The seasons come and the seasons go.
It will be sad to say goodbye.
I have become quite used to having them around - just like old, familiar friends. Memories, keepsakes, family treasures (all gathered together in one little corner of my home).
Reminding me of Christmases past and the overwhelming excitement of my children on Christmas morning.
Reminding me of friends and family - (who are no longer with us) and just how much I miss them.
Reminding me (that just like a few of our favourite ornaments)- we too are starting to get a little tarnished around the edges!
As I carefully place each decoration away (ready for their long hibernation) I can't help but wonder what the year ahead will bring?
It will be another 11 months when next I cast my eyes on them again. If only I could look into a crystal ball and know what awaits us. But would I really want to know?.........
For me, the taking down and packing away of the Christmas decorations symbolizes the end of an era. The end of a time we will never get back again. I used to wish (particularly when my children were little) that I could just "freeze" time and that no-one got any older and we just stayed the way we were. In some ways I used to look to each new year with trepidation - fear of the unknown.
However I have come to realise that with every new year comes new beginnings and new opportunities to capture special times and special moments. It may be the end of one era but the start of a fantastic new one as well.
So, here you go my beauty! As I tuck you away safely in your box I look forward to seeing you again in 11 months time and sharing with you the stories of 2011. Hopefully the year will be kind to my family (and the planet) and that when I lift you from your box and string you once again in your rightful place over the dining room table, I will be able to say - "Wow - 2011......what a year. I can't wait to tell you all about it!"