'TIS THE SEASON

I LOVE picking up all the gift guides and Christmas edition magazines that come out this time of year. I know Christmas is weeks away when...



I LOVE picking up all the gift guides and Christmas edition magazines that come out this time of year. I know Christmas is weeks away when the Gleebooks catalogue comes out.

I’m not ready for Christmas. I drool over the beautiful spreads in the Christmas edition mags and know my own expectations for what my family used to call the "Vogue Living" Christmas can never be. We used to scoff at my mother’s attempts to make the house festive. She did a beautiful job. Each September I tell myself this year will be different and by mid October I know my Christmas will be the same as the last. I know, I know ... it’s all about being with family and friends but, if I’m honest, the past few years have been hard and friends have dropped away – despite my efforts to fit everyone in and divide attentions across competing demands. And, in a blended family, Christmases can be a tense and uneasy time.

We do have our traditions though. The santa sacks in the background were made when the children were little and every year I give them each a different Christmas decoration. The collection has become quite grand and I love to see them all glittering on the tree. This year's are bell-shaped ceramic Christmas motifs. An angel (x2), santa (x2) and a snowman.

The tree goes up in the first weekend of December and we gather all together for a pre-Christmas spread. It’s a quasi Christmas free of guilt about who’s not there, or who should be. That first weekend in December is really, for us, the Christmas I read of in glossy magazines.

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