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.


marigold jam said...

Lovely post - it is always good to be think of those for whom Christmas is a reminder of sad times in the past as well as happy times now and in the future. How lovely that your family will be with you this year and the little one will be big enough to appreciate all the glittery things. Hope your Christmas is a peaceful and happy one.

Elephant's Child said...

Bling and sparkle can help - particularly if shared with someone who genuinely loves it.
I will be on the phones on Boxing Day, so am well aware just how difficult this season is for many of us.
I hope your Christmas is full of magic and love.

Relatively Retiring said...

Marigold: thank you for your comments. Peaceful and happy times to you, with many more glorious coastal walks next year.

E.C. I also spent many hours manning phones at Christmas, New Year and Valentine's days, as well as so many other times of particular stress and heartache. Magical, compassionate Christmas to you.

Zhoen said...

What an elegant wee tree.

I've worked many a holiday, but somehow I need the twinkly lights even more, especially when it feels too much bother. So we call it the holiday whatever days we have together sometime from 21 December to 6 January. Or make it up out of a few hours here and there.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen: glad you like the little tree. Last year made me realise how flexible the timing of the celebrations can be. We celebrated an English Christmas, then a Russian New Year when the gifts are distributed, then a Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 6th.
Happy, peaceful time to all four of you, whenever you are together.

Jenny Woolf said...

Enjoy your sparkly Christmas, and have a bright, joyful and happy New Year too!

mm said...

And a Happy Christmas to you RR!

Isabelle said...

What a poignant and yet happy post. Happy Christmas season to you and yours.

Lucy said...

Late to wish you a happy Christmas, though perhaps not a happy New Year. Thanks for your comment at mine, I don't know why I've not been ehre before as I always enjoy your comments at the others'.

I thought you were using Kazakhstan as an example of the most far-flung and exotic place imaginable! My nephew was there quite a long time ago now, at least ten years, and I forget who he was working for then. He and his wife, a French nurse, have worked as UN volunteers, for MSF, and currently for the International Red Cross. He's been in Burma, Outer Mongolia and who knows where else in his life doing all kinds adventurous and hazardous things, then recently had to be shipped out of Tibet having quite seriously injured his back slipping on a rug in his office! But he's on his way back now, it seems. I'm sure my sister probably misses him but she's never made much fuss about empty nests. She mostly seems to welcome his postings as an opportunities for exotic travel!

I hope your grand-daughter continues to thrive; I don't know if this is at all relevant, but one of my husband's grand-daughters had kidney cancer when she was just a tot. It was shocking and upsetting at the time but now, at eight, she remains the feisty, lively little red-headed bombshell she always was, with very little memory of it. They didn't really explain it to her too much - her mum says she's a bit of a drama queen at the best of times so better to keep it low-key, and now all is well with her.

Relatively Retiring said...

Isabelle: belated thanks for your good wishes> It all seems a long time ago, doesn't it? Weeks of preparation and then it's over in a flash.

Lucy: many thanks for your most interesting comment. There's considerable irony about these bold adventurers who then fall over in the office! I try to think of the far-flung son as a great travel opportunity, too. If only there wasn't so much expense and hassle over visas.
Thank you especially for your comments about your step-grand-daughter, and I hope she continues to be a feisty bomb-shell. Good for her!