December is here and I am relishing the next month of being daft, lighthearted and disengaged. The world has become a strange and unpredictable place, and it is nice to be back in the land of reassuring tradition and nostalgia.
The tree is up – the first tree I have had with the boy, and to see it sitting there, twinkly and full of nonsense, makes everything feel ok.
Its been a tough year for me, as I have written about before, I lost a pregnancy a few years ago, and 2017 seemed to overflow with updates on other people’s pregnancies and births. It never gets easier, that twang of jealousy when another announcement is made, that repeated sadness. 2017 twanged so much I could have released a bluesy country album about it all. You hope to grow immune to it, but you don’t, no matter how happy and thrilled you are for the people celebrating, you miss what you thought you were going to have over and over again.
But that tree, and that boy – they ease things.
Who doesn’t get excited putting up a Christmas tree? I think it may well be one of my top 3 things about being alive. Rummaging about in those wee boxes of treasures, peeling decade old tissue paper from glass baubles, turning them over in your hands, remembering all the years you have done this before and how perfect it is that you only ever see these objects when everything is absolutely OK – or at least has the promise of being absolutely OK.
The dingy dust smell that puffs into the air as you peel away the fluff encrusted, and totally useless, brown tape from the Christmas decoration box, is opium to me. Pulling out each decoration and pleading to hear the story behind it over and over again. How that weird silver face one, with only tiny flecks of paint left to denote eyes and mouth, has been in my dad’s family for “hundreds of years” and how the gold cardboard stars, trimmed with silver tinsel, were made by mum in the 70s as my parents life together started.
This year nostalgia begins anew – a new tree, new ornaments, new funny memories that are just mine and his. I see myself in the future, dragging this same B&Q tree out until it’s last flappy green leaf falls off. Lovingly storing our bizarre array of decorations away – here sleeps the sequinned hotdog, pin-up mermaid, and glittery robot – do not disturb until December 2018 and beyond. And I see, tucked in amongst the blazing lights, all the possibilities for this tree and for us. What faces might be brighten by it in the future? Will this tree and its treasures fill the dreams of wee heads yet to meet us? I hope so, for one day.