The end of the working year has finally come to an end, and the last leaf has been cleared away. The gardens have been put to sleep for a month, and the festivities can at last begin in earnest.
The tree came into the house a few days before it was decorated, and when the time came to bring down the baubles and lights, Hobie offered some help.
I read recently on John's blog 'Going Gently', about various traditions that people have at this time of year. One of ours, and perhaps the most important, is the finding of a new bauble or two. Virtually every bauble on the tree is unique, and represents a particular time in our lives, both before we met, and during the years since.
The 'Angel' on the top belonged to my father, and sat on his tree in his final days. An unusual figure in a blonde, western faced sort of way, with wings somewhat streamlined for fast flight, she nonetheless holds very fond memories.
We picked these two many years ago in Rothenburg ob der Tober. We stayed there for a few days with my step mother after my father had passed away. The town had been taken over by medieval soldiers who were encamped in the main square. It was a particularly special and happy time.
This little fairy belongs to Celia. She is only a couple of inches tall, a bit moth eaten, but has a place as usual.
Amanda lived in Edinburgh for a while, and this long purple bauble would be on her tree there.
This carved wooden bell was sent to me by my German relatives in Stuttgart.
And lastly, this is our latest. A china bell from St. Pauls Cathedral during a trip to London last weekend.
The house is now officially ready for Christmas, and as we wait for the family to arrive in a few hours time, let me take you on a very short tour of our house at midday.
May you all have a most peaceful and blessed Christmas.