Sunday, December 06, 2015

#AdventWord 8: Care

Advent 2 seems a reasonable day on which to begin to put up some not-yet-Christmas decorations.
Our crib lives in an elderly hat-box from Harrods, which still bears a label addressed to my mother, at my childhood home...
I've no idea at what stage of her life my mother needed to buy a hat from Harrods - but for as long as I can remember, the box has housed Christmas decorations of some sort, so its annual appearance pitches me headlong into the Christmasses of my childhood...a time when anticipation was huge and presents rather restrained by contemporary standards (though a couple of Puffin books and a new dressing gown seemed altogether splendid to me - and the addition of a ladybird torch so I could read under the bedclothes nothing short of genius).

"With care - Advent Crown" reads the instruction in my mother's handwriting.
The Advent crown, a precarious affair involving wire coat-hangers, silver tinsel and  4 glass baubles, as created by Valerie Singleton of Blue Peter, has long since gone the way of all flesh.
So, actually, has my mother.
It feels very strange that something as trivial as a ordinary cardboard box...should still be here, and still in use, while she, who was anxious that we should take care of the contents, has been gone almost four decades.
We try to safeguard THINGS - recognise that some of them are fragile, requiring careful handling...but a cardboard box from the 1960s is doing fine, thank you...while a beloved person, full of life and love and delight in the coming of Christmas, is now at rest - and the hand that wrote that instruction simply bones in the earth.

CARE for the people you love - and make sure that they know this.

Because you can't keep that love in a hat-box.


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