Saturday, 22 December 2007

Well, it's up, and it's a big one!

I visited our local Garden Centre in Bungay on Thursday to purchase my tree, only to find that all they had left were three that were lying dumped at the edge of the car park and looking very scruffy. And so a trip further afield was called for, and I travelled 10 miles up towards Norwich to another Centre that lies hidden off the main road. Here there were trees a-plenty, and I choose this wonderful specimin. Perfectly balanced all round, it was just slightly tall, so having got it home I had to chop off the four bottom branches to fit it into its stand, and then take about 8 inches off the top so that my glass "spike" topper would fit. And so it stands in the hall, with two sets of lights and old and new decorations, some I knew as a child, and others I have bought over the years.

This is what tree decorations should do - evoke memories. I can recall unpacking some of them with my mother many (many) years ago. Others came from a friend who was throwing them out. I haven't seen him for 25 years now, but handling the small glass baubles makes me think of the times we spent together. Newer ornaments have been bought in Belgium, and they make me recall the scents, sights and sounds of Brugge in December, with its Christmas market and "warme wijn" stalls. (I still have three boxes of chocolates from my favourite - a cheap - little shop in Brugge that I am keeping for the 12 days of Christmas - as well as a 12-inch chocolate "Black Peter" who is St. Nicholas's helper in Flanders).

So, with two Carol services down and three to go, 2 "normal" Sunday services for Advent 4, and then a Midnight Mass and Christmas morning Eucharist, it's all beginning to gather pace. Sermons are written, and organists primed. And now I've just discovered that I've run out of my home-made marmalade. I shall have to make some this afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. What a splendid tree! You are so right about the importance of decorating as a time for thoughts and memories. It is the same for us. Some ornaments speak of people, others of places we have visited. And others? Well, of times past. Amongst the most precious are the ones which date back to our first Christmas in the USA in 2001. Our big boxes of decorations had not yet been shipped from England, yet we had a tree... Kate, then age four, made a number of coloured paper squares, decorated them and with a ribbon bow we tied them to that tree. They are now priceless and take pride of place at Christmas!