In 2011 my brother and his partner celebrated Christmas with us. We also enjoyed hosting the partners’ friends who are a young married couple. As the different cultures melded stories of festive traditions emerged and brought many good memories of childhood.
Someone would disappear to wrap another gift and return to place it under the tree, then another would slope away to do secret Christmas business behind closed doors. “I need more sticky tape.” “You can’t wrap those presents in the same paper.” “There’s no label on this parcel, who is it for and from?” “I don’t know, I thought you wrapped it.” The stash under the Christmas tree seemed to grow by the minute and we wondered who else might be joining us for we were all going to be hugely spoiled if they were just for us. Someone picked up, squeezed and rattled one of the gifts with their name on it and before long we were all rattling and listening as gifts crinkled in the paper. “Don’t squeeze it’ll break.” “This feels like a book.” “I think this is smellies.” We were transported to childhood again all that was missing were our parents, the stuffed Christmas stockings and Santa’s Coke and cookies.
Last year my daughter and her 21 month old son spent the festive month of December with us. It was a much smaller Christmas with a completely different focus. While my husband, daughter and I enjoyed each other’s company it was our grandson who was the centrepiece of our day. What a blessing to be able to see our daughter’s face so intent with excitement as her little boy opened gifts she’d thoughtfully gathered. Precious moments that will be a lasting memory.
This year Christmas will be different yet again. The MOTH (man of the house) and I will be away with our camper trailer and spending the week at the beach. It feels kinda solitary to be heading away camping but we’re excited nonetheless. It’ll be a more with less Christmas. Gifts for family and friends were despatched early to meet overseas posting deadlines and we’re doing small ‘needs’ gifts for each other. Our Christmas tree for 2013 is perfect for NaBloPoMo’s December theme of more or less. At the moment it sits on our corner unit in the dining room along with various home bits and pieces but we’ll find that special place on our camp table where it will take pride of place on Christmas Day. It’s a Christmas tree with less fanfare than the six foot tree of Christmases past but it will have as much significance.