This weekend we've done a whole lot of nothing and it's been glorious. Yesterday was declared a Stay at Home day and while the kids played I pottered around the house, did some housework and washing, decanted my blackberry gin, baked some mince pies (ready rolled pastry and shop bought mincemeat, but we're calling them homemade) and we have all enjoyed watching a lot of Christmas television, The Box of Delights, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Home Alone in particular. The classics. Today we ventured out to the shops briefly for festive supplies (more yarn for Angus's crocheted dog, and sweets to decorate the gingerbread house with) and even made it out for late afternoon a walk around the harbour in the setting sun. Actually, that brief walk was amazing. I don't know about you but I haven't felt much sun on my face lately, what with the incessant mild, wet weather we've had this autumn. It's much too warm and seems to rain every day. I would like to wake up to a hard frost, to one of those very cold, crisp, blue skied days. Wouldn't that be nice?
I've also been fiddling around with the arrangement on the mantel. You know how I love a pretty mantel display, and how I have struggled to fill this enormous slab of wood that sits above our fireplace.
This will be our first Christmas in this house, and so I gave a lot of consideration to what to put where. I know it looks like I put all the decorations in one place but a few favourite bits stayed in their boxes this year, like our toilet roll tube Nativity scene and my alpine tea light holders. I realised that I don't have to get absolutely every single thing out every year, that some things can stay packed away. My two homemade stockings still hang either side of the fireplace, as they always do, and I picked out the red with some pretty IKEA lanterns and a poinsettia.
We found some tiny baubles in the loft that were just perfect for my bare branched tree, and the rest is a mixture of favourite bits and bobs, while sort-of sticking to a red, white and wood theme.
There was one old favourite I did unpack though, and will enjoy taking out of the Christmas box for many years to come: my felt gingerbread house.
I've been toying with the idea of making a real one this year, an actual edible gingerbread house. We'll see how that goes.
(Also - I don't know why blogger has centered half the text in this post. I did not tell it to. Grrr.)