This year has been a series of difficulties. More downs than ups, to be honest. So it should come as no surprise to anyone to see a Christmas tree, seemingly floating upside down in mid-air in our front room.
Being white, it looks ethereal, the string it is suspended on almost invisible as it moves slightly on invisible air currents.
It wasn’t easy to do, for these trees are not designed to be upside down, and the top part parted company with the base at the most awkward moment, almost resulting in our giving up on the idea and being conventional after all.
Beneath the tree, looking remarkably like Miss Havisham’s abandoned wedding feast from Dicken’s Great Expectations, we have created a display to reflect the dinner we will not be having in our house.
The idea came to us because this Christmas will be like no other we have ever had or imagined. For the first time in the history of our family, we will not be here on Christmas Day. Relatives will not be arriving, full of Christmas cheer to share our carefully prepared feast of turkey and all the trimmings. There will be no fun and games at the table when we don’t pull the crackers.
There will be no toasting the cook or pulling the wishbone, not in this house, anyway.
We will all be somewhere else…
The next generation in our family is now of an age to change things, to take charge of traditional celebrations and create new ones of their own. This is the way with families.
It came as a bit of a shock for me and for a while I didn’t think I welcomed the invitation. For nearly fifty years, I have been cooking the turkey and mince pies, and I suppose I thought it would continue. I mean, what would I do with myself?
I have accepted the idea now, and the notion of someone else manhandling an uncooperative turkey into an equally uncooperative oven is making me smile.
It will seem odd to have nothing to do on Christmas day, but you never know, I might like it so much I will arrange it for next year too!