Christmas Village

Christmas Village

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Twelve Traditions for Twelve Days

The last trio of traditions take me from the beginning to the end of the main festivities.

10. The hall and the table are always decorated in the theme of the year, so this year it was The Holly and the Ivy.  This will include decorations, garlands, napkin rings etc.

This is one of this year's napkin rings.  My sister crocheted the holly and ivy leaves, added beads for berries and sewed on the ribbons to tie round the napkins.

11.  We watch the New Year's Day Concert broadcast from Vienna.  The music of the Strauss family has always been a part of our Christmas and New Year festivities.

12. Twelfth Night.  While we don't always celebrate it on the actual day, we usually have a family gathering to put away decorations and celebrate my mother's birthday (8th January).  This mirrors our gathering together just before Christmas. The meal is a simple buffet and we use all the year's themed elements, which first made their appearance at our pre-Christmas get together, for one last time.

So - Twelve Traditions for Twelve Days!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Christmas Greens

The next three of my family Christmas traditions involve the use of greenery.   Over the years from my childhood onwards, various parts of the family have lived in houses with easy access to good holly, ivy and other greenery and we've usually had access to mistletoe too. This has made decorating our houses with seasonal foliage very easy.

7. An Advent wreath.  Many years ago I bought a simple metal Advent wreath form with 4 candle holders mounted on it and I can wrap greenery round the form.

8. We always have holly wreaths on our doors.  I now buy mine as making one takes me a long time and I find working in the gloves I need to protect my hands too difficult.  However, my mother always made hers until a stroke and loss of much of her sight meant she too now buys one.

9. Holly.  We always have holly (with berries) over the mantelpieces and on, near or over the front doors.   Some years we remember to put net around some of the holly to ensure that the birds leave us some with berries, but even when we forget there is usually enough!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Customs Old and New

Some of my Christmas traditions are ones I've 'inherited' while others are my own.  The next 3 traditions contain both.

4. A pineapple as a centre-piece for the sideboard and cut a couple of days after Christmas has been part of our family Christmas for as long as I can remember.

5. Afternoon tea. Years ago we would have a Christmas Day tea but as everyone grew older and Christmas dinner went on for much longer, tea was abandoned as there just wasn't time!  What we now do is to have one day over the festive period when a full afternoon tea is the main meal of the day.

6. Salmon for New Year's Day.  This is my recent addition to tradition and I've been doing it for about 5 years now.  Before that, New Year's Day dinner was always roast meat.  I particularly like fish so was keen to have a day dedicated to it.  Actually, it doesn't have to be salmon; it just has to be a festive fish meal.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Twelve Christmas Traditions

Our theme of The Holly and the Ivy has worked extremely well and I'll post some more about it with some pictures.  However, during the 12 days of Christmas I will post 12 of my family's Christmas traditions.  It is a busy time this year, so posting every day isn't going to work - we're on day 3 already! I'll group them together and post every few days.

Here are the first three…

1. Christmas starts for me on the afternoon or early evening of Christmas Eve when we settle down with a glass of Madiera and a slice of panettone.  At that point I know that any advance preparations that haven't been done will now be left undone!

2. One of those advance preparations is the decoration of an old candelabrum with Christmas greenery from the garden.  This is my final christmas Eve task before the panettone.

3. Another advance preparation is the poinsettia.  My sister always brings this to the family gathering we have the Saturday before Christmas.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Two Months to Go

With two months until Christmas, my preparations are forging ahead.  Various lists have been made and items are now being ticked off.

The theme for this year is The Holly and The Ivy, so lots of scope there!

At the weekend I made a start on my cards and this year we have a die cutting and embossing machine to add to our craft tools.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Choices, choices ...

We are making good progress towards the Christmas 2016 theme.  We shortlisted half a dozen and have four of them running neck and neck.

Over the next week we will be reviewing all our craft materials ready to make a final choice after 2nd February, when Christmas 2015 really will be over.

Watch this space ...

Monday, 11 January 2016

Packing away

With my mother's birthday duly celebrated, the Christmas greenery is now down and the decorations packed away.

The Christmas village (complete with 'snow') is safely stored away in the large hat box in which it lives for most of the year.  My St Lucy embroidery is still up, of course, and she remains in place until the real end to Christmas on 2nd February.

Other than that, thoughts are turning to next year's theme and we are going to the various sales of Christmas goods to see if a theme emerges; it usually does sooner or later.  With Easter early this year, I am thinking about that too ...