I always like to find a new item for the tree each year and this time I found these beautiful white clip on roses.
They have sat in a glass bowl on my dinning room table for a few days and now they are dressing the tree with their blooms.
Each decoration comes with a memory , a memory of purchase, of time and place. A memory of person, or symbol of values and tradition. Yes, it can look controlled and perfect but I do like to keep my memories perfectly placed.
For various reasons that are not mine to share, the tree is up earlier this year and actually I rather like that it is.
The living room is fragrant with Norwegian pine and at night is cosy with tree lights. It is at night that those perfectly placed memories can twinkle and distort and take on a light of their own as they create their own stories in the twilight of the evening. I like this time to sit and muse and stare into nothingness whilst journeying in my mind.
The door wreath is made and in position, all constructed from items in the home and garden.
The robin with one leg, destined for the bin, has found a new place to sing and observe the comings and goings at Newton House. Vintage fabric hellebores are tucked into the creation as I always like receiving roses, winter or otherwise when I open the door. The wreath is tied to the knocker, so when the breeze is strong, like today, it gently knocks and asks to be let in.
We have a tradition which will be repeated this year. On Christmas Eve The Good Little Christmas Tree is read- on this evening and this evening only. I always choke on the text. With it comes memories of past Christmas's , my Mother and my Mother -in -Law reading this story with a small child listening. The tousled hair, the snuggle blanket, the quilted dressing gown all on the sofa.Washed in Matey bubble bath, smelling of bubbles, expectation and anticipation as the candle is lit for the last time on advent, the countdown to midnight begins. The stockings empty but promising are left by the glass of brandy, the mince pie or chocolate and the carrot in the fireplace for Father Christmas. The unfazed teenager who thinks you are mad as you read to yourself and can't understand why a story should make you teary eyed. The turnaround when the young tell their friends about the tradition. You realize that you have created a memory for some-one else.
Under the Christmas tree today is Leo. I am posting him on this piece as he is such a special cat. A rescue cat, half British Blue, half Persian we adopted him and his sister Sybil from the Celia Hammond Cat Society 13 and a half years ago. He chose us or really if I am honest he chose my Husband. I was off pursuing the perfect grey and like life perfection is only fleeting and the grey Sybil was not to be with us for long. The little chocolate brown purring fur ball has proved to be the sweetest, loyalist, softest cat we have had. This week we found that he has cancer, a gruelling 2 hours at the vet's on Monday night, blood tests and x-rays and rivers of tears later we brought him home. We had to decide do we go for surgery with the knowledge that his age was against him? So second opinion on Wednesday, no surgery but treatment for arthritis has now begun. Whilst this boy can still eat, drink and purr he will be with us. Any cat that can kiss on skype to my son at uni is always welcome under the Christmas tree and we need him to be here for when Oliver returns home. Each day is a bonus.
Our Christmas presents are memory, togetherness and health. They cannot be bought in a shop. But aspects of them can be made with love and given with honesty.