When we were young, my mum and I would play Christmas songs all day in the days leading up to Christmas (and often sing along at the top of our lungs, much to the chagrin of my dad and brother). And we’d take out our tree from the storage room and dust off all the ornaments before taking a few hours just enjoying the process of doing up the Christmas tree.
Oh, the joy of picking out which ornaments to use, putting up fairy lights, and of course, choosing the perfect tree topper as the finishing touch (I’d always needed help putting that on). There’s something indescribably satisfying and fulfilling about it. This was before the age of social media, so we never took photos of the decorated tree and posted them for the world to see. In a way, it made the entire experience more personal and gratifying, knowing that you did it not for some random likes on the Internet, but for the simple joy of having a beautiful Christmas tree to celebrate this wonderfully magical season.
It didn’t matter that our tree had a broken leg and had to be precariously balanced by random objects. It didn’t matter that it was missing a few branches, what with it being a hand me down from my aunt. What mattered was that we spent time and effort together to decorate it and make it uniquely ours. A tree to call our own.
One year, the tree finally gave way, with its other leg breaking off as well. And with a single leg, its days of perching upright ever so precariously were over. And along with it, our little yearly routine of decorating our own tree.
We never did get around to getting another tree. And I realised just how much I yearn for the old days once more.