Christmas Village

Christmas Village

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 ...

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Number 12

My final item is another good all year round one

Not being all that tall, this small step is invaluable at any and every time of the year but really does come into its own when there are decorations to go up or come down.  The fact that it folds flat makes it even more useful as it can be stored away but remain readily available.

So we have reached the point where most people's decorations are down and the towns and villages no longer sparkle with Christmas lights.  As we packed away the office decorations, we ate the mince pies baked and sent in to us by the mother of one of our team.

It can feel a bit flat at this point but happily we have my mother's birthday celebrations to come at the weekend and, of course, I will be stringing Christmas out until 2nd February anyway!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Looking back, looking forward

Today's photo is not items that I've used over the 12 days of Christmas but rather items that made the preparations easier.

It is difficult to single out the craft equipment to be called the 'most useful' but these three would be high up my list -

Guillotine, scoring board and bone folder.

Simple but effective

Back to work today, making yesterday one of the last days of festive family meals.  

Meals generate quite a lot of washing up and even if you use a dishwasher you want to rinse things off before washing, so this is something I've done for many years to make that just a little easier -

A jug of hot water for the cutlery and a bowl for plates, etc. and put the used ones in when you go to get the next course.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Renewing the greenery

With the Christmas season starting to draw to a close the greenery inside the house was getting a bit tatty - not helped by central heating, of course.  However, as I am keen not to finish Christmas until I really have to, yesterday was a day to go into the garden, cut some more foliage and renew some of the decorations.

That requires decent secateurs

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Time saver

This one is something that once upon a time I would have considered the height of laziness but now is part of everyday life.

Foil roasting dishes save me much time and energy!

For use on their own I buy the slightly more expensive ones as they are more rigid, but the cheaper ones are excellent for lining a real roasting tin.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Safety First!

For New Year's Eve (because I'm posting these items a day late) I have chosen:

Very Useful Indeed, especially if you have a few candles to light.  I also use tapers, but last night it was a long match.

My mother used to have a tradition of gathering up all the stubs of candle used during the year, putting them together and then lighting them on New Year's Eve.