Christmas has always been a very special time for us. Jack and I had 30 wonderful Christmasses together with our family, 25 of them at our home in Edinburgh. The house was filled with the smell of Czech cakes and cookies baking, and our Christmasses filled with Jack's carefully elaborated treasure hunts, maps to follow, presents with poems and riddles to be deciphered. And there was always wonderful trees, hung with ornaments going back to our parents' Christmasses past: a Chinese bird from our first Christmas in 1974, just Jack and me and our 2 month old baby Kiva at Glenim, our little shepherd's cottage; painted eggs from a woven grass tree we had to make in the tree bare Outer Hebrides in 1978; Kashmiri butterflies, American rocking horses, Brazilian parrots. And always red candles we would light, and then blow out with a wish.
Some of our trees were huge, 15 feet tall, and Jack, Kiva, Corinna and Natasha would carry them up the street, up our spiral staircase to our living room. They were so big, and so laden with ornaments, they would transform the whole room into a magical forest.
As most of you will already know, and i am so sorry if for some of you this may be the first you have heard of this, Jack died this October in a serious accident.
So it will be our first Christmas without him, and we are missing him so much, and the wonderful Christmas surprises he put so much care into making for us. We thought we would have a different kind of tree this year, a little one hung with just some small straw stars, and we will light the red candles. For jack's many friends around the world who are thinking about him at this time we thought we would send you all a straw star to hang on your own tree, or somewhere special in your house, to remember him and join us in lighting a candle for jack this Christmas.
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