Scottish Daily Mail

IT’S OUR FES­TIVE FAM­ILY SANC­TU­ARY

- Good News

FRANCINE EDGE, 56, is a house­wife and lives in Bury, Lan­cashire, with her hus­band Paul, 62, who owns a travel busi­ness. They have four chil­dren and three grand­chil­dren. She says: At the start of this month I hired an in­te­rior stylist to dec­o­rate our sec­ond home, a three-bed­room lodge an hour’s drive away on the edge of the Lake District.

It’s a lux­ury that my hus­band treated me to last Christ­mas when I was hav­ing treat­ment for breast can­cer and sim­ply wasn’t well enough to put up the dec­o­ra­tions my­self.

Or­di­nar­ily we love to con­gre­gate at our lodge as one big fam­ily to cel­e­brate Christ­mas, usu­ally in early De­cem­ber so that none of the chil­dren feel pres­sure to di­vide them­selves be­tween us and their in-laws or part­ners on Christ­mas Day.

When I was ill, Paul wanted to en­sure that the lodge was still a sanc­tu­ary of fes­tive love­li­ness. So we got in touch with Ali­son from last­ing­mem­o­ries.org.uk af­ter a friend rec­om­mended her.

She did such a won­der­ful job that we de­cided to hire her again this year — even ear­lier this time. the events of the past year — my health, Paul’s busi­ness be­ing hit hard by the pandemic and be­ing kept apart from our chil­dren — have made fam­ily time even more pre­cious.

It took Ali­son and her as­sis­tant two days to trim the 8 ft ar­ti­fi­cial tree in the main liv­ing area with lay­ers of lux­u­ri­ous gold, cop­per and bronze glass baubles, leaves, silk rib­bons and lanterns.

there are match­ing gar­lands on the stair­case, fire­place and over an arch­way be­tween rooms, as well as hun­dreds of fairy lights.

We paid £500, which is an ex­trav­a­gance in the cur­rent cli­mate, but it has given me such a boost, as well as hope that at least some of us will be to­gether at Christ­mas.

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