Friday, December 7, 2018

Twelfth Night

7th Dec 2018

We always try to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas finishing on the feast of the Epiphany - 6th Jan.
Here's a little memory of sorts from around that time:

Twelfth Night  
“Careful Rob, they’ll break,” Mary takes the golden bauble from him and gently places it in its box.

“Actually, do these ones.” She passes him a small, carrier bag with a picture of snowmen on and puts a pile of soft, felt decorations in front of him.  He works happily, his little hands pushing hard down into the bag to make sure they go in. Big sister, seven and little brother, eighteen months are good friends and are helping take the tree down, it being the seventh of January. The activity won’t hold Rob’s attention for long. Later on, when he’s seven, he’ll be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a relief to me as I thought I was just a bad mother.

 I hear the others in the dining room, playing the new Manopoly game. That’ll keep them busy for while.  It’s our annual gift for the family, to mark Twelfth Night, our mini Christmas that ends our festivities.  This year, 1991, I’m glad to be putting everything away. If I don’t see another turkey till forever, that’ll be too soon and the puddings and cakes all gone – good.  With all that and looking after my mother in law, who is ill and living with us, I am looking forward to some “ordinary” time.

“Mum, where do these ones go?”  she holds up a red bell.
“In here,” I hand her the appropriate box.  
“Ninished,” some of the contents fall into my lap as Rob throws the bag at me and runs off to join the others.

I take the felt Christmas tree, put it to my face and remember that day in December, two years ago, when we sat at the dining room table – Kate seven, Mary five, Liz three and Joanna one and sitting in the high chair and spread before us, scissors, felt, glue , sequins , needles and cotton, card and crayons.  Jim, seventeen and Emma, sixteen were out, as usual, their friends being much more important to them, than their family. That day we’d just heard hat their nan had a tumor on the brain and with the prospect of taking responsibility for her long term (no idea how long) care, I was glad of the distractions of being creative with the little ones.
“I can do it myself, mum,” Kate grabbed scissors and green felt and started cutting.
“Look, I’ll just draw the shape for you,” she was fiercely independent, still is. She cut as close as she could to my line.  I cut Mary’s Christmas tree shapes, one green and red white.
“Here, sew the sequins on like this,” after showing them how, Kate takes a sequin and threaded needle and gets on with it. Mary pulls the needle through as I sew with her. In between times I cut shapes out of card for Liz and Jo to colour.

When a green and a red Christmas tree have enough sequins sewn onto them I put them together and button stitch around the edge to finish them off. Kate sews round hers with red cotton.

I sit pondering, the felt tree in my hand, wet with my tears.  


  1. Awww, what a poignant memory, i hope you still have those decorations.

    1. I have indeed . The picture is one of them ...
      Thanks for always reading my blog.

  2. How sad that I was so concerned with my friends. I missed out on so much.

    1. Emma you were there for a lot ...
      traditions etc etc...
      it was more to do with age gap...


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