Every year around the first week of December, my mum goes in to Christmas overdrive. Boxes of decorations are pulled out from the cupboard-under-the-stairs; each one of them carefully labelled so that we know exactly what ornaments are inside. (I get my love of lists from her). The holly wreaths are draped around the banisters and along the front porch. Nativity scenes are set up. Yes, that was in the plural. We literally have one for every room in the house. The larger rooms sometimes have two or three. Only the washrooms are safe; but only until someone has the bright idea to manufacture Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus mini soaps.
And then of course, we have the centre piece of all Christmas activity: THE TREE.
When we lived in Bombay, VBF would come over and help me and my mom decorate the tree. As long as we were in Bombay for Christmas, this was our ritual for about 15 years. When we were packing for our move to Canada, we had to trim back on what we were taking with us. That included the decorations and tree ornaments. It was gut wrenching deciding which ones would go and which would get left behind. Our first Christmas in Canada, we didn't have a tree. We'd only just moved into our own apartment at the beginning of December and there were a lot of expenses. A tree was too much of a luxury that year. My mum and I were in total agreement about that. We decorated the rest of the apartment and settled down to a tree-less Christmas.
Only, we just couldn't do it! A few days before Christmas saw me and my mum dragging the dead branch off the sidewalk all the way back to the apartment and decorating it with all the tinsel and candy canes and ornaments we could find.
And we've never had to compromise on a tree ever again.
This year, my apartment is as un-Christmassy as it gets. Not a bauble or holly leaf or tinsel string in sight; I truly cannot afford to spend on anything that isn't directly related to food or shelter. But, since I'll be in Bombay in just a few days, I don't mind as much as I know that there will be all the Christmas I want waiting for me.
Back at the ranch, my mum began with the decorating last weekend. The little cousins were over to help her out. Together, they put up the tree and then sent along this picture so that I could give it my seal of approval. I think the kids did well, don't you?