Typewriters to Tech – Life in the slower lane

Well, it’s December now so I’m allowed to mention the C-word, right? (No, not THAT C-word… Christmas!)

I always set aside an afternoon and evening to decorate my home for Christmas. Christmas CD out, reindeer antlers on, big tin of Quality Street to keep my energy levels up…

I’d love to have a real Christmas tree, and go the whole hog and choose my own, but sadly they make me sneeze. And I might be living half the good life, but I still hate housework. So I choose an artificial tree over all that extra hoovering to get rid of the needles.

The tree itself is an heirloom from my parents – a few years ago they moved to a flat with 14-foot ceilings and suddenly the little 4 foot tree seemed a bit lost. So it came to live with me and they got a bigger one.

Then there are the decorations. Such a bone of contention, it seems – and such an overwhelming selection to choose from in the shops every year. I know people who change their colour scheme every year, and people who have five or six trees in their house, all with their own scheme. I know people who throw out their Christmas decorations each year in favour of the latest trend.

Needless to say, my tree is not particularly well-organised, but instead as chaotically beautiful as the rest of my life. I receive an ornament as a gift from Mum and Dad every year, usually entirely unconnected with anything else on the tree. I have glass sweets, a cowboy Santa, clip-on faery mushrooms, angels, reindeer, rocking horses and all sorts of other wonders.

These are interspersed with decorations I’ve made, odd ones I’ve fallen in love with while out doing Christmas shopping, ones that have been given to me and ones I have stolen from Mum’s box of family decorations. (I have also been known to pop round for dinner and sneakily lift a few of my childhood favourites from their tree for my own… but I always give them back in January!)

There is no rhyme nor reason to my colour scheme (pfft, what colour scheme?!)… except for a very few turquoise, purple and pink glitter baubles that I bought in the sale a few years ago because they were so sparkly I quite literally couldn’t help myself.

I made a wreath out of some of them

*See Above Picture*

and have used the others to add some festive sparkle to my tree.

But my Christmas decorations tell stories, all of them. Each one has a history, a memory, a tale to tell – and I delight, in the festive months, in having people over for drinks (cold wine, straight from the fridge – mulled is far too much faff) and watching as they gravitate towards the tree and start asking where each one came from.

Some are obvious – the Disney one I bought on my 21st birthday, the cowboy boot from my spiritual home of Fort Worth, Texas… and some less so, like the Winnie-the-Pooh that Mum found for me in a charity shop one year before I had my own tree to decorate.

And of course the edible decorations. Most years I’ve made gingerbread biscuits to hang, or had Cadbury’s chocolates, because there’s nothing nicer than having your guests select their after-dinner treat from the Christmas tree.

My cats Luna and Clover, despite thoroughly trashing two trees last year in their kittenhood, have been so far remarkably un-bothered by this year’s tree. Perhaps it’s the addition of their custom-painted portraits, hanging in the upper branches, that did the trick?

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