Monday, 14 December 2020

Christmas House

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. 

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.


  1. Everything is just beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and all your family.
    xx Sue

  2. Your home looks so warm and inviting. We have had a couple of "light" adventures over the years, but two years ago we bought a pre-lighted artificial tree. I do miss the smell of a real tree but the cost has become prohibitive here. I can leave this tree up much longer so that's a plus!

  3. I love your christmassy craft projects! Your tree is beautiful, and your entire house (or what we see of it) spells CHRISTMAS - just wonderful!
    This year for the first time, I will have my very own Christmas tree. It is still sitting in two parts in black bin liners in my cellar, waiting to be brought upstairs, dusted, set up and decorated. My parents decided they want a much smaller tree this year (my Dad's mobility issues mean he finds it difficult to navigate their open-plan living/dining/kitchen space with the tree in the middle), my Mum bought a small potted one, and I jumped at the chance to take their discarded artificial one. I doubt it will look anything as beautiful as yours, but it will be mine :-)

  4. Oh it all looks so beautiful, and the simple strings of oranges and leaves above the cooker are a brilliant idea and so simple and lovely.

  5. Isn't your house lovely Xmas house <3 Xmas fiasco with lights, we had lots over the years. This year the barn door hits the outside hanging lights and they won't stay up to avoid it. No stress here, I did all myself. the kids just love to come and enjoy my festive house. And the food and cake. 6 days until winter stolstice, the light will return. Finally <3

  6. You give me inspiration to make an effort to enjoy winter more than I do. Thank you! Your tree is lovely, as are the rest of your decorations. You've convinced me to pull the trigger and buy The Christmas Chronicles, and just as I was reading about it, my husband came in to tell me that his boss has given him a book voucher for Christmas!! What perfect timing!

  7. The Twelve Days of Christmas is a favourite read of mine too. Really admire your choice of Christmas Cards. Do you have a link or stockist for these? Great blog post as always. Thank you.

  8. It looks so warm and Christmas-y! I love love love the crocheted star garland! I am a bit jealous that you live so close to the sea! We are near Lake Ontario, (New York State) which is lovely, but the ocean is hours away.

  9. What a wonderful looking happy house. Only two more sleeps until break up! Jo x

  10. I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. jewish cards

  11. We always get there eventually and it’s so worth the effort. It’s stunning, love the hoop and also the little car with tree on its roof. I’m now going shopping for oranges, always used to do this but missed it for a few years, no idea why but it’s set to return, I remember the smell is amazing. You will,have broken up now, enjoy your rest and relaxation oh and have a wonderful Christmas x

  12. Love the Christmas tree hoop art. A very clever idea and the 'messy' gives it great character. Have a great Christmas and stay safe all of you x

  13. Thank you for the update. Such a pretty and cosy pictures. Enjoy Christmas and stay healthy

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