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.
Your Comments Your dear Mum obviously loved Christmas as much as you do and you will now have all those precious ornaments that you and your boys can treasure. Each Christmas they will be a reminder of the love and all the the Christmases past that you shared together.
Your post made me think that my mother in law had some very dated tree decorations but they hold memories for my husband and boys, they didn’t come out the last 2 years as she has passed on but I have decided to ask grandad if the grandchildren can have them so we can do as you do and treasure them and the memories of her Christmasses they will bring. Thanks for a lovely thought on something that can be important for our children.
Have been thinking about you all week, Jen. All these lovely memories will make you cry at the moment but will be a source of great comfort and make you smile in the future x
Oh Jen, that is so poignant. I don’t have those memories as my dad threw all the family decorations away when my brother died. He never even put a card up at Christmas after that. We’re concentrating on making new memories now.xxx
Have been thinking about you this week too. Hope you’re all holding up. xx
Have been thinking about you this week too – I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you. I hope your family, and all your happy memories of your Mum are bringing you comfort xx
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Christmas is such a painful time for many, many people. You have so many lovely memories though XXX
The family home will be no more but the stories you pass on to your children prompted by the little things you bring home, the decorations, the cushion covers, the pots and pans will gain immortality. My Gradnfather used to say to me “You are my immortality, through you I will never die.” I didn’t understand it then, I hope I do now. My thoughts and prayers for you all.
This post brought tears to my eyes, so beautifully written Jen. It’s good that you can come away with some positives after what must have been a very hard job to do. Take care and thinking of you all xxx
Your Comments Oh petal….my heart aches for you. Time will really heal but it’s very painful all the same. I’m so sorry that it was so sudden. It’s probably easier on the loved one but so difficult for us who are left reeling in shock and grief.
So sad to read your news. Thinking of you and your family and sending you a big hug. Laura x
My daughter wanted the cushion covers too when we had to clear the family home – they are still on her bed here ten years later.
And I cried this year as I put some of MY mum’s decorations on our tree.
Big hugs to you all xx
have been thinking of you taking down your mum’s decorations. My mum gave up with Christmas decorations 18 years ago when my dad died. We had many Christmas treasures going back to when I was really small. I don’t know if mum kept them though. She is a great one for throwing away anything not considered useful. Unlike me who keeps everything.
I am sure your boys will treasure the decorations from Grandma’s tree.
Sending you all a hug xx
Oh love, I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I’d be exactly the same and your boys will treasure those decorations from your Mum’s tree. Much love and thinking of you xx
I am so sorry for your loss, there are absolutely no words… xx