Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ahhhh, pine!

The tree went up yesterday, possibly the latest ever in our personal history: delayed by the flit down south to walk the Hollyford. "It doesn't feel like Christmas," wailed the Baby when we got back, and then sat and Grinched while we decorated it, hanging up all the old friends that it's always a pleasure to unwrap from the tissue every year. The little red glass Austrian post-horn, the English red phone box, the heavy glass New York orb, the Australian kookaburra, the fat pig from Leavenworth, WA, the Mickey Mouse bell from Disneyland - all reminders of end-of-year trips, when everyone is building up to Christmas and wherever you go looks especially pretty.

I think it's a great time to travel, even if it means early winter in the northern hemisphere: no such thing as bad weather, remember, just the wrong clothes. There's a buzz in the air, the locals as pleased and eager as the tourists, a satisfying synchronicity that you don't get at non-festival times of the year; also, it's interesting to see, amongst so much that's the same, what is different about foreign Christmases. Like the candles lit on family graves in Salzburg, or the cute little huts set up along Nyhavn in Copenhagen where, had we been just a few days later, we could have bought mulled wine and cinnamon biscuits and lovely crafts and gifts. Or special (and especially fattening) flavoured coffees at Starbucks in Seattle, or the Rockefeller Centre ice rink in New York, or the sprigs of holly on the uniform overcoats worn by sweating cast members at Disneyland in sunny LA...

This year's new tree decoration is a Saint Nicholas from Copenhagen in fetching curly-toed boots, which makes a nice connection with the Arabian Nights slippers I saw in the souqs in Dubai, where I stopped off both going and returning from Denmark and where I would have found it rather harder, I'm guessing, to find much that was Christmassy at all.

3 comments:

Tunis Attractions said...

Wow, those slippers are absolutely fetching. I saw something similar in a souk in Tunis, but they weren't nearly so ornate. This remind me so much of the Arabian Nights tales I read when I was young...

the queen said...

Ah Jeez, Christchurch, not again. So sad.

Pam said...

Welcome Tunis! Yes, much prettier than the brown lace-up school shoes I used to wear that they remind me of - biking to school with my toes on the pedals made the tips of the shoes curl up just like that. People laughed!

Hi Queen: Thanks. "Not again" is what everybody in the country is saying, and our hearts are going out to Christchurch. "Especially now" is pretty up there too - they'd had such a long break from the quakes, they'd started to hope again. Sigh.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...