It’s only fifteen sleeps till Santa and, in a whirr of shopping, decorating and parties, I can pretty much guarantee that this two-week period will whizz by.
Have you got your tree up? I like to put ours up the first weekend in December and, as 1st December was a Monday this year, I managed to just sneak it into November. I have a 7-year-old daughter and we were going to see Singalong Frozen on the Saturday morning so my excuse was that we’d be in a Christmassy mood and putting the tree up would be a nice thing to do that afternoon to continue the Christmassy theme. Those who’ve watched Frozen will know it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas but hubby seemed to have forgotten that! To be fair to him, he didn’t put up much of an objection. I think he’s happy to let me go for it that weekend providing his only involvement is getting the tree and ornaments out of the loft. That suits me; wouldn’t want him messing with my artistry 😉
Collectible Gund Bear
Do you go for a theme on your tree or do you have an eclectic mix? As a child, I remember our tree being a mix of different-coloured glass baubles and decorations that my older brother and I had made at school. We had lots of tinsel and lights and the lounge and through-dining room would be decorated with those gold/silver/coloured decorations which folded away flat but pulled out to create a very posh-looking streamer. Balloons adorned the corner of the room and I remember hilarity playing ballooning-ton with my brother and dad, and also lots of giggles when the inevitable one long balloon and two round balloon combinations were pinned up.
Since having my own tree, I’ve liked to go for coloured themes. My favourite colour is purple but colour trends in the shops seem to come and go. In the very first year that I had my own home and own tree (1997), there wasn’t a single purple bauble to be found so I went for blue and gold. Typically, the next year there was a purple explosion so I had to take advantage and get a stack of purple baubles and decorations. I didn’t like purple and gold together, though, so I needed some silver ones. Obviously! I still have all of these but the collection has grown somewhat. Hubby had a load of gold and purple decorations when we met, and we’ve acquired shocking pink, green and autumnal shades (browns and oranges) since. We have a small tree in the bay window of our dining room which is at the front of the house and therefore on display and I vary the colour combination on this. It’s blue and silver this year. In the lounge (at the back of the house) is our main tree and I’ve gone for red for the past few years. I developed a fondness for red and cream material decorations a few years ago and, over a two-year period, I kept purchasing them until I hit a point where there’s barely enough branches on the tree for them all! Hearts, birds, even elephants (not exactly Christmassy yet somehow look it).
Most of my decorations are ones that have a colour-theme and were purchased because I like them rather than them having a meaning as such but there are a few that are extra special. I have a gorgeous intricate Gund miniature jointed teddy bear. She was one of a series of six that I sold when I had my teddy bear shop. They were very expensive (£19.99) but sold to collectors rather than as a casual tree decoration. For some reason, this one wasn’t very popular but I love her because she reminds me of Christmas in the shop.
I adorn the room with a stack of Christmas cuddlies too. I have a snowman collection that I love and the really pudgy Santa was also a shop item. He’s so soft. I stocked a few cuddly Santas and I have no idea why the others sold but this one didn’t as he was far nicer. Probably didn’t sell because he was destined to come home with me! The other cuddlies that are particularly special are my Boofle collection, brought for me by hubby and/or daughter over the past few years. Even though he’s not a bear, I absolutely love Boofle and the related characters.
As you’ve probably guessed from this spiel, my question to the Write Romantics this month was:
What’s your favourite Christmas decoration and why?
I’ve already told you mine so here’s what some of the others had to say:
Jackie says …
The Christmas decoration I wanted to show you appears to have disappeared which is a shame because I’ve had it since I was a child. My mum tells a story that we children were given a choice as to whether we wanted a cake or to choose a Christmas decoration each. All of us (five altogether) apart from my elder sister Heather, chose a decoration. She chose a sugar bun but, of course, once she’d eaten it wished she had her own decoration and wailed and hid behind the sofa as we each hung our bauble on the tree.
But anyway, my plastic, spiky Christmas man is gone, so I’ll have to say, this funny lady always makes me smile as does this podgy Nativity set, mostly because they all look so perplexed as if they have no idea what is going on.
Happy Christmas everyone.
Rachael says …
Over the years, my Christmas tree has been adorned with a multitude of children’s school and homemade decorations, which I’ve loved and treasured. As the children got older and less inclined to glitter and glue moments, I bought a few new decorations for the tree each year.
