Every family across Falkirk district will be making memories at Christmas

This is the most ‘wonderful time of the year’ if you believe the lyrics of an old song. Yes it can be stressful but I’m always a great believer that Christmas is what you make it.

Of course, the people around you do have an influence – whether it’s the young children with their almost uncontrollable excitement over Santa, the tetchy teens who try to pretend they don’t care about all the festive buzz (but they truly do!) or the oldies who want things done exactly as it was “in their day”.

But every family has their own Christmas memories and traditions which is what makes it special.

I eventually got round to putting my tree up last week with a little help from Emma and the kids – I am sure you can imagine the help I got from my darling grandchildren as they opened every box of decorations and proceeded to scatter them all over the living room.

Sophie was mesmerised by the fairy that goes on the top of the Christmas tree, yes it’s always been a fairy not an angel in the Livingstone household.

“It’s so pretty gran. She looks so beautiful,” said little Sophie.

However, her mother was not so complimentary.

“Why don’t you throw that out and buy a new one,” said Emma.

“Because I’ve had it since I was a little girl and when you were born your gran gave it to me to put on our tree. I like her,” was my retort.

“But ...”

Before she could say another word, I replied: “Yes I know that her dress isn’t in pristine condition and that’s after me making her a new one on several occasions. And she does have a little worn bit on the back of her head – well, so would you if you’ve been attached to the branch of a tree as often as she has, but she’s part of my Christmas memories so I’ll continue to put her on as long as she is in one piece.”

As Emma’s eyebrows raised, I continued: “This bauble was bought for me by my dad when you were born – and I’ve got one for Gary too, as well as ones I bought to mark the years your two were born.

“My tree may not look like those beautifully coordinated ones that you see in glossy magazines or as the backdrop to TV shows, but it’s my tree and everything on it means something to me.

“I like nothing better than to take five minutes and look at it to remember all the Christmases we’ve spent together. So no, I’ll not be changing her, the fairy stays!”

“Well mother, you’ll be glad you got that off your chest,” said Emma.

However, I did notice as I came back into the room from making us a coffee that she was picking up some of the baubles and looking at them a bit more intently before she put them on the tree.

Dressing the Christmas tree has always been a fun, family task in the Livingstone household which is why I was astounded when I read that some people pay others to do the job for them!

Apparently they are “too busy” to put up their own tree and let someone else bring in the decorations to make their home festive.

Now I’m happy to put them up but I’d gladly let someone take them all down on Twelfth Night and cram them all back into the boxes.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.