My very own Christmas tree

So I’ve missed the boat. It’s now the second day of the new year and I have carried around the ghosts of Christmases past in my head for over a week. Time to get them out.

I still drag out the manger every year , even though bits are gradually disappearing, The shepherds and kings have taken off , and Joseph’s head leans over at an angle as his head has been glued back on in a hurry. I love it because of its inadequacies , but mainly because in its chipped edges and basic premise of baby and parents v

There is a larger, shared Christmas tree in the hallway. However some of the old decorations I have held onto for years do not fit onto the tree.I left the manger underneath the hallway tree decorated by the four cousins, and put the remnants up on my own smaller version of a Christmas tree.

The manger was always the focus of my family Christmas growing up . It was made by a family friend and complete with the baby in his manger, the sheep, the wise men from the East and the shepherds . Plus a couple of angels keeping watch . Sadly only Mary and Joseph and the baby in the manger remain after 60 odd years, and the stable is falling apart. I have added to the onlookers with various farmyard animals from Target or Toy World as my own family grew , and various people and animals have been lost or broken .

My manger has a cat watching now

The interest in the manger though has diminished over the years as children , then grandchildren , have got older and candy sticks and chocolate father Christmases have taken over .

New one next year

The star on top of my tree is a replacement too . The old pop -stick one made by one of the children has fallen apart. But my fairy doll still hangs in , minus an arm. My mother is no longer here to dress her in a new outfit and fix her drooping wings.

She dates from my first Christmas so is antique I guess.

My first Christmas Fairy, mended and refurbished but still around

There are other memory triggering objects on my tree :The porcelain tree made by one of my daughters in primary school, the star signed Matilda ( my granddaughter, for her mother), Jimmy’s star in a basket, another porcelain star that looks like it was made in pre primary by one of my sons , and the dainty elf -like little man/ woman , from an old friend . S/he is the last of the four elves which once smiled at me from the tree.

All the other decorations – stars, angels, a small manger- have been picked up over the years from the Oxfam shop in Fremantle. Sadly missed .

As are the past, magic Christmases with midnight mass, coming back to see the large, REAL Christmas tree with REAL candles flickering and a piece of my mother’s Christmas cake waiting . Then to bed to dream of stockings at the end of our beds . As well as Father Christmas’s visit with our special presents .

Growing up is not all it was cracked up to be .