This weekend I'm going to get (with Anne and Michelle's help) a Christmas tree - and so today when I was out at the shops I picked up a few decorations and some sparkly tree lights. I'm looking forward to decorating the tree, and to adding to the small bits and pieces I've been getting in place through the rest of the house. I love Christmas, fully and unashamedly, with all my heart: it reminds me of family, friends, home, growing up, dreams of futures... all of it!
I've also been thinking about the thrill of having Megan and Matiu come to have Christmas here in Toronto... I pick them up in less than three weeks! - and I am really looking forward to the three of us sitting here drinking hot chocolates, watching the tree lights, being together.
So, in order to help get the house ready I got another set of lights, which are strung on a white cord instead of green, so it doesn't stand out quite so obviously when it's run along a background that's not, you know, a tree.
Now, I hadn't figured out the best powerpoints for the lights yet - actually I'm still deciding between two places for the tree to go in the first place - so I thought I'd plug in the white-stringed lights and suspend and drape them along the mantlepiece so I can hold off on putting up hooks or pins until I get the actual tree and configure everything from there. The mantlepiece and hearth are a major feature of the main room, so I already draped along the length of the mantlepiece, and I've put Christmassy things in three glass vases at one end (pomegranates, nuts, red-and-green-wrapped chocolates), so i figured I might as well add to what was already happening in that part of the room. There's a big picture hook above the mantlepiece which usually holds some flax 'poi' made by Mum which I brought with me, so I made use of that for the lights too, just to make it look a bit exciting and not too cluttered with the decorations, ribbon and family photos.
After I'd switched the lights on, I walked across the room and turned off the main light and then flopped on the couch and looked back at the mantlepiece... and realised my little Christmas display was a sparkly Taranaki!
I suppose it's true what they say: there's no place like home.
And, I like to add when I'm living far, far away: no matter what destination was written on your most recent plane ticket, you never really leave home after all.