The start of December brings with it a frosty and cold wind. Although autumn still hasn’t left us completely the chill in the air tells us that it won’t be long. The festive season reminds me that I need to get a real Christmas tree this year. We haven’t spent time at home for the past few Christmases and so I never got around to getting one. This year however it looks like Christmas will be spent at home and today seemed like the perfect day to get the tree.
The nearest farm shop has a board advertising Christmas trees and we go there first. It is like those Christmas scenes you see in an American film. The shop owner is trimming a tree base for a customer so that it will fit into a holder. Christmas songs play in the background as we walk around. The only thing missing is the snow. It snowed last Thursday but only for a short while. The tree we are looking for has to be big enough but still fit into the car boot. Lakshmi’s grandparents had a massive tree in their house last year and it was one of the prettiest indoor ones I’ve ever seen. We find one that suits us and fold one of the car seats to fit it into the boot.
By the time we get home, it is time for Lakshmi’s afternoon nap. The old decorations are in the attic where I stored them last. The bags are covered in cobwebs and dust, but everything inside still looks good enough. All the baubles and decorations tell a story. Collected along the years since Kavitha was at primary school, they brought back memories as I took them out. Decorations Kavitha hand made at school, baubles bought on trips abroad, one that my brother gave me, couple of them Kavitha’s granddad gave her etc etc.
I watch some tv as we wait for Lakshmi to wake up. Earlier this year on a summer afternoon, there was some film shooting going on in the square just outside the London hospital I was working in. Everyone was dressed in Victorian clothes and we didn’t know which programme it was for. The BBC period drama I am watching called ‘Howard’s end’ looks like the one that was being filmed. I love these period dramas.
Lakshmi wakes up around five and we put the decorations up. She is more interested in playing with the tree top fairy than helping us. It was Kavitha’s job every year to put the fairy on top of the tree and to turn the lights on once the decorations were completed. I thought she might let Lakshmi do it this year, but it looks like traditions that are built up over the years are hard to break. With our tree up I can now say that the Christmas spirit is well and truly upon us.