Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Christmas Countdown

The Christmas Countdown
29 September 2012

Oh my frikkadel!!!  How is it possible?  In a mere 3 months, we will be celebrating Christmas.  I feel a bit like I’m staring down the barrel of a gun.  Because although Xmas, is simply my very favourite time of the year, my goodness, but it is busy.  And have I bought even a single present?  Don’t be ridiculous!  Of course not.  I usually give hand-made gifts to my extended family, so that also adds a bit of pressure.  Lots to do!  Lots to do!!!

I love going into the shops and seeing all of the Christmas festivity.  I love hearing the Christmas carols, and normally sing along under by breath, and sometimes not-so-under-my-breath to the great embarrassment of my children.  But I want to commit murder when I hear Bony-M.  It does not bring out the best in me, yet invariably I’ll catch myself humming “By the rivers of Babylon” at some or other point.  It seems to seep in despite my best intentions.  I have a deep weakness for Christmas decorations and every year, my stash increases.  I am very pernickety and finicky about what I like, and everything has to look just so.  I don’t do bling decorations – rather old world looking.  But don’t get me started, I can wax lyrical.  Not kidding!

Decorating my home every year, is a labour of love.  We live in a  small house, yet I do a few trees every year.  I love it when the kids join me and we do it together.  Grant thinks I’m cooked in the head.  And he’s right.  Because I am, and I know it.  Hey, I’m happy to fly my freak flag, especially when it comes to Christmas.  I have boxes and boxes of decorations.  And inside those boxes are more boxes – most covered with Xmas wrapping paper.  I have been collecting decorations since I was about 17 years old.  And my taste is still the same.  I have a whole tree dedicated to toilet roll Father Christmases that my kids have made at playschool and pre-school.  As well as all of their other hand made decorations.  Tinfoil stars, angels, big bells, little pine cones covered in glitter, etc.  We’ve even been known to string popcorn and it looks beautiful!

It simply takes ages to put it all together, but my heart goes pitter-patter from the second I take the big boxes down from the cupboard.  And the deeper I delve into those boxes, the happier I become.  Christmas is just such a magical time.  Full of love, family and festivity.  I lovingly unpack all and allocate different decorations to different trees and places around the house.  I keep all of my old Christmas cards and group them together according to colour and theme and stick them up all over the house as well.  I have most of them hanging down vertically on ribbons – kind of like cards on a string.  And it just creates such a beautiful look.

I make my own Christmas cards every year, with a beautiful pic of my kids – much to Luke’s disgust.  He feels he is just too old for it now.  Sorry for him!  I still get to pull rank on some stuff.  I send them out to those most special to me and it’s a bit of an institution, I believe.  People look forward to them and keep them for years afterwards.  Not because they’re so fabulous, but simply because it’s always a nice pic of the kids.  I like being creative with wrapping paper as well.  I know, I have a huge hole in my head.  Such a sucker for punishment.  And every year, Grant urges me again to just buy cards and paper.  As if!  Perish the thought!

So, I thought I’d include a few little pics of my decorated home.  And going through the years, since the age of digital photography (not going back further and scanning old pics), I’ve simply been amazed by exactly how many Christmassy type photos I take every year.  So, brace yourself.  This could take a while.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly!  Fa-la-la-la-laaaa-la-la-la-laaa!!!!!

The piano with decorations
Baby Xmas tree collection

Ribbon card strings
Very busy - but I love it!
Every year the position of the tree seems to move
More card ribbon strings
Not a single space undecorated - not for the faint hearted
All of the kids home made cards and decorations
Helpful kids

So sweet

 Grant giving Cole a hoist up

A real tree filled with kid-made decorations and strung with popcorn

And a bit closer

Even the fish tank gets put to good use

Even the piano gets done up

A little tree filled with little wooden decorations

More little baby trees - the chocolate ball tree is a favourite with the kids

Card collection

More cards and candles

I made all of the kids their own advent calendars that we use every year - matchboxes  covered with Xmas wraping paper and numbered - a treat in every numbered box up until day 24

My heart goes doef-doef when I look at these

Little sweetie gift bags that my aunt, Bettie, makes for all of the kids every year and yet another advent calendar

Pretty piano

All the blue cards




Red and green cards


I love tins and Xmas snow globes

More card ribbon strings

And more card ribbon strings

Yip, I have a problem - clearly


So beautiful

Too pretty

All lit up

 Beautiful Xmas snow globes and what-not's

Little tea-light candle lanterns

These are too beautiful and stay up in my home all year long

These are breath taking and don't get packed away either - rather displayed all year long - they give me such joy
Busy, I know - but I like it, which is all that matters
More of the sweetie bags from my aunt, Bettie
My little Berry - peeping from the tree

All old world looking

Quirky angels topping the tree

And little Luke peeping from a framed pic in the back

All charming in my opinion

Gifts covered in newsprint/fish shop paper, liberally dotted with vinyl star stickers and fat green and black ribbons