Then there was a knock on the door; a large brown box addressed to me - what could it be?
An amazingly soft, squishy, huggable bear. With a card. It is much appreciated for times when unconditional hugs are needed.
|Woolworth bauble from 1977|
The bear cleared out of the tree and kept the cat company while I got on with the rest of the business. It was a pig of a job getting the right combination of lights. Nowadays you have hundreds and hundreds of lights in the tree - I think our first Christmas tree, back in 1977, came from Woolworths. It was an artificial one, but did its level best to mimic the real thing, including shedding most of its "needles" by New Year. I carefully chose about 8 baubles, half a dozen bits of tinsel, and a short string of maybe a dozen lights. We've still got the baubles; tarnished, blotchy, but a reminder of those first few years.
So far I have done the lights (two long, long strings), tinsel (scores of pieces, all different lengths, laid along each branch to suggest snow and ice) and the baubles (ONLY red and silver - and gold; that seems to have crept onto the tree over the years ). The rules for the Decoration of The Tree were laid down by my mother. Only white lights, only red and silver decorations, and NEVER garland the tree with tinsel!
Don't kid yourself, Mr Bear. The tree isn't finished yet. Every branch has to have three-five individual strands of lametta draped over the tip. That will have to wait for tomorrow night. I think we might move the Canadian disco light to somewhere else. Liven up the smallest room, maybe?
Every year, decorating the tree brings back memories of all the different trees, different Christmases, in different houses, in different countries...
Oh Tea. Sumptious Sencha. I took a brew to work in a flask to save the lives of the children I was teaching this morning. It worked - they were all still smiling when I left.