I intended this post to go up way before Christmas. But me being lazy, its going up now.
Growing up, Christmas has never failed to be exciting for me – the carols, the hymns, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg, making cakes and ginger wine with Mum, going for carol rounds and coming home at some ungodly hour at night, the gift-hunting, the gift-wrapping, celebrating Christmas Eve with the family pretending one of us is Santa giving out the presents and getting kissed multiple times on the cheek in return….oh and the best part ! finding a stocking full of goodies at the foot of your bed on 25th morning – I’m in my 20s, and that still happens…
This post is mainly about our Christmas tree.
In the first week of December, the boxes come out, the tree is put up and I end up entangling myself in tinsel and fairy lights.
Baubles and fairies and stars and Santas go up on the tree.
Each year, we add to that collection, sometimes throwing out stuff that is old and ugly.
Putting up the tree has always been a family activity. Its our little tradition – Dad puts up the tree, straightens it. Then my brother and I put the lights up. It doesn’t matter because Dad redoes that :P. And then all of us wrap the tinsel streamers and put up the ornaments. My favourite is the this angel that goes under the star, I call him Gabriel.
To my dismay, for the past couple of Christmasses, we have become a bunch of lazy fuddy-duddies and fail to make this a family activity.
But this year, while i was putting up my tree, i found these —- our first ever tree ornaments.
I was eight. We weren’t very well off and our tree was a family heirloom passed down from my grandparents to us.
So at Christmas that year, Mum decided to make ornaments to save on the expensive festival.
We gathered old toffee wrappers (toffees that were the imported kinds, given as gifts by generous aunts) and bought some gold paper and glue. Mom cut out the stars and the angels and my brother (only 4 then) stuck em together to make these. Oh also my love for sparkle can be seen on the edges of that star!
Now we have a new tree, new ornaments and God only knows how many times we’ve changed houses. But these paper angels and stars bring back so much, and nothing feels different no more. I’m still eight years old, in a skirt and stockings with a homemade jumper on top, eagerly (and secretly) sifting through the pile of presents, my eyes wavering over present-labels to memorize whats mine so that when ‘Santa’ pulls up a present, i won’t waste time snatching it from him (or her).
Christmas feels like home.
Oh and I still fail to make it to midnight mass.
I remember Dad wanted to throw this ‘memorabilia’ a couple of years ago. But I refused. And I’m glad I did. Now even he feels the same.
And in all these years, believe it or not, we have NEVER found that perfect star to top our tree.
Merry Christmas y’all.