Yes, unbelieveably another 12 months have rolled on by. Life has carried on in spite of all the challenges and changes 2021 has thrown our way. Time again for festive preparations and a lot of reflection.
It’s been a tough year for us – we have lost family members and dear friends, some departed from this life far too young. It hits home that every moment spent with friends and family is precious, not only on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries but also , and if not more so, on those other mundane, “ordinary” days which we can all take so much for granted. We really should appreciate them all!
This was very much at the front of my mind when this year’s decorations were going up.
I love our Christmas Tree. Over the years it has become so much more than just a symbol of a Biblical event or a festive holiday.
Every year when I open up the box of tree decorations, I don’t see just baubles and glitter – I see me, sitting my teenage exams with my trusty mascot, truly believing it would make a difference ( on the whole, it didn’t do too badly 😉 !).
I see Emma & Alistair at nursery school, beaming with pride clutching the peg dolls they made for their Mum and Dad.
I see Christmasses past when each year Santa left them a new decoration in their stocking to add to the tree ( he still does 😉 !!). Keys from houses we’ve lived in bring back visions of entrance halls, paint colours, and the delicious, welcoming aroma of meals bubbling on the stove after a long day at work. Wedding mementos, discarded toys, and an array of special decorations, hand chosen to match the decor in Caddon View, the hotel in Innerleithen which we ran for 10 years before moving to France.
All those things which if they hadn’t found a home on the tree would have been relegated to the back of a drawer, never to be seen for years or worse still,would be languishing in the landfill somewhere when someone ( usually my other half 😉 ! ) eventually decided they were just clutter and not worth keeping.
Talking of keeping things, I also have some treasured nativity figures, hand crafted for me by my gorgeous sister when I was about 14 years old. The dough is now crumbling away with age ( they are pushing 45 years now so not exactly surprising!). The angel has lost a wing and its nose and Mary’s veil is hanging on by a thread, so they are well past their sell-by date but every year I wrap them up carefully and will them to hang on for just one more Christmas. I had high hopes of passing them down the generations but alas the home firing techniques back then left much to be desired. Jesus and Joseph are still holding up well though so at least half of the ensemble might last a few years longer!
(She also knitted me an enterprising jumper in a fetching pale blue with a snowy hilly landscape scene on the front – that hasn’t stood the test of time quite so well 😉 !! )
The tree itself brings back memories of years of work when I was a retail manager in Shoe City – it stood proudly at the front door of the shop, welcoming in thousands of customers and it reminds me of the many hours spent there with my team, some challenging but all very rewarding. I bought it when the chain of shops was sold and we were all made redundant. It’s been in our home for 25 years now and it’s not looking as sharp as it used to, but with its party attire on, it can still turn a few heads 😉 !!
It will be a sad day for me (and the tree) when Emma and Alistair finally have their own homes and will no doubt want to take their own “memories” with them.
I do hope they will though – nice to keep family traditions alive.
A very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and safe 2022 to you all!