Sunday, 21 December 2014

Aah, it’s Christmas – Seasonal Ramblings from Pauline Chandler


  







It’s an odd thing that we change so much as we grow older. Odd, but exciting. It’s not just our bodies and faces that change, it’s our opinions, too, isn’t it? And our habits, long ingrained, that give way to new ones. Even if you never move house, if you stay in the place where you were born for the whole of your life, you change. Life is movement. Families alter, like the patterns in a kaleidoscope. Our children leave home, make their own families, change the pattern, yet we stay bound together, the colours repeating themselves in different ways.



Years ago when my boys were young, I drove myself mad at Christmas, crossing every t,  dotting every i, ticking every box, following like a brainless sheep – baaaa! - every idea thrown at me from tv or magazines, to create the perfect day.

c. telegraph.co.uk
There had to be masses of presents, mostly useless but good for a giggle. 

There had to be a full English breakfast, a three course turkey dinner, a buffet tea. Meals must be served on an artistically decorated table. There must be a door wreath, a welcome bough, a blazing hearth draped with greenery, and twinkling lights, hundreds, everywhere! And cards! And hats! And ..and ..and.. Phew! I was a big mummy spider, frantically weaving my Christmas web.

It’s taken a while, some years, my later years, for me to change and see what it's really all about. It's not about frantic, is it? It’s about peace.

File:A Winter landscape of Parracombe - geograph.org.uk - 221642.jpg
c.geograph.org.uk

Why didn’t I know this? I did know, of course, it’s in every carol we sing, but I didn’t know it, not really, in head and heart. 

It’s not about spending money on people, is it? It’s about spending time on them, with them if possible, but certainly on them, with a phone call, a text, a card or a letter. Connecting.

Or not connecting, if that’s what you need. Time to yourself, a gift of calm, time to think, to reflect, take stock, fill the tank again.  However you spend it, Christmas is completely different from normal life, isn’t it? It’s time out, in a different place. I love that.

Let me tell you about my Christmas tree, the heart of my home for the holidays. 

It’s a real tree, a beautiful fir tree, dressed with our family collection of decorations, our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, part of our history. Some are in loving memory, some brand new, some from my childhood, some for my sons and my grandchildren. 

Cornish Teddy
 
Grandma Dorothy's Santa
                                                                   
Peter's turtle
Magie's angel



There's a Californian one for Si, a guitar for Matt and a lucky black cat for Ben, a humming bird for Phoe and a new silver one for Lucas. For B there's a London one and for me, there are owls, stars and snowflakes, and a menagerie of animals, sheltering.



Every morning as I come downstairs, I smell the tree. It fills the room with its warm pine scent and makes me feel safe and complete. Happy.

So, no frantic. Just peace. 

Wishing you a calm, peaceful time and all love to you and yours this Christmas!

Pauline x

         











9 comments:

Susan Price said...

Lovely post, Pauline. My tree, too, is hung with old decorations - sometimes very odd ones, like 'sputnik' and a three-legged glittery giraffe. They all hold memories. I wouldn't have one of those stylish, fashionable trees for worlds.
Happy Christmas!

Sandra Horn said...

Thank you, Pauline - wonderful post for Christmas!

Lydia Bennet said...

Lovely post Pauline, I too have a real tree, hung with baubles and decos from my childhood, my early first marriage, from places I've been - and things the children made from bog rolls and foil. I love Christmas, but it's odd how it seems to come round so quickly now, it's hardly worth putting them back in the attic before getting them out again! As a child Christmas night was a bit sad because it seemed such a very long time till next year!

Penny Dolan said...

A lovely post as I'm decorating my tree today. Have a happy and peaceful Christmas, Pauline, and good wishes to everyone at Authors Electric.

AliB said...

Very well said, Pauline. so easy to get caught up in the rush and forget that what we all need at this time of year is re-creation.
Ali B

Pauline Chandler said...

Thanks for nice comments. So lovely to think of us all having memory trees! X

Katherine Roberts said...

The tree thing is interesting. I mine out this year and put on a new set of white lights since the old coloured ones were playing up. The tree is white, so I added my silver baubles and then stopped. I suddenly have no desire to put on all the usual coloured tinsel and decorations. My Christmas this year is ice-cold and silver to match the sofa. It feels light. I've ditched all the history. Is this a bad sign or a good?

Katherine Roberts said...

'got mine out'... wish you could edit Blogger posts!

Pauline Chandler said...

Each tree to his own, Katherine. Ditching the history can be cleansing! Your silver tree sounds lovely,. Are there unicorns? I think there might be!