I can’t wait. I’m one of those people who can’t keep the grin off their faces come Christmas time. I’ve celebrated Christmas all over the globe, and I have fond memories of all of them, indiscriminately.
There were the times when I used to decorate the tree under the watchful eye and witty direction of my grandfather. He always bought candies wrapped in shiny foil, and I loved swamping the poor tree in them. Somehow, they tasted better when ripped off the branches.
Then there’s the time when the man who was to become my husband and I got stuck in a train, in a snowstorm in southern Romania, with just a sandwich each and a bottle of Fanta to share between us. What a magical day that was! The local station master rounded up some kids from the village nearby and brought them along to sing Christmas carols underneath our windows. I was moved to tears. Almost sorry they dug us out of the snowdrift and got the train moving again.
And then in Bishkek (ex Frunze), Kyrgyzstan, when I spent two days searching for Christmas trees, to my driver’s increasing annoyance. Kyrgyz people are Muslim, and the few Christian Russians celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January, so I was way too early, looking for a tree mid-December. And then, at a traffic junction, just as we decided to call it a day and go home, I spotted a huge truck full of trees crossing right to left, right in front of me. Tolik caught my eye and drove like a bat out of hell, cutting across three lanes of traffic and breaking about a dozen traffic rules, hot on the trail of the runaway Christmas tree truck. He honked and flashed lights and shouted out the open window until the truck’s bewildered driver pulled over. Then my awesome, dedicated driver jumped up in the truck, on top of the hundreds of trees, and proceeded to pull them out and stand them up to show them to me, one at a time. I chose quickly… within the first fifty, anyway.
And there’s the time when the wallpaper fell right off the walls in the baby’s nursery, pulling large lumps of plaster and wall off with it. And the Kiev one, when I was holding onto my husband’s waistband as he leaned out of the seventh story window to clear the snow off the satellite dish with a long-handled broom, so the kids could watch the Cartoon Network. And the time when my kids were ill Christmas Eve and were not even aware of the pile of presents under the tree, hidden by just one fluffy blanket, as the poor darlings were being fed medicine and cough syrup in the living room… And the time when we had to take the seats out of the car to fit all the presents in… And the time when we only had hugs and promises we gave each other… And so many others in between.
I loved each and every one of them.
And this one, the first one in Ireland, is going to be special, too. I can feel it in my bones.
We won’t be able to go looking for a tree until Wednesday, but I couldn’t do just nothing, so here’s how some of yesterday and today was spent.
And this is what my living room looks like today. Lovely.
The wreaths are only half done, so you can see those next week. 🙂