It’s taken me years, decades even, to become as sensible as I am now!
You know, understanding what it is you really, really want. Or need. (Obviously, in times of crisis, none of what I am about to say matters in the slightest.)
As soon as I had my own home, I began collecting Christmas ‘stuff.’ It was all quite nice, but at the same time it felt like I was pretending. First I pretended to be some olde time Swede, with embroidered wall hangings. Then I went shopping at House of Fraser, buying gaudy(-ish) baubles for the tree, as though what I already had wasn’t [nice] enough.
Most of the above is gone again, because I simply don’t need it, and certainly not as much of it.
But while I understood my ‘need’ for a Swedish Christmas around me, I didn’t actually understand what made it so.
The first time we went to the Scandinavian church in Liverpool at Christmas time, I realised what I was lacking. It was the poinsettia.
On every table in the coffee-room at church – a whitewashed walls sort of room with churchy style arches and everything – was a small red poinsettia. I was looking at little dots of red in a white room, and lots of Christmas lights.
It was like coming home, and I say this as someone who probably never had a poinsettia at home, back then. My reaction was ‘oh, so that’s what I’ve been missing..!’
I had the lights; I just didn’t have the poinsettias. (And at the time, no white walls.)
As ‘luck’ would have it, I’m a little allergic to them, but you can be just as Christmassy with a fake. And you can bring out the same pretend poinsettia every year.
Maybe ought to dust it some time soon, though.