Welcome to a very special Festive Feature on my blog, where every day up until Christmas some of my favourite authors will be sharing what they love most about the festive season, including their favourite films, food, music, presents, memories, books…Plus much more!
The author of today’s Festive-Fest is the fantastic Kathryn Freeman…
My favourite thing about Christmas is…
The naff and the sentimental.
It’s December and you’ve bought the tree and completed the annual trek though the cobweb wilderness of the attic to find the boxes of decorations that are never in the handy place you’re sure you left them last year. They’re now sitting next to the tree – special friends you’ve known most of your life, but only get to see once a year. Despite knowing exactly what is inside the boxes, and despite two grumpy teenage boys moaning they can’t see the point of putting stuff up that only gets taken down again a few weeks later, a thrill runs through you when you delve into the box.
At least that’s what happens to me. Putting up the decorations is a trip down memory lane and a celebration of naffness all rolled into one. The first item I feel is fury and as I pull out the Tigger and Pooh Christmas tree extravaganza I grin and the boys groan. I press Pooh’s paw. Instantly lights flash, Pooh and Tigger start to dance and the boys groan louder. When they were three, they loved it. Next comes the sunglass wearing, saxophone playing, reindeer (every home should have one). When he taps his foot to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, even the boys have to laugh.
I push the strands of lights out of the way and grasp the boxes beneath. In much of my life I’m disorganised (clothes, filing, kitchen cupboards) but when it comes to Christmas decorations I’m the Queen of Order and Efficiency. I’ve boxes labeled large gold, purple, fancy silver, kids and special.
Kids first (no change there). How can I not put up the Bob the Builder and Thomas Tank engine decorations? Discretely mind, round the back, but I know they’re there. Reminding me of a time when my children were shorter, cuter and only too keen to decorate the tree. Unlike now, when they’re suddenly nowhere to be seen.
I make quick work of putting up the other decorations, waiting to savour the final special box. It contains decorations bought not to make a tree look good, but to bring back memories. The fishy sparkle from Key West and Antigua, the Bloomingdales bauble and the New York yellow cab. We try to pick up a bauble whenever we go on holiday. It feels daft in August, but exactly right when they dangle from the tree in December.
To me these decorations summon up a lot that’s lovely about a Christmas. The naff and the sentimental.
A massive Christmassy thank you to Kathryn for this fabulous blog post. ♥
Kathryn started her working life as a retail pharmacist but it didn’t take long for her to realise that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her. Next she joined the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications, doing a lot of writing – about medicines. However what she really wanted to write about was romance.
In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
She lives with two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.