Day Nineteen: Author Guest Post… Carmel Harrington! + Giveaway

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Hi lovelies! Today’s Festive-Blog-Athon post is a guest post from the wonderful author Carmel Harrington!

I’m honoured to welcome Carmel on to my blog today, she is a best selling contemporary fiction author for Harper Collins. Her novels Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and The Life You Left have given her the title of Queen of Emotional Writing! She is here today to talk to us about her Christmas tree! Which is one of my favourite things about Christmas too!

Without further ado, welcome Carmel!

Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I know many complain that the festive season begins too early every year. But, I’m one of the annoying ones who starts to hum jingle bells in November. Once that first Christmas advert plays, with retailers playing havoc with my emotions, (have you seen the Sainsbury’s advert?!) I yearn for December 1st. Because thats the day that I always put my decorations up.

I love my fireplace garland with twinkly fairy lights and personalised disney stockings. But for me, it’s all about the tree. Tall, green, resplendent, guaranteed to make me cry when the last item is hung on the top branch – my large white star.

I bought my first tree when I was eighteen. My budget was miniscule. So it was small and meagre, and even the two dozen cheap and nasty baubles that came included with it, couldn’t disguise that fact.

It didn’t work for me.

So, I decided that I would buy as many pretty, unique decorations that I could afford that year. Then I could replace those offending baubles forevermore. Each year, I would collect more and I vowed that one day I would have a tree that I could be proud of. I figured I had a lifetime to collect new decorations. And collect them I did. From Africa to USA,Europe to Asia and Australia, I chose new decorations for my tree.

On my first trip to New York, I bought a King Kong in the Empire State Building gift shop. A trip to Macy’s and Bloomingdales, sent me into a spending frenzy. I spent some time in Maputo, Mozambique and have some handmade tribal decorations I bought in a market. Friends soon cottoned onto my new addiction and bought me back mementos from their own trips, happy to add to my collection.

For your ears only, but The Do Not Disturb sign from our honeymoon suite fell into my suitcase. It makes a fine decoration now. And my hard earned medal from running the mini-marathon also has pride of place there too.

With children, came the cast of disney movies. These rub shoulders on the tree with the more elegant gold and black decorations, that I bought in my ‘fancy’ phase. We’ve got many personalised family decorations too, from wedding to baby’s first Christmas ones. And now, handmade, irreplaceable, cardboard decorations made by my children, shine on the tree.

That tiny original tree was replaced many times over the years along with every single one of those cheap baubles. Now, over twenty years later, I have a seven foot tree. This is laden down with an eclectic array of bright, glittery and unique decorations. And the joy I get every year, is incredible. Because, that tree is an uncompleted memoir of my life. Each trinket holds a precious memory, an emotional trip down memory lane.

As I adorn each branch, I recant tales of travels to my children Amelia and Nate. We have started a tradition that each year, we all get to buy one new decoration each. They don’t know it yet, but these early purchases are the start of their own collections.

Happy Christmas everyone,

Love Carmel x

Massive thank you to Carmel for participating in Festive-Blog-Athon, I’m sure you all enjoyed her post just as much as I did. It inspires me to pick up some sentimental ornaments, and create my own memoir tree!

You can find Carmel:

Twitter: @happymrsh

Website: carmelharrington.com

Carmel is kindly giving away an E-BOOK copy of her novels Beyond Grace’s Rainbow and The Life You Left! There will be ONE lucky winner, and it’s open INTERNATIONAL as long as you have means of receiving E-Books!

Beyond Graces Rainbow The Life You Left

Click here if you’d like to enter!

Make sure you’re keeping up with the other posts in Festive-Blog-Athon by heading over to Abbey’s blog: here!

Don’t forget to participate in the Festive Photo Challenge too, for a chance to win a prize and feel festive!

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