Ah, December. A month of extremes, of light and dark, activity and rest. It's always a very busy month for us with many family birthdays, and the build up to Christmas Day is inevitably a slightly chaotic rush of shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, parties and get togethers. All very fun and all very tiring. I always like the post-Christmas lull the best, that golden week between Christmas and New Year when it's acceptable to loll around in your pyjamas all day, eating turkey sandwiches and doing jigsaws.
My December mantel is a restrained affair, largely because all the Christmas stuff is still up in the loft. There is no point putting the tree up this year, as we'll be taking it down again next week, and there's barely room for it anyway what with all the boxes. But I have permitted myself one small space for festive decoration, one calm and quiet area to fill with prettiness. I was thinking about mountains, sunsets, bare trees and frosty mornings when I did this. Some of the best things about Winter.
I bought these cable car tree decorations in Asda a while ago and think they are completely adorable. (John said I should put toy soldiers in them and act out Where Eagles Dare.) Imagine, if you will, that they are travelling gracefully up a big grey mountain...
My eBay alpine painting hangs here temporarily, joined by a line of reindeer marching along the top.
Do they have reindeer in the Alps? I don't know if they do.
Our homemade tea light holders glow nicely. I love these, we light them most days.
I have a thing about snowglobes and couldn't resist this polar bear. I am pretty certain that polar bears do not live in Alpine regions.
I didn't add the children's stockings this year. They're too red. I know, it's terrible, isn't it? Instead I hung some warm socks.
Here is my mantel last year (on the right) and the year before (on the left). Definitely more Christmas-tastic.
It's just so nice to have one small area of order amid the disorder! John just said to me "What will you do if there is no mantel in our new house?" Don't worry, I'll make sure that never happens.