In the past when my kids were young, it was decorated when they got home from school with Christmas music playing and the first fruit mince pies of the season to eat as we hung tinsel and baubles.
Now, I do it at whatever time of the day I want. Just me and Dog – he sniffs the decorations as they are unpacked and then looks on as I hang this and that. Finally we stand back, look at each other and … go for a walk…
This year, I put up my driftwood tree, made for me by my husband last year.
I love it. It fits the atmosphere of House, our by-the-beach home, so well. We don’t go in for big decorations because it’s a tiny house, just little things in white or silver. White for the foam as waves break and silver for the light shining across the sea.
As I unpacked the decorations, I found the stockings Mum traditionally hung on her fireplace.
She stitched one for each of our two children as they were born, then one for me, my husband, and my brother. And one for my father.
Not long after she finished Dad’s he died, and rather than stitching another for herself, she preferred to use his. Something I thought was wonderfully romantic…
Her stitching is meticulous and the stockings were such a touching memory for me as I unfolded them, smoothed them out and hung them on the chairs. They’ll be filled with chocolates, scratchies (Lottery cards), and maybe one other special thing.
So! The room is done now – fairly subtle and very simple.
But when we came to the Big Smoke today for me to see the ear specialist, I thought the little Lego House needed a tree too. I had pilfered the painted branch from House, and Dog and I decorated it late this afternoon.
I also put out our Nativity on one of the book shelves – it’s a set my husband and I bought together the year we got married and is made of specialty Tasmanian timbers by an iconic Tasmanian artist called Tom Anderson. The little sculptures are our own Christmas tradition and have been displayed every year of our thirty nine year marriage and I couldn’t help thinking of these words:
‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.’ Norman Vincent Peale