Christmas has always been part of my life. My earliest memories were in Kilmarnock when we lived near the railway and my brother and I thought that the train noise was definitely Santa & Co. They never disappointed and my favourite gift in those days was a set of drawing pencils with my name engraved in “gold” lettering.
Christmas Day we went to my paternal Grandpa and Grandma and got together with all the cousins, more presents and the piece de resistance for those early postwar years, roast chicken.
Every Christmas since then has its own special memory, some good, some sad and not so good, but it’s a constant that’s run through my life.
My favourite times at Christmas now are the preparations, buying presents, decorating the tree with ornaments, each one with its own memory and covered with the tinsel that Jilly and I bought on a mum-daughter weekend to London (was it Habitat or Liberty’s ??). Now the glitter star from the top is in Philadelphia with its creator (from playgroup days) and there are a few in storage to pass on to younger son when he “settles down”. My favourites are the ones I collected in Sweden at the Julmarknad in Gamla Stan on clear cold Sundays with the smell of braziers and the sound of church bells everywhere.
I also like the promise that Christmas represents that there be hope and peace in the world, not just for one night but anytime we ask for them and work consciously towards bringing them into our own lives so that we can reflect the promise where it is needed most.
Old friends and new are a part of Christmas that I love, getting acquainted and sharing the fun that only Christmas can bring.
For us here in Scotland Christmas falls near the Solstice and the dark time is nearly at an end, showing that we are strong and patient and looking forward to watching the Earth come to life around us again, bringing us back to life with it. We are so lucky.
I wish the very best of celebrations to you and yours, wherever you are and trust the 2014 will bring you what you desire most.