Christmas is in the house and I could not be happier to see it. I welcome the glitter, the sparkle, the unbridled joy, to be able say "well, it's Christmas" as an excuse for practically anything; we need it now more than ever before. We've had a rough couple of weeks here with illness and various other life pressures, but things are looking up. Essays have been submitted, teaching observations endured, illness recovered from - now we just cling on for the next few days until we can collapse at the weekend.
Monday, 14 December 2020
I have enjoyed decorating the house for Christmas. It is the usual things in the usual places but it makes me so happy to potter around with a duster in one hand and decoration in the other, deciding where to put things.
We bought our tree from our usual local garden centre. John chose it and it's a beauty. Decorating the tree was as stressful as ever, especially as there was a Minor Issue with the lights when I put them on the tree. I had painstakingly wrapped the lights around the tree, the kids had hung all the decorations, I had surreptitiously rearranged all the decorations in a pleasing fashion, and then John broke the lights. He was, in fairness, just trying to replace some broken bulbs but it was a step to far for these ancient white fairy lights and they stopped working - not even changing the fuse helped. Our tree was looking sad. John hot-footed it round to Wilkos while I took a deep breath and slowly removed all the baubles from the tree and then just snipped the broken lights off the tree with scissors. One hour later the tree was lit, with new, safer and much prettier fairy lights, and re-decorated. And then something amazing happens when you take a step back from the tree, when you've vacuumed up the needles and put the boxes back into the loft. Something magical occurs. The air just hums with the smell of pine and the glow of the fairy lights and the previous stresses seem to evaporate.
The obsession with dried oranges continues and they are liable to be hung from any surface at this point. I especially like them here above the cooker where, should they get greasy, they can just be put straight into the recycling bin after Christmas. I will let you know if anyone finds a pine needle or soggy orange slice in their dinner.
Other Christmas crafts include this little crochet star garland I made over a couple of evenings following this pattern. I used some leftover super chunky yarn and a 9mm hook and I love how it turned out.
I made a couple more stars than I needed and so I sewed them together, leaving an opening at the base, and have a new star topper for the tree.
I also made this very quick and easy embroidery hoop art with a Christmas tree made from tassels. It took about an hour and was very pleasing indeed. I saw the idea on Instagram - mine is a lot messier.
The Christmas reading pile is firmly in place. Some are old favourites I re-read every year (The Christmas Chronicles), others are new.
I have just finished and loved Christmas Days. It is a collection of twelve short stories, some love stories, some ghost stories, some just stories, but all about Christmas, interspersed with recipes. I really recommend it if, like me, you like some seasonal writing during December.
Mincemeat porridge is back on the menu and I have finally started writing some Christmas cards.
We met my parents at the beach for a walk at the weekend (we are in Tier 2). It was so lovely to see them and to be outside on a glorious day. There was mulled wine and mince pies too, a little outdoor winter picnic. Yes, I do like December.