I have a stack of boxes in my wardrobe that contain hundreds of christmas decorations. This year they’ve stayed unopened, and instead the decorations that adorn our home are few, but their effect and our appreciation of them, I think, has been heightened. There’s no traditional christmas tree, no tinsel, no lights….and I love it!

I know that Christmas traditions like decorating the tree and putting up lights together can be fun and bring people together, and I think if it brings joy to one’s family you should do it. But I also think it’s fun to invent new traditions or ways of doing things at this time of year – like last year when we hung decorations off pieces of driftwood found on the beach and then placed in a vase.

We used to have a reasonably set way of ‘doing’ christmas – but a christmas spent at the bedside of a dying loved one changed things for me. Christmas came and went that year without traditions, and to be honest I didn’t miss them. I missed the person I loved. So now christmas is more about giving thanks for being able to share it with friends and family still our life, and remembering those who have gifted us with their love in the past.

Our christmas tree - comes already decorated, easy to store - so simple!

Our home reflects that this year I think – there’s room to admire the precious christmassy artworks the boys have made – they stand out rather than competing with shop-bought trinkets. My mother’s handiwork (a christmas flag garland that now frames our windows) is gorgeous, and a visual reminder this month of how much she contributes to our lives…. and I still have that little 1 ft tall fabric christmas tree my grandmother placed on her dresser each year to remind us of happy christmas’ past.

I am grateful to have so much (and without the clutter!).

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