One of the fondest, and most persistent memories I had of growing up was a yearly ritual that my mother would perform towards the last few weeks before Christmas, along with many other British families. That ritual involved running around with a stepladder, clutching fancy objects made of tinsel and LED lights, and then transforming the living room into a kaleidoscope of shimmering metallic colours, flashing bulbs and festive knick-knacks. Cardboard boxes and bits of Sellotape surfaced everywhere, not to mention the occasional broken bauble or chair leg. Loads of rustling and troublesome tinsel that will not stay put on the walls. This is festive home decoration – Mumsy-style!!
This year is no different, and this photo moment is dedicated to my mum’s skillful, playfully over the top, jaw-dropping-ly fantastic Christmas decorations, which can take her several hours to perfect and finish.
Though no-one in our family celebrates Christmas for religious reasons (although we do respect the message behind it), it is customary for families in the United Kingdom to erect a Christmas tree in the living room and festoon it with tinsel, baubles and more wattage than Oxford Street. My mother is very fond of decorating the house for Christmas ever since Day One, and this year she has really made an effort. It is not just the living room that gets the motherly festive touch now. Since my mum and younger siblings moved to a much larger suburban house five years back, she has now has more space to place decorations, and now not a single room in the house escapes my Mum’s festive cheer. In addition to the Christmas tree (we kept the same plastic pine tree for several years), my Mum would also pull out a ladder or chair and hang special decorations made from metallic foil from the ceiling. That is also an important sub-ritual we have enacted for as long as I can remember. I was fascinated by them as a child, and now, more than two decades later, my niece, who is four years old, is just as fascinated. In fact when she saw them, she thought yesterday was the great “Happy Christmas Day” and wanted to “reach up to the sky”. She was mesmerised by the hanging ornaments.
This year, Mum went all-out. Additional kitschy lighted ornaments were placed in windows and in the passageways of the house. The decorating project was a nice effort by Mum. She stayed up until 2.00 in the morning last week on one occasion, doing nothing but hoisting up and sticking down all manners of festive decor to the walls. She had picked up some new additions from eBay and some local stores to add to the ones we box up after every New Year for storage. When I visited her yesterday, I even got stuck in a bit myself, although most of my help extended to lugging a large mattress across one of the bedrooms (don’t ask) so my Mum could get access to the window. My Mum was understandably very proud of her efforts and the hard work she put in to make sure that the displays were perfect and had the right effect of awesomeness. She even badgered me to go around and take pictures of the various decorations, while giving me a back story about some of them, especially how she got hold of them.
I walked around the whole house and even stepped outside in the freezing col minus jacket to take a selection of photos. I was suitably impressed, so much so in fact that today I have decided to upload them to the blog’s newly created Flickr account and then share them with you in today’s Photo Moment. Hopefully these pictures will get you deeper into the holiday season spirit and maybe even give you some decoration ideas of your own if you haven’t yet decked your halls with holly and other such Christmassy things.
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