Finally Sunday came around again, we had been counting down as it was going to be Christmas tree day. Off we went back to Columbia Road on the hunt for a tall but not too wide tree. Last year we got a really big one and I think now, there is no going back. Our ceilings are high so even though the sitting room is small, a 12 ft tree looks just right. After walking up and down the market a couple of times, pushing through the crowds, we found the one. Easy! Getting it home was a different matter but nothing that a zip car and a piece of string couldn’t fix.
There is no theme or plan here when it comes to decorating for Christmas. I would never do a different look from year to year, it is all about things being the same as they always have been. I just pile it on, more is more, this is not the time for minimalism. There has to be a lot of decorations on the tree, every branch should have something on it. I say there is no theme but consciously or not, I am definitely emulating the Christmases of my childhood. I was nine years old in 1990 and I feel like that time was the peak of Christmas excitement for me. The movie Home Alone came out that year and the look of the McCallister house sums it up. Classic red and green colours, poinsettias everywhere, big bows on all the candlesticks. My mum had it all, she made the house look magical and now I try to create the same feeling in my own home. Speaking of Home Alone, did you ever notice that the colour scheme is the same in pretty much every single frame? So clever. Have a look next time you watch it and you will notice that there is a bit of red, green and white in nearly every shot. That is why it feels so incredibly Christmassy.
I adore the ritual of taking down the Christmas boxes from the attic and carefully unwrapping each decoration. The ornaments we have are a mixture of new and old, bought and home made. The most treasured ones are inherited from my grandmother and it feels so wonderful to hang them up and think of her. The star at the top was made by little Monty when he was two years old. It is just a piece of sugar paper with tinsel stuck to it but I love it so much. Every year we go to Fortnum and Mason and choose one new decoration each, although I find the selection there seems to get smaller and smaller so we may venture to Liberty this year instead. But that is next weekend. Right now, I am going to sit for a minute in peace and quiet and look at the tree. And just enjoy it.