I like Christmas a lot. Like really a lot. Do you remember when you were small and you couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve for excitement? I never grew out of that. It's never been about receiving for me (well not since I was about seven when it probably was largely about Barbies). My excitement is partly about giving but also about good old fashioned magic. That thing you don't really get much of living in the modern world and even less of in London.
Having a baby has made my feelings about this time of year even stronger. Christmas has buried its way even deeper into my heart. It's now going to be about Bertie's Christmases and seeing the magic in his eyes. I can't wait for his first Christmas and all the family Christmases to come.
And it makes me want to start new traditions that can shape his anticipation in the future.
Of all the paraphernalia that goes with the most wonderful time of the year, the one that has always been of central importance to me is the tree. Even as an impoverished student it had to be real and it had to be big. Over recent years I have been building up a bigger and bigger collections of decorations to be lovingly unwrapped each year. Except...each year I have loved them a little less. And last year I looked at them and thought they really just looked plain gaudy. There was no story to any of them. They were a bit kitsch and a bit matchy and without a proper heart. This is last year's tree so you can see what I mean...
So this year they are all going to new homes and I am starting afresh. From now on we will invest in one or two special decorations each year that have some meaning. I hope that Bertie will pick one out each year. That means this year the tree will mostly be dressed in what I can cobble together from my craft cupboard.
This is the (semi) naked tree - so far I have crocheted a few "baubles" and hung a couple of decorations that were gifts from friends:
This year's special decorations are on order and a star is in the making.
I am hoping over the years we will accumulate a family treasure trove of the sort that Bertie's papier mache baubles of the future will sit perfectly alongside and that when the box comes out of the attic each year we will be unwrapping memories.
Dressed tree to come....