This month's question that myself and 8 other women will answer is seasonal and related to Christmas and holiday times -
Christmas...my favourite time of the year! I love the fact that we are all celebrating the same event, together. Family time is at the fore, and I relish it! We all take a break from the usual daily routines, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Christmas for me starts with attending our girls' school play. It's a heart warming occasion, and we journey home, taking in the light displays in gardens and homes around our town. The final weekend before Christmas arrives, and we spend it decorating the house. My mother always did this on Christmas Eve, for the Twelve Days of Christmas. I truly would love to follow that tradition, but time doesn't really allow. So, the last weekend before Christmas is our time to deck the halls, in readiness for the woodcutter's clan to descend on us for a great pre-Christmas day together. I keep the tree decorations in the same cracker box that Mum used 39 (eek!) years ago - and it gives me such joy to take it out and open it every year. Memories come flooding back...the excitement of childhood Christmases; the anticipation...tears in my eyes every year, without fail!
In the depths of that box, there are decorations I made as a child - especially a golden cardboard star that I made with the help of my aunt and uncle when I was about 5, as a gift for my parents. My aunt and uncle are now gone, but each year, I think of them as it takes its place on the tree. We make a point of saving the ornaments the children make every year, and they re-discover them and place their own decorations on the tree. My Mum always, always, always kept a place on the tree for a little robin...and guess what? I do too!
This year, our tree isn't really a tree - it's a huge branch from a massive fir tree in our garden. It suits perfectly, as it can sit flat against the wall! We've also used another branch to frame the window in our lounge, in place of a tree (top pic). It seems to work, and is a little different to usual. Money saving, too!!
Christmas is in full force come the Eve. My parents spend the day with us, and we exchange and open our family gifts. The children go to bed in happy moods, full of anticipation of what the next day may bring. Of course, they leave a treat for Father Christmas, and a snack on the windowsill for the reindeer! We tread carefully through the night, disposing and filling as quietly as we can, crossing fingers that maybe we will be lucky to make it through to dawn before the frenzy begins!
I hope our girls grow up sharing my love of this special time - and that, like me, they will carry traditions with them through their lives, keeping some and expanding on others.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmastime, and I apologise to all Merry-Go-Rounders for the rather late posting of this piece! Please click on their links in the sidebar, and read how our traditions differ around the world. Happy New Year!