GROAN, do we have to do it again?
Our kids are kind of past the age of believing in Santa (unless it suits them) and I chucked away last year's plastic tree, so I was thinking we could maybe skip the Christmas bling this year?
Well, that idea was shot down in a howl of protests worthy of Oscar performances.
So off we went and bought a new tree and hauled out the box of decorations from the very, very bottom of the under-the-stairs throw-everything-in cupboard.
And as I sat there, trying to untwist the knotted lights as my kids crooned along to Silent Night and other carols, I realised something.
Your kids don't have to be little to enjoy the spirit of Christmas that really only emerges when you make some effort.
It is when you are trying to tie up the tinsel that you are reminded of the traditions that you enjoyed as a child and have now passed on or recreated with your own family.
I remembered our first Christmas on the Sunshine Coast and the real Christmas tree we had gone to the extra effort of purchasing.
And I remembered how that tree died a week before Christmas as we were unprepared for how hot and humid it is and the careful maintenance it requires to keep it alive until The Big Day.
Each decoration, unwrapped and rehung, held some kind of memory. That's part of the reason this really is the best time of the year.
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