My three Christmas decor rules

It’s that time of year again and I love it!  Not all the shopping and the spending, I try and keep that to a complete minimum, but I love getting the home all cosy and Christmasy.  Being a woman of a certain age I’ve experienced a few Christmas decor trends.  Growing up in the 70’s it was tinsel all the way.  We had it hanging from everywhere.  It was tinsel crazy in our house.

pexels-photo-264995-christmas

Then in the 90’s early 2000s it all got a bit too staged.  Everything seemed to be white or silver, with maybe a touch of blue or purple. Not my favourite look, all a bit cold.

So what are my Christmas decoration rules you may or may not be thinking, and to be honest they’re not hard and fast rules but I do have some, so here we go.

Rule number 1

It has to be a real Christmas tree, big or small it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s real.  I think it’s because my family always had an artificial tree when I was growing up.  Without a real tree it just doesn’t smell like Christmas.  And of course, there’s the ritual of going to the local garden centre or forestry shop to select the perfect one.  The tree always ends up being too big, but it gets everybody in the spirit, not to mention pine needles all over the inside of the car.  The tree doesn’t appear in my house until the first weekend in December, which is why the blog is now ready to go.  When my kids were young I would get the tree looking fairly stylish (in my opinion) then they would add all their finishing touches from drawings to toilet rolls covered in cotton wool – but what can you do? This year my tree looks like this. Not a work of art but there is only so much time in the day you know.

christmas-tree.jpg

Rule number 2

Less is more and mix it up (is that two rules?).  What I mean is I don’t need it to look like there’s been a small explosion in a tinsel factory, but instead I prefer just a few bits of sparkle dotted around the house, after all there is already a tree in the house.  Then when the lights go down it all comes together with a few subtle lights (are you listening Mr Husband SUBTLE lights) and candles.

I do also like to have a bit of colour, rich reds and greens, and for things not to be too organised, and you can see this from the tree above.

I’m very much embracing the Scandi inspired decor themes this Christmas with wood and foliage. So this year I’ve been foraging for some free decorations from the outside world and come up with my own Christmas tree branch.  What do you think? The bay leaves gave a lovely smell to the room.

christmas twig (2)

Rule number 3

Everything has to fit back into the Christmas decoration box that gets stored on top of the wardrobe.   I don’t know about you, but I usually can’t usually resist buying something new each year – but I’m kept under control by my Rule number 3.  As a result, decorations are now carefully chosen and so have memories of how I came to own them.  I love these little wooden stars I bought in a shop in Dorchester the year before last on a pre-Christmas family visit.

xmas stars

Of course, I get around my Rule number 3 by bringing Christmas to a few of my all year round bits and bobs, so they don’t go back in the box -right? This year I will be using a couple of brass candlesticks and bon-bon stands I picked up in bric-a-brac stores for next to nothing earlier in the year. This will add a bit of height to my Christmas table.

Christmas table

But I guess my unwritten rule of Christmas decor is to have fun and not to take it all too seriously, so that’s what I did when I dressed up my spider plant for the day.

merry christmas spider plant

How do you like to decorate your home at Christmas, do you have any Rules to share?

 

 

 

 

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A visit to an English vineyard

On a Sunday morning in the summer, I was fortunate to be taken by The Daughter to a lovely little English vineyard. Bear with me there is a seasonal theme to this blog …. in the end. The English vineyard in question was the Three Choirs Vineyard, Newent, Gloucestershire UK, where they grow the grapes and make the wine.

Let me share with you my summer visit to an English vineyard and winery. This was Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucester, UK. The sun was shining, and the wine tasting was fab. You can see the three wines I bought along the way. It may give you some ideas for presents

I’ve long been meaning to try a bottle of English wine but it’s quite expensive (relative to my usual wine price point) and preferring my wine on the dry side I’ve been a bit weary anything I bought would be a little sweet, but that was not to be the case.

So first of all, the visit. We joined a wine tasting tour taking us through the wine making facility with information and tastings along the way.

 

 

 

What made the visit very special was the moment we arrived the sun came out and we could have been in a vineyard in France.  Plus by 11.55 am on a Sunday morning I was standing in the sunshine with a glass of English fizz in my hand (traditionally made sparkling wine I should say). After the guided tour we were free to roam around vines as they gently rolled over the hillsides, as did I.

 

What more could you want from a Sunday you may ask….. well 3 bottles more perhaps? I purchased a white, a rose and a sparkling wine to take home.  It would have been rude not to as they had a very extensive shop where we were able to taste before we bought (we had already tasted, but are very indecisive).

This is the bottle of rose we enjoyed in the garden one sunny day in Buxton.

IMG_20170810_164920 (2)

So where is the Christmas connection? Obviously a bottle of a good English wine would make a special Christmas gift for any wine lover, but believe it or not we are yet to drink the bottle of purchased sparkling wine.  I had planned to enjoy it on my birthday, while we were having a quick break in North Yorkshire.  However the holiday cottage where we stayed did not have champagne flutes! I know, but what can you do. For me the glasses are as important as the drink contained within, water, wine, beer (don’t get me started on unacceptable beer glasses).

So like me the sparkling wine has been to North Yorkshire and back. Which gives me the dilemma of shall I take it to the family Christmas gathering or save it for a quiet New Year with Mr Husband?  What do you think?

 

Let me share with you my summer visit to an English vineyard and winery. This was Three Choirs Vineyard in Gloucester, UK. The sun was shining, and the wine tasting was fab. You can see the three wines I bought along the way. It may give you some ideas for presents

Cheers 🙂