Christmas is my favourite time for making memories. Like a child, I await Christmas with the expectation that something magical will happen during this season. And it is with a child’s same sense of excitement that I open up the boxes in which we store our Christmas decorations. I know that many people decorate their tree around a theme or around a certain colour scheme: red and gold; silver and blue; pick and purple … But our tree is a little bit different. Perhaps you can call it a celebration in diversity. All our ornaments are hand-picked. They are there for a reason. Either because they are totally wacky and unexpected, or because they evoke precious memories of events, people or places.
Mementoes from our travels bring with them memories of the sluggish canal waters on a hot summer’s day; of gently falling snow-flakes at the Schonnbrun Christmas market; of the wild-life and sweeping vistas at Rocky Mountain National Park.
There are fragments of our life: our first Christmas together, a token from our wedding and that most precious Christmas, in 2006, which was our son’s first.
A sweet memento of a much-loved cat (who had heaps of cattitude) whose cheeky face is still greatly misssed.
There’s a little bit of each of us on the tree. My husband’s native city, his beloved baseball team and his passion for electric guitars. There’s a mouse for the Mischief Maker (in honour of his favourite soft toy) and a cute little baby dinosaur – because which little boy doesn’t like dinosaurs? And, of course, there are little pieces of me – angels and teddy-bears and hand-made gifts from friends.
And perhaps the most poignant memory of all, the oldest ornament on the tree, a little pink angel that used to hang on my mother’s tree and on my Nanna’s tree before that. If only it could talk, what wonderful stories it would tell.
Ten memories, a hundred memories, strung around the tree, like a garland of pearls. Little ornaments with heart-warming tales to share. So I’ll pull up an arm-chair, sip some mulled wine and wait for their whispered secrets to fill the pine-scented air.
That’s when it’s time to let the magic of Christmases past wash over me and work within me. Treasured moments that will remain with me forever.
May you all make wonderful memories this Christmas season.