Like most houses, there’s a Christmas tree in the corner of the living room taking up more than its fair share of the room.
I’m more than a little biased but I love my Christmas tree. This year it’s 27 years old.
When the Big Green Gummi Bear and I moved into our first one-bedroomed flat together, I broke the budget and bought the best artificial tree I could find and then blew the budget out the water with a dozen glass baubles, some red and gold strings of beads and a gold star. With the exception of one red glass bauble, that broke a long time ago, these all still adorn that same tree today.
There are so many memories intertwined in that tree’s branches.
Even the cardboard box it lives in, holds some fun memories. Girl Child hid in it one year and Boy Child and I taped her in! I can still hear those squeals and giggles.
Over the years, I’ve added a few extra baubles- some snow globe ones with the kids’ names and the Big Green Gummi Bear’s name on them, one handmade one that Girl Child made in school, one Black Stone Cherry one (don’t tell the Big Green Gummi Bear, he hasn’t spotted it. I need to find an Alter Bridge one….) and one tiny red one that says Jake on it (never could find matching one that said Lori). This year it’s even gained an elf!
I know some folk swear by a real tree but to me that just lasts one Christmas (unless you buy a rooted one in a pot) and then it gets dumped at the recycling centre in early January and the moment’s gone.
I’ve almost half a lifetime of memories around my “antique” tree and each one sparkles and twinkles as brightly as the fairy lights draped round it.
This Christmas will feel different – we’re living in a different world this year – but it’ll still make its own precious memories. The top section of my tree is suffering a little from wear and tear… a bit like the rest of us. But like the rest of us, it’s hanging in there.
Have a wonderful Christmas. I hope Santa is good to you all. But above all, stay safe.
It’s reached that time of year when, despite the restrictions of our Covid infested society, we are dominated by To Do lists as we prepare for the festive season.
I’ve lists of gifts that I’ve bought, gifts to buy, gifts still in transit and food shopping. I’ve also my creative To Do list as I am knee-deep in proofreading and editing Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows.
It’s list city around here!
When I announced the release date for Long Shadows, the 14th February 2021 seemed a very long way off. Now, it seems scarily close and I’ve a million things left on that To Do list! (Ok- slight exaggeration but its still a lengthy list! This book baby still has a bare bum!)
I had hoped to have the pre-order set up before Christmas (it’s on the list) but that’s now looking more likely for early January so please be patient with me. Life’s busy!
While you are impatiently waiting, I thought I’d treat you to a little sneak peek at Jake and Lori’s Christmas Day.
Wrapping paper and ribbons littered the sunroom floor as Jake and Lori sat back watching the kids open their Christmas gifts. From the shrieks of delight, “Santa” had delivered everything on the kids’ wish lists. Almost against Lori’s better judgement, he’d even brought Jesse a drumkit.
“We’re going to live to regret this, aren’t we?” whispered Jake as Jesse begged for it to be set up.
Giggling, Lori nodded then swiftly said, “Jess, it would be better set up down in the basement beside Uncle Paul’s kit. That way he can give you lessons.”
“Yes!” screamed the over excited three-year-old.
“Quick thinking,” said Jake with a grin. “But I’ll leave you to tell Paul about those lessons.”
Once the kids had opened all of their gifts, Jake reached under the tree and retrieved a large flat box and two gift bags.
“Merry Christmas, li’l lady,” he said, kissing Lori on the forehead.
Looking almost as excited as the kids, Lori tore the gold shiny paper from the box.
“Wow!” she gasped. “I guess Santa was listening to me too.”
“What is it?” asked Jesse, coming over to inspect his mother’s gift.
“A new laptop. Just what I need. Thank you!”
“Open the box,” suggested Jake with a knowing smile.
Carefully, Lori opened the box and slipped the sleek laptop from the protective sleeve. Engraved into the surface of the computer was the Silver Lake Celtic knot.
“That’s perfect,” sighed Lori as she ran her fingers over the intricate design. “Seems like a million years ago since I first drew that for you.”
“The first gift you ever gave me,” recalled Jake, feeling a warm wave of nostalgia wash through him.
“Melody,” called out Lori from her seat on the couch. “Can you reach those two blue bags and the flat silver gift, please?”
“Did Santa leave those for Daddy?” quizzed the curious little girl reading the labels.
“Only the blue ones,” replied Lori, trying to think what she’d written on the gift tags. “The silver one is from me.”
Accepting the presents from Melody, Jake opened the silver one first. Inside was a framed drawing.
“That’s….” began Jake, lost for words. “It’s…”
“You like it?” asked Lori shyly. “I thought you needed a proper logo for your solo shows and, who knows, you might even do a solo record one day.”
“I love it, Mz Hyde,” declared Jake, gazing at the detail in the design. It was a gnarled twisted tree and woven into the exposed roots was his name. “It’s awesome,” Jake paused then added, “But who said there would ever be a solo record?”
“Never say never,” giggled Lori.
“I guess,” said Jake quietly, a small voice in his head saying, “You know she’s right, don’t you?”
“Part two of the gift will be revealed when Garrett’s tour starts,” began Lori, resting her hand on her twitching baby bump. “I’ve arranged for that to be your backdrop and for shirts to be made up with that on the front.”
“I don’t know what to say,” said Jake lost for words again. “Thank you doesn’t seem enough.”