Something about Christmas appealed deeply to both myself and Liane. The generosity of it, the focus on the family, the warmth of fires after long walks, hot toddies in hand and surrounded by friends. Even just the simplicity of holiday time spent together, away from work and normal weekly pressures. It was always a time we really enjoyed.
We lived in a cold house where watching TV happened wrapped up in blankets, curled around each other with the fire feeding us its warmth. From mid-December there was a dressed up tree in the corner and tinsel on all the framed photos. We collected Christmas decorations accidentally, almost apologetically. Liane hated clutter - unnecessary objects lying around around the place were not allowed - but at Christmas there was leeway, and together we picked up wooden toys, handknit finger puppets, cute baubles and other bits and pieces to share around the house.
I'm not sure what to do with all that stuff this year. Do I get a tree? Do I start afresh? Do I wallow in all our collected memories? What will it be like to come downstairs and turn on the lights like I used to before her shower in the mornings? Will there be a night of mulled wine driven fun this year? Will my friends find it weird without her? What will Christmas Day be like in her aunties house and after dinner with my folks?
I watched that LIDL ad from last year in the cinema yesterday. The one where they bring the granddad up to his old house and surprise him with it all done up and full of relatives. It's corny and it made me collapse into tears. He glances across to an empty seat at the table, his eyes sad, and it made me think of everything Liane has missed and will miss.
I'm 5/6 weeks weeks out and crying at ads in the cinema. I imagine I'll return to this topic.
Here comes Christmas indeed...