It struck me when the children and I were decorating our Christmas tree that every decoration is a memory of Christmases past. Especially as I try to make at least one decoration to keep each year. Our tree has a heavenly host of angels (grouped together at the top this year), cartoon characters, snowflakes, mini Christmas trees, hearts, stockings, salt dough hand prints, stars, coloured in bits, gifts, reminders of trips from years ago, strange atom-like things, santas, balls, penguins and snowmen. They all tell a story of who gave them to us or when we bought them or made them. Some of who we made them with. And that’s what I love about Christmas – the feeling of family and nostalgia. And if you’re lucky meeting up with people you maybe haven’t seen in a while. It’s the coming together and doing (almost) the same thing every year.
And yet it’s also a time of remembrance of what has changed. Loved ones departed. Life moving on. Children growing and growing up. It’s not colour co-ordinated or evenly spread over the tree (though I must admit to trying very hard at the second of those). But it is full of love and memories.
For the third year in a row we’re going to spend Christmas at home just the four of us. We’re starting our own traditions as a family, which is something that moving abroad has made easier for us. As previously we were alternating which set of parents we visited for Christmas. And that’s lovely, but the traveling is a drag and (even though it means I’m cooking) it is nice to be home. I’m sure we will in the future spend Christmas away again, so I’m appreciating this while it lasts. It has somewhat snuck up on me again – I thought I was all organised and had things ready, but most of that was Sinterklaas and now it’s a week til Christmas. How did that happen? I haven’t ordered a turkey yet. Or bought my husband a present…aaaahhhh…still a week to go!
Merry Christmas to you all x