Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Tree

I love Christmas and there's nothing more special than decorating the house in readiness for the big day. We usually do this in early December in our household, so we can enjoy all the build up to the festivities - the twinkly lights, cosy evenings by a warm fire, present shopping and present wrapping. Then there's that final manic food shop, followed by the lovely peaceful feeling on Christmas Eve when everything is done and ready and the festivities are about to begin. 

One of my favourite things is decorating the Christmas tree. Decorations, lights and baubles are brought down from the loft and as each and every bauble is unwrapped and hung on the tree a happy memory is triggered. That's why I love decorating the tree so much - every bauble represents a precious memory. Memories from long ago; memories from the year we've just enjoyed; memories throughout the years. 

Here are a few of those special baubles and memories: 

Salt dough decorations made by Sarah and Rose during primary school. 

Christmas decorations given to me during my teaching years. 

Decorations made by Sarah and Rose during their nursery years. 

A special decoration I chose in memory of my donor, who has given me the chance of more Christmases to enjoy with my family. 

A decoration Sarah gave me for the first Christmas after my life saving and changing transplant. 

A few decorations from Amsterdam after my first flight abroad following my transplant - something I never thought I'd do ever again. 

Some memories of Christmas in New York, my second wonderful Christmas after transplant. 

Some decorations bought at Papworth hospital, above, one that represents the new heart and lungs I received and below one purchased last year when I spent all December and Christmas in hospital there.

Precious memories of Venice and Prague - places we visited on a dream holiday for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversay last year when we enjoyed a stay in Rome, followed by a cruise to Venice and a trip of a lifetime on the Orient Express from Venice to Prague.

A bauble from Budapest, where we enjoyed a wonderful trip to celebrate Rob's retirement this year. 

Those are just a few of those special memories that hang on our tree as we begin to celebrate another Christmas and another year we've been able to enjoy time with family and friends and special moments making new memories. We always remember those times with loved ones no longer here too and my donor and their family who have given me many of these special times to enjoy and yet another Christmas to celebrate. 

I wish all my family, friends and readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas and the very best of wishes and health for the New Year. 

Oops! And a very happy Christmas from Ted too - he's all ready for some fun with his new hair cut and groom! 

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