As a child Christmas was always my favourite time of year. As an adult I think it still is… the lists, the planning, the choosing of gifts, the food, the lights, the parties…. and the tree. My husband seems to think that if I was left to my own devises our house would look like an exploded Christmas cracker! I will concede that Christmas may be a time for going a little over the top… from food and festivities to (over) decorating! For me Christmas is also about memories…. The recent ones, the distant ones, and the ones we have yet to make! One common feature in many of my own Christmas memories is the Christmas tree.
My very first memory contains a Christmas tree… it was my third birthday and I remember sitting by it, playing with a newly received present and turning my back on all my little party friends.
For many years as I grew up, Christmas day meant a big breakfast in my Nanny’s house. My Nanny was a wonderful woman with a very big heart and a very small house but she always filled it with family. She had 35 grandchildren and instead of buying each and every one a gift, she would let us pick something from her Christmas tree that she would fill with lots of little trinket. One year in particular stands out for me…. I picked a little satin purse with the image of a little girl on it. That little purse has stood the test of time and every year since has had a place on our Christmas tree. Even now as I am all grown up and have a tree of my own, I always take a moment, as I place it on the tree, to remember the wonderful woman who gave it to me.
Fast forward a few years and I got the chance to buy and decorate my very first Christmas tree. I was in my early twenties and sharing a house with two other student friends. We all decided we had to have a REAL tree to get the full effect and got a little carried away while choosing it (they DO all look a lot smaller when viewed outdoors!). We chose the biggest tree we could find but had to cut half of it away just to get it in the front door. Another few branches had to be trimmed to get it into our tiny sitting room and still more to stand it upright. We could hardly fit into the room with it but oh how we loved that tree. The closest we could come to Christmas carols was a Bing Crosby CD we found so we played it on a loop and danced around the house decorating every surface we could find. Perhaps inspired by my Nanny and her “TARDIS” like home, that little house held many a Christmas party, bursting at the seams with the number of people contained within… and always under the twinkling lights of an oversized, over decorated tree.
These days the student Christmas parties have been replaced with more family friendly celebrations. We love putting up the tree together – we are still getting a very large tree but at least the tree can actually fit in the door of our family home. As the boxes of decorations come down from the attic the excitement increases… a treasure trove of memories just waiting to be rediscovered. We decorate and marvel at our carefully chosen tree, with Christmas carols blaring in the background and hot seasons drinks and treats to add to the festive fervour. Adding to the Christmas glow is the knowledge that we are creating new Christmas memories for us all.
Every year, as we decorate the tree, myself and my husband chuckle away as we recall a Christmas memory our first born son created for us. When he was one he became truly fascinated with the big tree with the sparkly lights that his parents placed in the corner of the room. Whenever he could escape he would sit under the tree and placing a Christmas light in his mouth. We would turn around to see a little boy sitting quietly, his two cheeks glowing from the bulb. He used to have such a serene and contented look on his face.
This Sunday we will all go together to pick our tree and spend the afternoon decorating, admiring and remembering. We will prepare for the big event by making our own new decorations to add to the tree, a fairly new tradition we have kept up over the past few years.
Perhaps this Christmas, we will create another new memory or two to carry fondly with us into future Christmases, yet to arrive. Memories are great stories to share so that is why I am inviting you all to share some of your Christmas memories with me. If you want to join in this seasonal linky just write your post and click on the blue button below to add it to the list. There is even a badge (below… just click, save and use) you can include in your post. Of course you don’t need a blog to get involved, feel free to add your memories to the comments below!
If sharing these linky posts on social media please use the hash tag #christmasmemories.
I hope you all get to make many happy new memories this Christmas too!