Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Greetings.

Here you are, Zhoen, you've shown us yours, so I'll show you mine.

A little tree, for Little E, so it has to be unbreakable, uneatable and  mostly unreachable. There's another, much bigger version in the hall with lots of bling and flashing lights and decorations old and even older. Things made more than thirty years ago at playgroups, and things from Little E's Great-Great Grandmama. All the traditions in one fell swoop. The coming of new light in the form of Grand-daughter, and light from the memories of time and people long past.
The year has turned. It is the time for candles in the darkness, and peace at the end of a difficult period.

I haven't had the decorations out for what feels like a very long time.
Last year I had four Christmas and New Year celebrations in different parts of the world, and the year before that my son and daughter-in-law hosted the whole event. In previous years it was a time marked by sadness after my husband's accident on Christmas Eve, and for many years prior to that things were very tricky at Christmas. They always are when you live in a churchyard.
My husband worked in the church, and on Christmas Eve he usually worked right through the night, finally emerging from the vestry in time for Christmas dinner and wanting nothing but a hot bath and a long sleep.

Spare a thought for those who work at Christmas, in whatever capacity.

But this year........well, Grand-daughter likes a bit of bling and sparkle and she shall have it!
So will the rest of us.
And so may you all have sparkle and joy in whatever form you need.

A very Happy Christmas to you all.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Letter to a Grand-Daughter now she is One (and a bit)

Dear Small Grand-daughter,

There is no need for you to know about the disconcerting things that have happened to you recently. You can relax, safe in the knowledge that you have been protected and loved and cared for with immense skill.
(But I, your very concerned Grand-mother, have been unable to write this blog, nor write anything else, nor concentrate very well on anything else for the past weeks.)
And you, oblivious, have carried us all along with your cheerfulness, your joy in life, your enthusiasm for fun and your increasing ability to create it, your enjoyment of music and soft toys and whacking things with a mallet, and your interest in other people.

You are such great company these days, finding everything fascinating, needing to comment on everything you see and do.Your favourite word is 'Daddy', and every sight of  him is something wonderful. How clever your mother is, to ensure that it's Daddy who is shouted for in the night (and how clever of your Daddy to not always wake up, no matter how loud the shout).

It's been a tough time for the many people who know you and love you, but hopefully we can all move on and look forward to your first fully-aware Christmas. I know you were here last year, but you were a little bundle with a big voice, needing mainly your mother who was meeting almost all your needs, leaving the rest of us as admiring and devoted spectators.
This year you will know the lights and the colours and the smells and tastes. You will know the thrill of tearing off wrapping paper and finding treasure inside, of glittering decorations and flickering candles. We will be infected by your joy, seeing things afresh through your eyes, for you bring new life and hope to us all.

Happy, happy Christmas, Little One,
and profound and grateful thanks to the skilled people here.
With love from Grandma.