Now we’ve hit December, it’s completely acceptable to talk about Christmas, right?! And I can even discuss putting up the Christmas tree?
Well, those of you that know me well, know I have been banging on about Christmas since the beginning of November. I’ve already done some Christmas baking, reminisced about our Christmas last year, and my Christmas bucket list has been written so you could say I’m all set for Christmas.
My favourite part of the festive season, and what starts it all off for me is putting up our Christmas decorations. Traditionally, we always put them up the weekend after Craig’s birthday, which is usually the last weekend of November. Last year Alfie was only 5 months, and we didn’t have to worry about a baby on the move – this year might be a little different.
Even though I love Christmas, I like to think we don’t go overboard with the decorations. We have one corner of the lounge with the tree, and then decorate the mantlepiece, but that’s about it. Simple and subtle is how I like it. We haven’t done any other rooms this year, apart from a little festive sprinkling in the hall way. The wreath does go on the front door, and I also added a festive door mat this year, but apart from that, the lounge is our main feature.
I know a lot of families have the real or fake tree debate every year. For us, it’s fake tree all the way. Our flat gets so warm, a real tree would die quite quickly! It would also mean I wouldn’t be able to put it up so early. A few years ago we were given a gorgeous tree by my brother, for when we moved into our first house, and it’s what we have used every since. I love it, it’s so big but not too overpowering for the room and easy to decorate.
All our decorations are kept in the loft, neatly packed away in boxes, so come Christmas time it’s easy to get them out and start unpacking (after we’ve had to borrow a ladder to actually get in the loft – thanks Mum!). Alfie seemed quite uninterested in what we were doing this year, until the lights came out. I switched them on and Alfie had great fun sorting them out and untangling them (with some help from Daddy!).
He was also very interested in the tree parts – I’m not entirely sure why, but he seemed to think the tree parts were a broom and took great delight in “sweeping” the carpet! I don’t know where he picked that up from – it must be nursery as I don’t use a broom at home.
Luckily, Alfie went for a nap soon after we started putting the tree up. This meant we could adorn the decorations without worrying about a toddler running off with the baubles or getting tangled in the tinsel! We have a rough “theme” of red, silver and gold, and then have lots of special baubles to add to the mix. There’s the “First Christmas as Mr and Mrs” one and some lovely New York ones bought by my friend. Then there’s the New York ones we bought ourselves on our first anniversary trip. Our niece made us a special one last year when she visited Santa, and then finally there are Alfie’s special decorations. We have a “First Christmas 2015” one, a lovely Christening one from his godmother, and his Christmas Eve 2016 penguin bauble. I can’t wait to collect new ones every year, and have a tree full of special decorations.
Plus, of course, the angel on the top of the tree!
It is now going to be tradition that Daddy and Alfie put the angel on top of the tree – we have a similar photo from last year, and am excited to recreate this every year now!
Our mantel piece is then decorated with this gorgeous pine-cone creation that I bought from a garden centre last year.
I put the fairy lights in vases behind it to give it a bit of extra glitz, and then our special candy cane letters are in front of the fireplace. There were bought from the lovely Blanchies Fancies last year and will last us for years to come.
I’m not usually a fan of tinsel, but it’s the perfect addition to our mirror! Our final pièce de résistance is our homemade stockings. These took me aaaaaaages to make last year, and I was lucky I was on maternity leave and had the time to do them! They’re not perfect, and there’s definite faults, but I still love them (although not loving the fact I’m going to have to more for subsequent kids…perhaps we will just have one more…). I also love that they’re not massive, so Father Christmas doesn’t feel pressure to buy loads of expensive gifts to fill them up!
It didn’t take long to do, and our home is now feeling extremely festive. My friend came round after we’d finished and she said it made her excited to put her decorations up now! Alfie soon woke from his nap and I took him in to show him the tree. I was a little worried that he would pull it over, but in fact, he’s been fab. He played a little with the baubles, and there are two that he keeps taking off the tree, but apart from that he has been brilliant. I’ve put some cute Christmas teddies under the tree so they will hopefully distract Alfie from the decorations when he gets close to the tree.
I’m so pleased the decorations are up, it really is lovely to come home to a beautiful lounge and sit watching tv, or blogging on the computer, under the lights of the tree. It really does just take a few well placed fairy lights to put a smile on my face! It also meant I got to wear my first Christmas jumper of the season – definitely guaranteed to put me in a good mood!!
Have you started to get ready for Christmas by putting your tree up? Or are you waiting until later in the month?