I love the golden bells and the little wooden train I bought a few years ago. I haven’t put the tree up yet, so they may have to move over and make way for something else!
Sharon says …
When I was little, my mum and dad didn’t like to put the Christmas tree up too early, so we were nearly always last in my little group of friends to have all the decorations up.
We had a real tree, and it was an exciting time when I’d get home from school to find the tree in the garden ready to go in the living room, and Mum and Dad rummaging around in the loft gathering up all the baubles and trimmings.
In those days, we had paper trimmings that draped round the walls. Looking back they were pretty basic but at the time we loved them and thought they were beautiful!
Decorating the tree was a big deal. My mum was in charge, and my dad’s only real job seemed to be testing the lights. Invariably they weren’t working and he’d have to go through each bulb, checking to see which one had blown.
There was always a cry of delight when we came to our favourite ornament. Mr Snowman was a bright, shiny blue bauble with a white moustache stuck to him and a pair of googly eyes and a glittery hat. I don’t know why we called him Mr Snowman because he didn’t look like a snowman at all, but that’s what we called him and the moment he was lifted from the box to hang on the tree was the moment it felt that Christmas had really arrived. Sadly he was broken many years ago and no other ornament ever took his place.
This year I’ve purchased a new decoration for our tree as a momento of the amazing year I’ve had. I spotted it in a shop last week and it’s a little red felt hare. As the pub in my fictional village is called The Hare and Moon, and the blog I launched is The Moongazing Hare, it felt very special to me to buy it, this year of all years, so I think it will become a treasured family favourite for the tree in years to come. He is already pretty special to me! J
Deirdre says …
If there’s one thing we have in super-abundance in this house, in the loft to be precise, it’s Christmas decorations, mainly things for the tree. How we’ve ended up with so many I’ve no idea; they just seem to have arrived. We vary the theme from year to year – blue and silver, red and gold, pinks and purples, throw-it-all-on-and-hope-for-the-best – but whichever phase we’re in, three items come out every year without fail.
There’s a dear little wooden stocking which my son Chris made in CDT at school when he was eleven, with a hole drilled for the string to go, and a wooden parcel to go with it. They’re meant to be tree decorations but as the parcel never made it to the hole stage we stand them on a shelf instead. Chris is nearly 40 now…
When my younger son, Luke, became old enough to go Christmas shopping on his own, he bought me a china robin. It’s not out of the top drawer, quality-wise (I think it came from the pound shop) and as robins go it looks somewhat underfed, but he chose it especially for me and I love it. It’s not strictly a Christmas decoration but you don’t want robins hanging about all year, do you, so out it comes at Christmas to be stood up with the stocking and the parcel.
The boys don’t ‘get’ sentiment. They think I’m potty to keep hold of these things year after year but I’ll never be able to bring myself to throw them out, and besides it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
Helen R says …
When I moved to Australia back in 2000 I had all my Christmas decorations shipped over. My family thought it odd – why didn’t I just buy them in Melbourne? For me, Christmas decorations are so special every time they are unwrapped at the start of the festive season. It’s so exciting to see all those delicate ornaments or the decorations made or given by family and friends that I will use to decorate the tree.
We are still waiting for our shipping to arrive in the UK from Australia so I don’t think I’ll get all my decorations in time this year unfortunately. Perhaps an oversight on my part and I should’ve sent a box sooner, but never mind…inside that box will be some real favourites of mine. I remember the first Christmas in my little house in Norwich and I bought a Santa on Skis which makes me smile every year. Then there are the decorations that my girls made at kindergarten and then school…some with their photos aged three and four which are so cute.
My Christmas tree never looks like a designer, colour coded tree straight from a catalogue, but to me Christmas is about the personal touch and the many ornaments that I’ve collected over the years make it really magical.
Last week I bought three new decorations for my collection…their significance every year will be that they were the first decorations we bought for our home in Bath 🙂
Alys says …
I have a rather ridiculous love of this little sparkly shoe. I bought it at the lovely shop at Castle Howard (famous for being the location of Brideshead Revisited). I guess it symbolises new starts for me. I bought it a year after I split up with my ex. As the split happened over Christmas I hadn’t put the tree up that year and this little shoe was part of celebrating how far I’d come in the year that followed and a bit of hope for a brighter future
Over to you … We’d love to hear your memories of Christmas. What baubles or decorations did you love then and which do you love now?
Merry Christmas everyone!