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
What beautiful work by your mum Prue, (it looks like cross stitch to me ) Made with such love. I need to think about doing ours in a week or so when I have time. Love the wooden nativity.
Thank you, Libby. It is indeed cross-stitch. It was Mum’s favourite form of embroidery and she was brilliant at it. Lovely heirlooms.
The wooden nativity is really sweet and when one packs it away, the stable becomes a storage box and the doors close with a little catch. The gold timber is Tasmanian Huon pine and the Three Wise Men are carrying gifts of Huon Pine, Tasmanian Sassafras and Tasmanian Blackwood – what we call Craft Woods and very beautiful timbers. Huon pine is a superb timber for boat building and also has the most beautiful fragrance. A kind of uplifting fragrance, deep in the wood.
Looks lovely. I love the idea of a driftwood tree. Saw some on sale online but they were very expensive. I rarely bother with decorations but then I’m never at home for Christmas.
My kids are the same, Kathryn. Mostly they are with their family for the Christmas period, so there is not much point. I’ve seen the driftwood trees online and it staggers me that they are so expensive. I collected an armload of wood from the beach and my husband made it in under two hours! Ah well – there’s money in everything!