Sunday, December 31, 2017

A New Year's lesson

Some people like to keep their Christmas decorations up for weeks after the event. Not me. The decorations you see in this photo -- in preparation for last week's Christmas guests -- are all gone now. 

Even our favourite part of this Christmas -- our mangy little tree -- is now in the compost. We called it Spelacchio, Italian for "baldy" or "mangy," the name given to the sad specimen of a tree that went up in Rome's central square this year. It caused quite a stir because it began losing its needles immediately. The Italians, who have a certain style, weren't impressed.
To replace the red Christmas tulips, which are now decorating the compost heap, I brought home this bouquet. The colours sang of spring.

The mangy little Christmas tree, the mantelpiece greenery, the bird and the bear on their respective little perches, the red-haloed lights – gone, all gone. Even the last of the Christmas edibles has been tossed or frozen.

I’m not a particularly prompt or meticulous housekeeper, and the Christmas trappings had only been around for a week, so I was wondering why it felt so urgent to get the house aright for Jan. 1. Then I remembered mom’s preparations for the new year when I was growing up. The house would be cleaned, we’d have baths before going to bed (no small effort in a plumbing-free house in the dead of a prairie winter), and we’d all put on fresh pyjamas.

New year; fresh clean start.  Six decades later, the lesson lingers.

Tree boughs with red balls and other decorations gave the living room a festive air a week ago.

This is one of my favourite decorations -- a seagull on some pilings, with a net to one side, a rope on the other, and a couple of tiny seashells. It tends to get hidden when put on a tree, but its intricate details -- mostly of "real" materials, intrigue me. I pack it away carefully.

Another favourite: a little bear sits on a child's wooden block with a drum. I got several of these beautifully made decorations at a craft fair many years ago.

This is my friend Linda's little knitted figure from last year; I thought the colours and shapes worked perfectly with a Christmas card from my Auntie Eve in Montreal. I will keep the card so I can pair the two up every year.

Another decoration from the craft fair. I think I have a thing about birds -- I notice they show up in my decorations a lot.

And, two more. The doll is made of some paper-like material, and the bear is of felt. Not a lot of plastics went into these figurines.

Another look at my spring bouquet. After a month of red and green, I'm ready for a change.

1 comment:

  1. I love your decorations and so glad I at least got to see them in your photos! I got a real laugh out of the spindly tree. Up until the early sixties, my Dad always cut a tree down from Central Park (yes, really, and only stopped when they started to fine people). When the tree was home it sometimes didn't look so good and he was sent back for another one. I remember one year we tied two together. Loads of tinsel made up for a lot of defects.