The excitement of the festive season is here.....
There's just something about this time of year; the cosier evenings, the feeling of hibernation and the expectation of the abundance and celebration to come. Like many other families, we look forward to decorating our home and preparing for the festivities ahead.
Whether you are a traditionalist, a minimalist, a maximalist or a retro fan, there is literally a decor scheme for everyone to get on board with. And the decs are just the start of the fun.....
With many of us concerned about the rising cost of living this year, the cost of lighting up our home for Christmas is a very real issue. But there are ways you can bring the magic of the season to your home without it causing a bank balance headache. If we needed an excuse for more candles (and if your home is like ours, then you really don't!), then now is the time. From tealights to tapers, there are so many options that will transform your home and create light and a touch of hygge to get the cosy vibes going.
Our own Christmas is full of tradition, from making the Christmas puddings using the family recipe, to writing and posting cards to family and friends in the first week of December. Since having the children (our eldest is 12), we have established new traditions that both our son and daughter are using to build their own memory banks.
Christmas in our house is about abundance; it is the time of year when it's expected that a treat of some sort will be on display and available in the kitchen! The smell of home baking is very much a regular occurrence, with buttery-pastry encased sausage rolls and Gt Auntie Cynthia's revered mince pie recipe the order of the day.
The big day always starts with the children bowling into our bedroom, usually bang on the dot of 7am; they will have tried their luck before then (many times) but we try to stick to a reasonable hour to start the day now that they are a little older. Stockings are annihilated first and then onto the pomp and ceremony of unwrapping the big gifts. Myself and their Dad will look on disdainfully at the discarded wrapping paper and packaging, wondering how it is possible to have created so much mess in so little time.
Over the last few years, having a young family has found us having Christmas Day in our own home. It's easier all round, with the children having their new presents on hand, and we have all our home comforts to make parenting that bit easier when excitement is on the rise. As a result, I have found myself making more of the table setting, seeing the occasion as an opportunity to get out the best crockery and cutlery and make a bit of a fuss of the dining room. It heightens the special nature of the day and it adds to the feeling of it being different; a stand out kind of a day. Table dressing doesn't have to be expensive. Foraging in local green spaces can reward you with pine cones, holly and foliage for free.....it's amazing how effective a nature-themed centre piece can look with some careful thought and consideration. My preference is to set beautiful layered, white plates and bowls, and add a runner which I then adorn with festive-themed items such as ceramic light up houses, tealight holders and foliage.
Christmas at home
However you spend Christmas, there are lots of ways to make it your own. It doesn't have to follow the traditional format, it can be whatever you need and want it to be. For now, I'll be focusing on finishing off the present shopping; most years I try and have presents bought and wrapped by the middle of December; it doesn't always happen that way, but the intention is there. If you are struggling for inspiration, take a look at our website; we have a range of affordable, quality items, perfect for gifting to family and friends.
The main thing is to enjoy all the season has to offer and embrace the slightly unhinged nature of the month. Ignore the perfect images, focus instead on what's manageable and reasonable for your individual situation and, lets be honest, who has time for picture perfect anyway?
Happy Christmas, I truly hope it is everything you wish for and is full of enjoyment for you and yours.