The Art of Making Memories Book & Seasonal Reflections

My first Christmas wasn’t what I thought I would be sharing with you, but hey it’s 2020 and nothing is as or has been what we expect or expected .

I am reflecting back as I have been working my way around 'The Art of Making Memories' by Meik Wiking . It is the kind of book you can dip in and out of to read whichever chapters catch your eye .

I picked up on the idea of telling stories to fuel memories, and collecting objects that manifest them. These can be used to furnish a room with stories . They don’t have to be expensive and can be something as simple as a pine cone from a walk or a pebble from a beach that forms part of a day you wish to remember .

There's oodles of tips to help you create and keep happy memories with lots of insights into what constitutes a good memory and how we can enjoy them.

Music, food, aromas, all can be instant time travel machines taking us back to places we may have long forgotten . Another trigger can be to go to places we have not visited for many years, a walking tour of a place where we have memories we have only told to the other person can really bring them to life . Literally going for a stroll down memory lane with your memories or those of someone you love.

I went in search of Christmas shots from my childhood and was really pleased to find this one of me from my first Christmas enthusiastically tearing the wrapping of a Christmas Present. I had no recollection of this Christmas but I do remember that TV ! I was born when TV’s were black and white and very clunky and only transmitted in black and white. Christmas Trees were fake and usually very small with string like branches that shed all over the carpet . Fairy lights were multi coloured ( I still have a penchant for them) and presents were not as plentiful .

I created this flat lay after thinking about the concept of collected mementos and my first Christmas alongside what Christmas is meaning to me this year and where we are now in 2020 . Thinking about it now as I write this I think I should have included a face mask !

These are the items I used and how I came by them, or the story attached to them.

Brooches that I have worn over Christmases Past and present.

Photo of my first Christmas.

Pinecones collected when on holiday from the grounds of Endsleigh Hotel in Devon.

Pinecones from trees opposite my house.

Rosemary grown and picked from our garden.

Bambi from Liberty London brought when we went to see “ A Christmas Carol “ at the London Palladium in 2012 with Tommy Steele as Scrooge.

Fairy lights inspired by Emily Quinton and Makelight which is closing this year after five years and has helped me grow my creativity .

Stars and Hearts brought from and made by my friend Abby Monroe.

Baubles, just because!

Bobble Hat brought recently to keep me cosy on walks durning lockdown.

Leach Mug brought home from a holiday visit to the Pottery in Cornwall.

Nespresso Coffee my lockdown day lifter.

Molton Brown Candle from My Daughters Advent Calendar.

Matches from Bleakhouse London brought after I walked London with Annabel and Edward Lear.

At Christmas me, Mum, Dad and my brother always camped up in East London with my Mum’s family. This involved a big family Christmas diner seated along a great length of extended tables in the "back room" and a party in the evening in the “front room”. After the Christmas diner washing up marathon most of the family retreated to comfort of the settees and nodded off for the afternoon. Early evening was spent getting ready to party, we really did dress up! There was a lot of long dresses swishing around and I even found a picture of my Dad wearing a bow tie - all de rigueur in the 70s. The carpet was rolled up and the bar opened, which meant lots of dancing and singing. It was always a full house as Mum had a large family, she was one of six children and there was also extended family or lonely friends who would be welcomed in to celebrate Christmas.

Boxing Day involved me staying home with my Nan and anyone who didn’t want to walk to Leyton Orient to watch the football match. The turkey was left in the kitchen for anyone who wanted to have a pick and we had another sitting at the long tables for a lunch of cold meat with pickle and mash. Boxing Day evening was games night in the front room. We could get our toys out and the adults played Charades. The bar was open again alongside a full buffet which kept the relatives busy.

I look back fondly on these times but at the time I am not sure I appreciated how special they were .

Christmas this year will be very different from the usual, with less than half of us at the table it will no doubt be one of the most remembered for so many reasons. I hope you have a lovely Christmas ahead and create memories to treasure and share at future Christmas Times .