see various TV versions of A Christmas Carol…. somehow Dickens managed to highlight both the best and the worst of the season.

  4. Such a good idea for a post, Cathy – the 3 different hellebore stages and the Scrooge quotation. I must try harder to look for test tubes at a car boot sale as I have always liked the idea of using them as vases – this was a great find of yours! Trying to read some Dickens at this time of year is very commendable – I haven’t read any since school but feel I should have done ๐Ÿ˜‰ Had to smile at the humour quote – a small group of us who do voluntary work together have started meeting once a month to sing informally, and yesterday we laughed so much it hurt, particularly trying to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas with actions and sound effects and partly in rounds. It was certainly the perfect way to celebrate feeling normal again after a few days under the weather ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laughter can work wonders Cathy, and I do hope you are feeling completely fit again. The test tubes were something I reallly had been searching for so I was particularly chuffed when I found them by chance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What a lovely ode to the spirit of the holiday! It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the season. We had a windy, rainy storm this weekend and now I’m planning to scout the yard for good things to fill a vase for the week.

  6. This is a delightful floral tribute to Dickens’ Christmas Carol, Cathy! I planted some hellebores here last year and I’m anxiously waiting to see if they flower this winter. Southern California doesn’t provide the most hospitable environment for these plants.

    • I do hope they flower for you, as I would never imagine them in such a warm climate…. there is usually snow on the ground when they start flowering here.

  7. Your floral interpretation of that quote is just perfect Cathy. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is one of those books I have reread several times now over the years and if there’s a film version on television over Christmas I will be glued to the screen!

    • The same here, Anna. Love to watch it again and again, and certain passages get reread every year. I especially love the page-long description of all the food piled up around the ghost of Christmas Present when he first appears!

  8. I love Dickens and hellebores, so this post is perfect Cathy. The quotes are lovely, too, especially the last one. That man knew a thing or two about the human condition. Have a great week.

    • He certainly did, Sam. That’s what I admire about him most, as he used his skill with words to draw other people’s attention to important issues. AND he was entertaining!

  9. I love Dickens, too, Cathy. i just received a gift from a friend, a beautifully illustrated version of “A Christmas Carol,” signed by Charles Dickens’ great-great grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens. My friend had attended a recitation and performance by GCD, and thought of me. I would love to find another performance some time. I had no idea one of Dickens’ heirs was performing in America. Kind of unique, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ™‚ The three Hellebores are quite majestic, and I think the German “Christrose” is perfect for Christmas. I really enjoyed the quotes, Cathy. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, my friend.

    • What a beautiful gift! I also had no idea any of Dickens’ ancestors were touring the US. That sounds so interesting, I must find out more. Thank you Debra!

  10. Cathy I love all those Dickens quotes and I love your new vase. It looks seasonal and festive but I can see it in use all year long, too.

    Thanks for the warmth you exude in this post, and throughout the year. ๐ŸŽ„

  11. Thank you for this wonderful Christmas post, Cathy! I like your beautiful hellebores arrangement as well as Charles Dickensยด quotes. Oh, I wished that all the human beings in the world would live as Dickens said …

    • Thank you Elisabeth. Yes, Dickens was a wise man but sadly his words often fell on deaf ears. One of my hellebores is flowering really early this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I love your interpretation with the hellebores Cathy!! I have been rereading A Christmas Carol this month so can identify with your flowers – I cannot believe how many ‘past’ hellebores I already have – this warm weather is bringing them out much earlier than usual.

    • Thank you Julie. Yes, my hellebores are really early too, but I must admit that the green one is from a new plant I bought for the patio. I don’t usually see many flowers until spring!

  13. I found the full paragraph in which one of your quotations appears. It’s from A Christmas Carol:

    “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides, rolling his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand, roared out lustily.”

  14. Beautiful post, Cathy. May the magic of Christmas be with you this coming week, and stay with you each day of the year to come – Kourosh

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