Saturday, December 15, 2018

Since my dad died last month, I have very little energy or motivation to do much else besides get through my work day. Some days, I even take a nap on the couch after working 9-10 hours before my husband gets home from work.

I don’t feel like cooking either, so we’ve done quite a bit of Deliveroo and take away lately.

I certainly don’t feel like being my normal happy self most of the time, so it’s difficult to get into the Christmas spirit here in London. When I’m surrounded by people at work, it’s easier to act happier and sing along to the Christmas songs playing on the radio in our kitchen. But at home, it’s a different story.

Until I finally decided that we should get a Christmas tree – a real Christmas tree.
Our tree dons a Santa hat this year because the star won't connect to the new British lights I had to buy since the tree is bigger than previous years. Expat problems! 
Hubby tried to argue that what was the point of spending 50 some pounds if I’m just going to kill it. Well, I responded, I will try to keep the tree alive in the garden until next December (thus saving us money next Christmas); and besides, I deserve a real tree after all I’ve been through, dammit.

On Sunday, we ventured back to our local greenhouse to see if there were any potted Christmas trees left. I had stopped here one day after work but couldn’t the lift the damned tree onto my bike. Hubby decided that he could carry the tree home a couple of blocks – thus saving us the £10 delivery fee.
How to buy a Christmas tree in the Battersea neighborhood of London -make your partner carry it home for you! :)
Unlike the trendy matchy-matchy Christmas trees at the shops, our tree is filled with ornaments from our travels or from loved ones. Nearly all of the ornaments have a story to tell.

The boxes of silver and red glass balls I bought when we first moved in together in Baltimore, Maryland.

A London tube ornament that I bought in 2016 when we first moved here.

A koala, kangaroo and cockatoo ornaments from our short expat stint living in Melbourne, Australia.
A kiwi bird made from a bottlebrush plant that I bought on our trip to New Zealand.
A wooden New Orleans sign given to me from my mother-in-law.
Homemade gingerbread ornaments called pierniki that I bought from the cutest and best smelling shop in Warsaw, Poland.
A ceramic Christmas village house bought on a trip to Budapest.
A handmade kaftan and several snowflake ornaments that my expat friends made in Istanbul.
A red flower ornament from my auntie in Hawaii.

Our Christmas tree is filled with memories. That’s what I need right now. 

My grief and sadness comes and goes, but I’ll always have all these lovely memories.

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3 comments:

Unknown said...

Looks very festive, Joy! We visited your mom last week and I hope we cheered her up a little. I love your tree. Merry Christmas, Anne

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh joy i feel for you. this is going to be a tough xmas for all of you. your tree is so cute. i'm glad it is giving you some cheer. i try to tell my kids how important it is to collect ornaments from everywhere they travel. it is something i always did. there's not much i can say to make you feel better but at some point you will find yourself smiling with a lot less pain and remembering only the love. hugs!

Virginia Uhl said...

A lovely tree Joy. A nice way to remember it all. And, lean into your grief and memories of your father at the same time...that too, is how it should be at this time.

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