I didn't decorate at Christmas for years and years. Maybe because of childhood flashbacks to perforating my fingers with holly decked over the tops of pictures. Maybe because of laziness. Christmas 2000, my first self-employed Christmas, was when I bought my first tree, tinsel, crib ... Well, everything else in life had changed and I was spending a lot more time at home.
Christmas 2006 is our first married Christmas and hence our first opportunity to combine resources. Which tree do we keep? Which crib? Where do we put the cards? Tinsel? Etc?
(We can answer at least the tree one - the small one goes in the living room, the large one goes in the Boy's room because, well, it can.)
Not to mention this little chappy on the left. You've all seen the kind of thing - candles create an updraft which revolves the decoration, in this case cherubs dangling metal bits which chime against bells every 360 degrees (slow speed) or 180 degrees (faster speed when the metal bits incline slightly more outwards). Either way it produces an irregular ching ... ching ... (silence) ... ching ... that can be compared to Yuletide water torture, but hey, it's festive. It also casts an exciting time/space continuinuinuinum effect on the ceiling.
Another Christmas tradition we have developed over the last couple of years is the Kennington United Choirs Gilbert & Sullivan production, this year Pirates of Penzance. These are more recitals than performances - the performers use the barest minimum of props, stand up at the front of Kennington Methodist church and do the show. All much more fun than a regular production. Grey hair is a noticeable feature, and as G&S scripts tend to emphasise the virileness of the young heroes and the maidenity of the young heroines, seeing them played by people for whom being of a certain age is but a distant memory (and sent up for laughs) just adds to the enjoyment.
And - who knows? - yet another Christmas tradition may have been generated this morning with a churchful of people chanting out a carol to the tune of Queen's "We will rock you", clapping and stamping out the rhythm. Much more fun than po-faced "Once in royal David's city". But I doubt the organisers of Carols at Kings will be using it in the near future. Their loss.