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