I love to decorate the Christmas tree but nobody much likes taking their tree back down… So perhaps it was a blessing that this year’s tree was the smallest I’ve ever had. I loved it all the same though – and in decorating it I spent some precious time thinking of the connections I have with each bauble and trinket – from my Grandma’s cow bell, a holiday souvenir that I used to play with as a child (probably driving her crackers), to this year’s knitted penguin-ted that my friend Christine bought for me.
It’s become a bit of a tradition that Christine and I exchange a tree decoration in early December and then I know Christmas really is on its way!
The 2016 tree – my smallest but best
This Christmas has been a difficult one for Christine and her family. They lost their beautiful dog Harry and, as any dog owner will know, that’s really tough. I’ve known Harry since I moved to Appletreewick in 2005 and, with no dog of my own, I became Harry’s ‘Auntie’. When our dog Hector arrived on the scene in 2013, Harry was immensely patient with him and I like to think the two of them became friends.
Harry had film star looks and in fact I borrowed Harry for a photoshoot once when my cottage in Appletreewick was in Ideal Home magazine. The photographer asked if I had a dog, to which I replied – “well, sort of…”.
One quick phone call later and, after some sharp negotiation “what’s the fee? because Harry doesn’t get out of his basket for less than a grand” – my buddy was stealing the limelight and making a huge impression on everyone.
We’ll all miss him.
Beautiful Harry being extremely patient with the young pup, Hector