On the 20th November 2021, a bare Christmas tree was placed at the entrance to the Pottery Museum at House of Marbles. A strange juxtaposition against the opulent festive décor throughout the rest of the site. What may have appeared a bit of an odd sight at first actually had a purpose and meaning which would become more evident as the weeks passed.

A simple poster next to the tree invited people to consider what their greatest Christmas wish might be. Then to take one of our glitzy paper baubles, write it down and hang it on the tree in exchange for a small donation towards the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.

As the weeks passed, the number of baubles grew and grew with wishes from people of all ages. Children wishing for Father Christmas to bring them their favourite toy, mothers and fathers wishing for a happy and Covid free Christmas, families leaving wishes for their loved ones – for their health and happiness – or simply to remember those they had lost. Beautiful wishes, silly wishes, funny wishes … fantastic wishes.

By Christmas Eve, not a bough could be seen through the many baubles placed on the tree and more than £100 had been raised for MNDA. However, whilst waiting in line to see Father Christmas and noting down their festive desires, not a single person who placed a bauble on the tree knew that their wishes were destined for a very special place.

After Christmas, we collected all the wishes and handed them over to our team of resident glassmakers at Teign Valley Glass who designed and made a distinctive flame shaped sculpture, symbolising the process of burning and creating ashes, with layers of green, yellow and red glass representing the Christmas season. The Wishing Flame has now been placed on display as a permanent reminder of the Christmas Wishes hung in 2021.

We hope that you will take the time to view the The Wishing Tree Flame on your next visit and remember all the wishes that were hung. We hope some of them have come true.

Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) is our charity of choice at House of Marbles. MNDA focus on improving the care and support for people with MND, their family and their carers. It is a cause close to our hearts and we have supported the charity for many years. Thanks to the generosity of our customers and visitors, we have raised thousands of pounds for them so far and we plan to continue supporting the organisation in 2022. Please keep an eye out throughout the shop for details of future fundraising initiatives.