Last night I decorated our Christmas tree and of course, put the angel on the top made by our older son, Martyn, when he was about 5 years old - as I said in a text to him, “We may not have the poshest tree, but we’ve probably got the oldest angel in the street” and of course, he had to agree, but I’m not saying how old he is!

Then I got out our Nativity Set, which you can see in the middle of this photograph, given to us by Mr. HCB’s parents when we were first married, almost 50 years ago.  It is made of plaster of Paris and was made by their next door neighbour and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because it brings back so many happy memories of Christmases spent with them.

The various small, shiny angels were bought when we last visited our friends in Singapore almost 25 years ago, so it will be a real joy to see them for our 50th Anniversary next year.  One of the larger, shiny angels was given to us by our friends, Sue and Robin about 10 years ago;  they live in the north of England, so we don’t see them often, but again, it is good to think of them at this time of year.  The other was given to us by our son, Martyn and his wife, Dawn and although we live in the same town, they are busy people, so we don't see them that often, but Christmas Day will be spent with them and their family.

The carol singers are new this year and were made by Lorraine, a friend, who makes beautiful things and sells them to raise money for Angel’s Orphanage in Nepal and the large wooden angel was made by her husband, Paul. 

The various cards behind all these beautiful and meaningful ornaments also have special significance.  The Three Kings is from a special friend, Dorothy, whose daughter I used to work with.  The Angels card is from Brenda, a friend I worked with, but who had leukaemia and died in 1988 - this comes out every year - and is even more special now since her husband also died in 2005.  

The card in the middle with a beautiful Nativity scene was made and sent to us by a fellow Blipper, Veronica, last year and will now feature in our Nativity scene.  The “Jesus” card is from Janet, a friend I don’t see that often, but it reminds me of her and for me, this is what Christmas is all about - and last, but not least, the Nativity card on the end is from, Em, another friend I don’t see that often.  

I know that some people change their Christmas colour theme from year to year, but we like to remember those who are and were special to us and Christmas seems a good time to do this.

“It comes every year 
     and will go on forever. 
And along with Christmas 
     belong the keepsakes 
          and the customs. 
Those humble, everyday things 
     a mother clings to, 
          and ponders, 
               like Mary 
                    in the secret spaces 
                         of her heart.” 
Marjorie Holmes

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