Christmas (and the midwinter solstice) provide the perfect excuse for lots of extra light around the house, and it lifts my spirits immeasurably to see Christmas lights in people's houses as I trudge home from the railway station every evening.
Given my love of twinkly lights, you might imagine that our house would be fully lit up from roof to cellar, but you would be wrong. We've always put up our decorations quite late - a legacy from my childhood. My mother, a teacher, would be fed up with the idea of Christmas long before the school holidays began, and she would delay the decoration for as long as she could. My dad would be chomping at the bit and about a week before Christmas, he and I would scurry down to the local greengrocer to pick out a tree and spend a very happy afternoon decorating it together, choosing from an increasingly large collection of fairy lights and baubles.
This weekend, after some discussion about the environmental impact of Christmas decorations (during which Mr Q threatened to connect the Christmas lights to an exercise bike) we headed off to the nursery to choose the perfect tree. I spent a lovely couple of hours decorating it - far less lights than Dad would have had (with LEDs to keep the power usage down), and a sparser but more colour-coordinated set of decorations. I wonder what he would have made of that!
|not a shiny carpet - newspaper covered in wrapping paper to catch falling needles|