Pining for the West

Christmas | December 15, 2009

Well, I suppose I had to give in sometime but I can’t say that I feel at all festive. Obviously I’ll have to put some effort into it. In years past I’ve gone down the road of the big traditional Victorian tree and I’ve even made the oranges studded with cloves, in fact I’ve still got some of them in my wardrobe. I think that it is easier to get into the spirit of it all when you have small children.

Do not be thinking that we had wee boys who were writing letters to Santa or any of that nonsense. As I was the youngest in my family I was teeny when I found out from my teenage brothers and sisters that there was no such person as Santa. I can still remember what a complete idiot I felt, even although I was probably only about 3 years old. I even remember thinking that I would never tell such a lie to a child and I stuck by that when I had children of my own. I just told them that Santa had lived a long time ago, but he was dead now and people just gave each other presents to remember him and to cheer ourselves up in the dark, cold winter.

I was really proud of them when they came home from nursery school and told me that they had had to explain to the other children that Santa was dead. As you can imagine, I was very popular with the other mums, ho ho ho , by their looks I think they could have strung me up. I just smiled angelically at them.

Anyway, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a good time and to get myself into the Christmas spirit I sometimes resort to reading a very slim volume by Charles Dickens called A Christmas Tree. I’m not really into Dickens but I must admit he does do Christmas very well.

It begins with a description of a Victorian Christmas starting with the tree which is laden with all sorts of goodies, many of them made in Wolverhampton! For some reason Dickens seemed to link Christmas with ghosts and they feature in this wee book too.

It reminds me that I always used to buy chocolate watch decorations for our real tree and chocolate soldiers too but I haven’t been able to get them in the shops for the past few years now.

Being me, I’m swithering about getting a real tree or not this year. We usually put one in the sitting-room, which is hardly ever used now that we don’t have boys practising on the pianos in there. Yes that was supposed to be plural, one upright and one inherited boudoir grand, how are we ever going to downsize?

It seems a waste of a living tree really, but I suppose that is what they are grown for. Also I’m mad with myself for swithering over keeping the real fire or getting a fake gas one and opting for the gas one, as there is nothing like a real fire for mesmerising comfort during the winter. Too late, it’s gas now.

So in the next few days I’ll be giving in and joining all my neighbours who started the decorating lark far too early. Watch out for the photographs, hopefully they wont be too tacky.


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