Monday, December 14, 2009

Wreaths and memories

The origin of the Christmas wreath dates back to the ancient cultures of the Persian Empire. During that time, wreaths were believed to be a symbol of importance as well as success. They were much smaller in size than the present ones and were known as 'diadems'. People used to wear the wreaths as headbands, sometimes along with jewels also. Somewhere around the 776 BC, Greeks started placing wreaths, made of laurel, on the head of the athletes who came first in the Olympic Games.

Even in ancient Rome, the chief of leaders, like Julius Caesar, used to wear wreath on his head, just like the crown of a king. The transition of the wreaths from a headgear to a wall/door decoration is not known with much accuracy. However, it is believed that once an athlete decided to save the headgear as a souvenir of his/her victory. From then onwards, started the tradition of using wreaths as a Christmas door/wall decoration.

I bought a new wreath this year.  I haven't had one before instead I have hung a little strip of tartan with bells on it, cute really but not a wreath and I love them so finally I deceide it was time.  I like this one, it is quite Aussie I think, what with the bright red poinsettia.

Wow Christmas Day is upon us just 12 days as I type.  Alicia and Paul are coming for breakfast this year, mum and I think her husband Bruce for a couple of days.  We will visit Taban and his family after breakfast and then have lunch when we come home.  This year I am preparing Chilli Mango Chicken salad, Spinach, Raspberry and Fetta Salad, Hot Potato and Chorizo Salad, we'll probably have prawns fresh and crisp, some Turkey rolled and stuffed and desert I haven't decided on yet.  I am beginning to realize that our Christmases are changing.  As the girls grow up and either have boyfriends or husbands, we won't be the centre of their world anymore, they will make choices to be with other people.  How did this come upon us so quickly?  Don't know if I am really ready for this.  I was recalling a Christmas years ago, I was about 5 or 6 and we had gone with our caravan and the local caravan club to Coffs Harbour.  A lovely beach town in Northern New South Wales about a 6 or 8 hour drive from Toowoomba, maybe 6 or so from Brisbane where we lived at the time.  I loved it at Coffs, it was a holiday centre like the one in Dirty Dancing.  There was a lagoon for the children to swim in, horse riding, arts and crafts.  I remember the time while on a rock pool exploration we found a seagull.  His wings all covered in oil and he was exhausted.  Dad scooped him up carefully in one of our towels and we took him home and cared for him in a box.  I was told he got better and flew away, but thinking now I'm not so sure.  We would write our names on our backs with our zinc cream, so we would all get around with a white tattoo like brand on us.  We being all the kids who gathered every December with the caravan club.  The last time we went to Coffs Harbour was not a good one.  Christmas Day came and just after lunch, when everyone was stuffed to the limit, a young boy went out for a swim in the lagoon.  He got into trouble in the middle of the lagoon and started waving his arms around.  My Dad who was his school champion swimmer and a friend dashed out into the water to rescue the boy.  They swam as fast as they could, but the boy disappeared under the water and couldn't be found.  Mum was running through the park calling out for people with dinghy's to come to the lagoon.  The boy unfortunately couldn't be found and it was quite a while before he was discovered.  I think mum and dad just decided they didn't want to revisit this awful day and we never went back.  About 4 years ago we all went to Coffs for a week, Adrian drove me around all over the place trying to find the site of the caravan park.  The best we could come up with was that it was now a huge resort and housing estate.  Funny how some memories linger.

1 comment:

  1. Sad tale about the little boy..It would not bring back good memories for me either..Tragic.

    Ona lighter note..your wreath does looks pretty:)


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