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NTS and the reindeer | FarOuterHebrides

One thing I forget from year to year about decorating for Christmas is how it brings family so much closer. Memories of other Christmases crowd close around as you pull out ornaments from family and friends. We always used to decorate together, when I was growing up.

Somewhat bafflingly, NTS doesn’t seem to share my mania for decorating for holidays. (Any and all holidays.) I think it may be a man thing. It’s definitely not a family trait; half of the decorations we’ve put up so far have been gifts from his sister or Mama K. The other half are gifts from my family. And one delicate spray of mistletoe that NTS and I bought in a little shop off Princes Street.

The gifts were sweet the first year. Pulling them out now, though, brings a frisson of recognition along with the glow of a gift. Christmas is coming! Time to put out the Christmas tree banner. And a day later: Here’s the reindeer from A! Where should we put it this year? Just as with the tiny candle holders shaped like penguins that we pulled out every year, NTS and I are developing our own family traditions. It’s a strange and wonderful process.

As you can tell, Christmas for me has always been a family affair.