I’m a big fan of Christmas cards for a number of reasons. Firstly its nice to have something arrive in the traditional post that isn’t a bill or junk mail. The second is that, especially if you are like me, it’s a chance to send a card that helps remind us all of the reason that Christmas is being celebrated, something that is all too easily forgotten, purposely ignored, or even not known about now-a-days. However I’m going to risk being accused of being a scrooge here by suggesting that having cards “sent” from one’s pets is a step too far. The other way around, especially for loved family pets, especially from younger owners, I can understand. We even bought presents for our dog when I was young. But for me, cards from pets misses the whole point of Christmas and is just a sign of the commercialisation and materialism that dogs (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) Christmas.
A decent number of presents have now been purchased and while there is little chance of any of them being seen before they are wrapped up, I decided to have a mass wrapping session. Gift wrapping seems to be a bit of a dark art. Sometimes I seem to be able to have mastered it, other times I’m wrap as if I was missed out on opposable thumbs! I wish I could say that it was just some of the very odd shaped gifts that cause problems, but even the regular ones seem to leave behind a ball of messed up sticky tape and incorrectly cut paper. I do at least like to think that where I have options, I think carefully about what people will like, and I hope that I have hit the mark again this year. There were certainly a couple of moments of inspiration was I wondered around the shops, especially the ones that are for friends where I have more freedom to choose.
One of the non-Christmas tree decorations that I have is a series of tea-light holders that have a Christmas theme. To go with them, and to create a pleasant scent that accompanies that of a real tree, I have a number of different packs of scented tea lights. I took out one of the ‘Christmas Tree’ scent ones today and by chance it fell out of its metal jacket. I was somewhat surprised to find that the Christmas Tree colour of the candle was only at the very top. Now I appreciate that the colour and the scent are two different things, but it was still a surprise to be present with this. I could be a one off, though I doubt it, but I now wonder whether the scent is in the top half, bottom half, or all of it.
This afternoon was spent getting the tree set up now that it has had 24 hours in the house and the branches have settled. I still found a few leaves in the branches, but its such a dense tree towards the bottom it was difficult to find them all. I have a regular set of decorations that I’ve built up over the years and with the exception of a few more commercial options, they are fairly understated decorations using woods, metals and other such natural materials. Even the more commercial ones are there for a reason to reflect or refract the tree lights. Everything seemed to work quite smoothly putting them up with only a few needing to be rearraged to get a sense of balance and the right visual effect. This is probably about as commercial as I get with Christmas as for me it’s about the celebration in 23 days time and what that represents for the world.
This is the earliest I’ve ever bought a Christmas tree, but with next week being 8th December, I know that a lot of the good trees will have gone and given when it gets dark now, if I hadn’t bought this weekend, I would have had to wait until next week. I have to say that I am totally delighted with the tree this year. Although it can’t be seen from this angle, there is even a part that slightly flatter which will make it idea for going against the wall. There’s a bit of lower branch trimming that I need to do, but other than picking out some wet leaves from the branches as it’s been foul weather, there’s not much that I need to do with it. Once inside it will stay like this for a day to let the branches settle and to get used to the new climate.
Tomorrow is the 1st of December. I haven’t had an advent calendar for a good number of years, instead opting for an advent candle. I like candles anyway, so this seemed like a good option. Normally it’s a much bigger candle that I get, but I was apparently slow in getting to the shops this year and all the chunkier ones were gone. I’ll have to be a lot more careful about not letting it burn down quicker than it should.
This may just look like my dining room table, but this photo signfies a change in a very small way. In itself there is nothing that screams Christmas apart from the fact that the table has moved. However to make way for the Christmas tree, the table has to be moved. It’s nothing major, but it’s a small reminder for me that before long I’ll be celebrating Christmas and all that it entails.