Yes it’s that time again - the festive season; time to find presents people actually want, send cards to people you saw last week and people you may never see again, prepare food you only eat once a year, and most important of all - put up and decorate the ubiquitous Christmas tree. And I know; our children are all grown up, they both have paying jobs, the eldest living overseas. So why do we do it?

Do we do it because it’s a family tradition? Well yes in a way, but most importantly for us, we do it because for a short time every year our children become children once again. Their faces beaming, full of love and hope for the future; their daily problems magically gone – and we selfishly treasure every precious moment, and don’t have to share them with anyone else.

Anyway enough about why we do it, if you’ll bare with me I want to tell you about how we do it. For us, as I’m sure it is for many others, the Christmas tree is the centre of our festive-season fantasy. So decorating the tree has never lost its importance for us, but the challenge here is reinventing the experience every year; and the way we do that is quite simple. From the very beginning Warwick and I have collected Christmas decorations; more at first, now just a few every year to keep it interesting. You’d be surprised how many you can end up with after thirty odd years, especially if you travel. We’ve even had friends give them to us as presents, how’s that for self-fulfilling. The final thing of course is my husband and I have never grown up. Why would you want to?

Joyeux Noel.