It’s 11.45pm on a Saturday night and I’m sat here back aching, eyes are worn and trying to unwind after a long week. I’ve just finished cleaning my kitchen, sorting laundry and other bits and bobs. I should have done this a lot earlier in the day but I didn’t and now I’m tired, tired but happy.
Today seems to be THE day for people discussing or complaining about Christmas decorations. I’m not sure why it hit everyone on the last Saturday of November but everywhere I’ve seen moans and posts asking why on earth people have their decs up??? Family members have been discussing it..friends I’ve met and it’s ALL over social media. If it was September I would almost understand but it’s December on Tuesday!
Let me tell you a story…
Way back in the day when I was young enough to be impressed by Santa and wowed by a tinkling bell in the distance we put our decorations up on the 1st December. It was one of the most exciting days of the year for me and my siblings. We didn’t do anything spectacular on that day, we pulled the boxes down from the attic..reminisced over handmade Christmas baubles and possibly cracked open the first box of Christmas treats. What I really remember is how happy and loved I felt. I knew it was the start of a really fun and exciting time. I knew I would be surrounded by the ones I love and see others who only seem to appear during holidays. The lights didn’t fade for us as children and we still bemoaned the day that the last bit of tinsel was packed away in January. How the house looked bare without it. It seemed colder, darker.
Last week we passed a few houses nearby that were all lit up and Izzy just looked and smiled, then on the weekend we had a family break away with all of my siblings, my parents and all Izzy and Chloe’s cousins. It was a real festive occasion, we even had a Christmas dinner with crackers. We arrived home and it felt like December 25th was a million miles away.
So this morning we got up and decided to get up into the attic ( well Andrew did.. I would but..spiders. ) and spent a few hours with the girls just pulling them all apart and marvelling at the shiny, tinkly treasure chest.
This evening we put up the tree and we all decorated it together. Christmas music played, our home was warm and full of laughter.
*For the effect of extra warmth turn in Fireplace in your home if you have Netflix on your telly – a log crackling fireplace takes over your screen..it’s awesome.*
At one point Izzy stopped, looked up at the tree proudly and said “Well that’s just brilliant”.
My list of chores continued to pile up as we all revelled in Christmas warmth. Chloe doesn’t quite understand the decorate the whole tree aspect and instead chose to decorate one branch..but what a pretty branch it is.
Our tree won’t be the most stylish, we really have let the children do their bit and I’m trying to stop myself doing any adjusting now they are in bed. But it’s definitely fun..maybe shabby chic??
The faces we saw tonight of glee and surprise may not have still been there if we had left it another 3 weeks with them seeing a tree here and lights there with every shop or home we walked into.
I think what I’m trying to say here is that I understand that some people don’t want decorations up early, some people may not want them at all and for others it may be against their beliefs. But don’t put a dampener on it for others. We all have our reasons for doing or not doing it.
Mine is this. Christmas is magical. It doesn’t heal wounds but it almost caresses them. It can make bigger problems seem smaller and in most cases you spend more time with the people you love. Christmas should never be about just that one morning scrabbling for presents under the tree.
Our world is full of sadness and trouble. For us and the majority of you reading this blog we are lucky. We don’t live on the streets or in a refugee camp, cold and afraid for our lives. We don’t have to worry about where the next meal will come from, even if we aren’t rich ..for most of us the cupboards are still full.
I’m sure we have all shed tears over the past year for every country being affected by terrorism, by war or by poverty. Paris brought it to the forefronts of most of our minds and perhaps felt more real due to our proximity to France.
Every day a terrible event will happen in another country, to another person. Yes we need to help and we can’t bury out heads in the sands which is why I urge you to do what you can in your area. Give food/clothes bundle to volunteers heading to refugee camps or help the homeless in your area or just give money to a local charity or church who know what to do if you feel lost and unsure how to help.
And celebrate. Don’t stop living or enjoying.
I don’t know about you but I just want to soak in every minute of this warm Christmas bubble before I walk back into our wonderful yet terrible real world.