We have lots, and I mean lots, of Christmas decorations. We love to decorate the house, putting up lights, hanging decorations, the tree, decorating the fireplace and so on. A lot of the decorations we have had since we were first married. Some of the tree decorations have been passed to us from family members. Some of the tree decorations we have bought on holidays as souvenirs. Some of the tree decorations the children made when they were little. I don't have a themed tree, mine is a tree of love and memories.
So, which decoration am I going to talk about? Well, this one ....
..... which has nothing to do with the tree! Hugh's family always have a nativity scene on the hall stand. My family never had one. When we had Ben we decided it was a tradition from Hugh's family that we wanted to continue. This photo was taken the first time we set it up, 24 years ago.
At the time we were living in Leighton Buzzard and I was good friends with my next door neighbour, Leonora. She had three children, the youngest a year older than Ben, so we got together frequently for coffee and to chat. Just before Christmas she gave me an invitation to a 'Save the Children' fundraising evening at her house. I arrived to find that to raise funds they were selling Christmas decorations and there was this wonderful little nativity scene. It wasn't very expensive, which was good, as I was a stay at home mum and money was quite tight. So I bought the set and took it home. Hugh looked at it - 'yes, that's great, but we need a stable'. Of course, being Hugh, he knew exactly what to do to remedy that situation. In his shed he had a box which had contained two wine bottles, a Christmas present from his company the previous year. So, out came his tools and within an hour we had a stable!
Over the years, as the children grew, we had additional animals visit from their toy zoo and farm collections. The children loved to put the scene together and always took it in turns, never fighting, over who placed what and where. Now that Ben has left home it is Penny who puts it out every year. I have seen some beautiful sets since, which we could now afford, but Hugh and I always look at each other and say 'no'. This set means so much to us we just couldn't replace it.
So, that is my last precious for this year. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about it. Do please pop over to Sian's blog to see the last stories from everyone else this year. Have fun and see you soon!