Thursday, 3 October 2013

Getting Ready for Christmas - Part 2 - Decorations

In relation to Christmas decorations, we have a pretty ordinary Christmas.  Although I love Christmas, we don't go crazy.   We have had an artificial tree for the last couple of years.  The main reason for this being that we tend to go away over Christmas and we don't get the full benefit of a real one.   I do have a small real tree in a pot which I bought in Wales several years ago and have been growing on which I move to outside the back door and pop a few decorations on it.

I don't change my decorations every year to keep up with fashions. I use my same decorations year after year, some of which were made by Little Bird, or are vintage and have been bought on eBay, at car boot sales or in charity shops.   I may add a couple of new, quality ones each year if I see ones I like. 

I have had a bit of a tradition for the last few years of buying one item from Liberty's Christmas Shop in the run up to Christmas every year, to add to my collection.  I might spend £5 or £6 on it, but it is well made and then comes out year after year and is put on the tree.  I've amassed a small collection of British wild animal ornaments for the tree which are very sweet and include deer, fox, squirrel, hedgehog, etc.  This year I might have to be a little more careful as our puppy will no doubt try to damage some of the ornaments on the tree given half a chance.  We might have to get a small real one and stand it on a table out of her reach.

I have an articifial door wreath too, that I bought from B&Q about 10 years ago now.   It is still as nice now as when I bought it and I keep using it year after year.  It is very simple with pine foliage and cones.  Some years I might add in a few extra things to it to make it look a bit more exciting, but I quite like it's simple minimal look.   I might splash out on some fresh foliage to decorate the house or a Christmas bouquet from the local market if we are staying in London. 

I also tend to hang a few other paper decorations around our living room and put out a few old handmade or sentimental Christmas items, but other than this it is mainly just the tree.  OH hates Christmas clutter.  He can't wait to get rid of it all in January.  HUMBUG.

I tend to buy a box of inexpensive crackers for the tree, that we can pull in the lead up to Christmas and some Cadbury chocolates to hang.  Sometimes I might hang gingerbread or candy canes too.  I also tend to buy a box of 6 make your own crackers for the dinner table, which we fill with small self-bought gifts, of a useful and practical nature, that will get used and not just discarded.  I might put a bottle of nail varnish or other small item in for Little Bird, a miniature whisky or dark chocolate for OH and Little Bird and OH might buy a lipstick, soap or some seeds to put in mine.  We keep it quite simple, but try to make it a surprise for each other.

Last year I made an advent calendar or I use a refillable one that I fill with small items.  These might be nuts, fruit, small gifts, stickers, chocolate, candy canes, whatever takes my fancy and might appeal to Little Bird.  I also get my two year old Liberty Advent Calendar out, close it's doors and then re-open them as it is very pretty. 

Christmas cards tend to be either put in card holders if I have any or I pin a length of tartan ribbon down the back of the doors and staple the cards to it.  This displays them nicely and the ribbon can be reused year after year.  A few special cards are put on the mantle piece too of course.  I also try to post cards out early using second class stamps to save a little on postage.  Last year I managed to buy stamps in bulk from WH Smith on line as they were offering a discount and saved even more money on postage.  Any I could deliver, of course, or double up in envelopes I did.

How do you decorate your home at Christmas?  Do you change your scheme regularly?  Do you have outdoor lights?  Do you have any traditions around Christmas decorations?

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