A Family Christmas

Our Family Tree

Many years ago (about 18, give or take one or two), I decided to let my daughters choose a Christmas Tree decoration each. They were almost overawed by the gorgeousness of all the baubles in the London department store. The jewel colours glinting in the downlights, the angels, santas, reindeer and elves – how to choose. That Christmas my eldest daughter chose a beautiful, but unfortunately very fragile (smash) glass church and my then youngest daughter chose an equally beautiful and fragile, but far more durable penguin.

The latest addition - a dancing mouse


the hot pink heart is this year's choice by my youngest

Every year since then, we have all chosen a tree decoration and now my youngest is joining in the tradition. Even though my eldest daughters are 24 and 22, they still love the Christmas decoration tradition and over the years we have amassed an amazing and eclectic range of decorations. It is the most uncoordinated tree, lacking any theme or colour -styling, except of course, for the tradition of a family Christmas.

the hand-felted little lamb arrived this year

blue & white bauble from Vietnam

Each Christmas the boxes of decorations come up from the cellar and the unwrapping of crinkly tissue paper is the opening of memories. Remembering where and when the ornament was bought, laughing at a 6 year-old’s love of a huge red heart with gold braid trim. Reminiscing about the ones that haven’t lasted the distance.

The much-loved red heart


What every tree needs - a Mexican bauble and a ballerina!

Adding to the shop-bought ornaments are the ones my daughters have made, including an ancient Nativity Scene made from loo rolls and felt, paper chains and tinsellsed angels.

Still going after 17 years!

this year's special project


For me, this is  Christmas, the drawing together of family, the sharing of memories and love.

Happy Hanoi Christmas

There were many things I expected to see in Hanoi, but Christmas decorations weren’t up there on the top of my list. Let alone an entire street dedicated to Christmas decorations in The Old Quarter. And I only found this gem of a street because I was after silk lanterns to bring home.

And so this is Christmas…..

My hotel lobby


Frosty and friends

I hear those sleigh bells jingling

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Walking in a Christmas Wonderland

When Buddhism meets Christmas

Lanterns in Christmas decoration Street

….Hanoi style.