Today my wonderful sister in law Deb and I took down all the Christmas Decorations at mums house. It will be the last Christmas that they adorn her tree or the walls of the family home. No more will the lights twinkle in the window to welcome me as I pull up outside, or the sounds of silent night great me as I open the glass door.
I shed silent tears as we removed the ornaments from the tree, each one bought with love and put them into one of two boxes, one for me and one for my brother. My box holds the threadbare white teddies that I remember from my childhood and the cross stitch stocking that I made as a young child. The stocking is filled with chocolate coins that are over 30 years old and we had a chuckle at the fact my niece has attempted to eat one the week before, to my mums horror. I have brought home the angel that was proudly displayed at the top of mums tree.
It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done and I wish I had a house large enough to take all the ornaments and decorations home with me, but that just wouldn’t be practical. Neither myself of my sister in law could bear to throw anything away, instead we have decided to give a bag full to charity and then divide the rest between us and also use some of them in the social club next year.
The boys at Grandma’s 2009
The tree decided that this too would be it’s last year in the house and the tears rolled down my face as I placed it next to the bin. Somehow it seemed fitting that is wasn’t going to light up anymore Christmases.
I have brought home the cushion covers that I always found tacky but the boys adore, the light up train and the porcelain father Christmas of my childhood. With me too are the decorations I collected for mum, a tree from Boston and a beaded decoration from South Africa. Christmas 2011 they will join my ornaments on my tree and I will tell the boys the story of each and every one of them. I will tell them they reawakened Grandma’s love of Christmas and how she was so much looking forward to watching them open the presents she bought them. I will make sure that they know how much she loved them.
Today I accepted that the family home had its last Christmas and over the coming month or so, it will stop being a home and gradually and painfully as we start to remove and clear it of mums belongings it will return to just a house. Home is where the heart is and at the moment mine and my brothers hearts are torn in two and we are going to take some time to let then heal, without expectations and without pressure.