Yesterday, I went to our local shopping centre with a small shopping list of items. A couple of birthday cards, a particular book for a birthday present for a friend and envelopes. It’s November and I haven’t caught the ‘Christmas Bug’! But as I fight my way past the fifty stands of Christmas decorations, wrappings, chocolates and kids toys, I start to dawdle (the Christmas bug pursuing me, teasing me into submission). ‘Deck the halls with….’!
Quickly I recognise its hovering power and hurry on, reminding myself that consumerism is becoming a major social and environmental issue (bug now hiding behind a cut out Santa!). How many Christmas tree decorations can hang on one small, medium or even large tree? What happens to the decorations from last year? Do they get thrown out with the tree in the heat of January or do they melt down into a gooey tinselled mess? Are the baubles and dangles so entangled with the artifical silver and gold glitter trees after the shine has gone off the celebrations, that their owners shake their heads and dump the lot? I’m feeling smug now; looking stern and unengaged I briskly walk toward the book section (bug distancing momentarily!).
I engage myself with rapid scanning of the book titles, I love books and quickly recognise the new releases, usually I’ve read most of the reviews. Somehow, my mind starts to wander back to Christmas decorations. I remember the old box that came out every year when I was a kid. Many of the decorations were worse for wear but special because they had witnessed the years of preparation, celebration and excitement of Christmas. Hardly ever as a child do I remember shopping for decorations. There may have been the odd additions along the way but mainly our stars, tinsel, baubles and angel were well-loved and well used symbols of a special time of the year. I also remember my grandmother’s tree. In particular, I recall small clip-on birds, she had about three or four of them. They were small and in muted tones of greens and blue. One of those little birds ended up in my collection many years later. Little clip-on birds have significance for me still. (bug bored!)
Interrupting my musings I collect the book, and head back between the aisles of tinsel, coloured lights and colourful Christmas paraphernalia. Mind you, I’m tempted to have a peep at a box of bright red and pink baubles (the colours catch my eye and the bug dances excitedly!) but I check myself and continue my martyr march to the front counter (bug not happy!). I stand in the queue with my sensible purchases, safe from the clutches of the Christmas bug, at least for another day. ‘Deck the halls with….’!