My parents have lived in their house for 20 years. It is my childhood home and tonight the boys and I are staying over whilst Daddy goes out for a ‘few’ Christmas drinks.
I hadn’t realised until today that it’s actually a lucky privilege that they are still safe and snug within this home that is so very different to our own home but is so very familiar and cosy and mine. Especially at Christmas, where memories are strong and walking into my parents’ lounge conjurs up peace.
I’m very lucky to have this. I know not everyone will. But I am grateful today for the ghosts of Christmas past in this house, my Mum and Dad merrily sozzled and watching the Queen’s speech, my great Aunt wearing a Christmas hat and telling me tales of her green Morris Minor, countless Christmas films watched on the TV, discarded wrapping paper piled high, Christmas candles burning.
And now, my own Children creating their own memories here, weaving a patchwork of their own traditions over ours. 5 month old Max entranced by my Mum’s Christmas tat – teddies that sing and twinkle and are wonderful in their crapness, Blake and I dancing to the same old Christmas CDs that we’ve played for years. Leafing through Christmas books that were once mine, singing a new selection of Christmas songs that have come home from school, watching a baby drink in the lights and sounds and smells.
In my children I find hope against the backdrop of a tough year. I fear for them, the society they must enter is harder, grittier and crueler than the one I have faced so far, but at Christmas I see more than ever the way in which children default to light rather than dark and to love rather than fear or hate. They give me courage and they help me find hope.
I’m not really sure that there’s a point to this post other than to indulge in some corny festive sentiment. (Sorry if it’s not for you). I hope there is a nostalgia that reaches out to you over the next few days. I hope you create memories you can claim for your own. Merry Christmas. X