Well, Christmas is here upon us again, taking us by surprise that we haven’t had time to do the shopping or write the cards. It’s not like we’ve known for a year, or anything. I decided to have more minimalist decorations this year, but found myself still putting out my little toy shop display – mostly collected on my world travels and giving me a lovely wave of nostalgia as I remembered skiing in Finnish Lapland, Macy’s in New York at Christmas-time… Then the decorations just found themselves on the tree – maybe slightly fewer this year, but by no means minimalist. Though the colour scheme this year is only gold. (Yes, I have a different theme every year. I know…) My favourite hand-made Christmas cards from over the years now framed to display every year found themselves on the windowsill. In fact there are only three trees out this year so that is a reduction. The big one in the hallway, a smaller one in the kitchen, and the one for our guests in the stable – important that they have some welcoming lights and Christmas cheer. So what, in fact, is less this year? Ah yes – outside the stable, I didn’t put out the sledge decked with loads of faux parcels. But only because the dog’s favourite pastime is shredding paper and cardboard, so maybe that doesn’t count as a genuine reduction? I have to face up to it, I love decorating the place for Christmas, and did it even when we knew no guests would see it thanks to a certain covid pandemic. It’s the rituals, the memories, the opportunity to remember friends when sending them a card – alright, I confess I may only think of them once or twice a year, but it keeps those long-established and cherished links.
So – I’ll settle in front of the fire tonight and let the ‘hygge’ envelop me. That will be after my work zoom meeting – must remember to blow on my mug to convince them it’s tea!

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