Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Oh By Gosh, By Golly.... It's time for Mistletoe + Holly!
Last month I read this article about Christmas in the seventies and eighties and I felt a genuine pang of sadness. I really, really hate the way that Christmas has pretty much evolved into one great big competition to see who can spend the most money, and who gets the most presents, over the last decade or so. For me, the most important thing about Christmas has always been about spending time with family, and I hope that the girls feel the same as they get older. That said, I do like to treat them to some special presents; but I try to take the focus away from them and get the girls excited about other aspects and traditions of Christmas instead. We abide by the Christmas party wear rule for starters, and will never, EVER deviate away from the traditional menu of Quality Street for breakfast, roast turkey at lunchtime, a yule log for pud and a cheeseboard in the evening. I also actively encourage the circling of toys in the Argos catalogue and I, myself, enjoy circling the programmes I'd like to watch in the Radio Times (Radio Times Day is my third favourite of the festive season, after Christmas Day itself and Christmas Tree Day).
This post is all about Christmas Tree Day (HURRAY!). We've always gone out and bought our Christmas tree on 1st December and have then gone on to spend pretty much an entire day decorating it along with the rest of the house. It started when I was a child and has carried on to this day. I love Christmas and want to drag it out for as long as possible so that tree is going up at the earliest opportunity! One thing I am guilty of, though, is of dressing the tree with "smart Scandi themed decorations" (to quote the original article). Since moving out of home 17(!) years ago, I've always gone for a traditional colour scheme of red, white, green and gold, and I've been VERY fussy about the decorating process (think Monica from Friends).
But then I spent the entire afternoon after I read that article reminiscing about the festive seasons of my childhood and I realised that getting to pick out ornaments every year and going on to decorate the family tree with my siblings was probably the highlight of my Christmas back then. Whilst feeling nostalgic I made the decision to throw caution (/my OCD) to the wind and let the girls pick out all out Christmas decorations from then on.
Then B&Q approached us about working with them on a festive campaign and invited us down to one of their stores to pick out a tree and some Christmas decorations and I took it as a sign that I had made the right decision! I was going to let the girls run riot and choose EVERYTHING.
(I admit that on the drive there I did have a mild panic attack over visions of a house full of festive tat - but I needn't have worried!)
First up was the tree. I've got a thing for real trees; I love the smell of them and the whole process of picking one out, getting it wrapped up and then driving home with it squashed into the car. But as our shopping choices were entirely up to the kiddos we looked at the artificial ones too. A pink tinsel one which very nearly purchased, but in the end the girls opted for a 6ft, non drop Nordic fir (yay!).
Then we headed inside to choose some new decorations. In the past the girls have been allowed to choose one new decoration every year and it goes without saying that we've kept all of those. But any old 'fillers' we'd had were sent to the charity shop and it was time to replenish our stock! B&Q had a brilliant selection of single ornaments, ranging from £1 to about £3.60 in price (including Frozen ones - which of course we bought many of), and also sold very reasonably priced multipacks indeed. I am not a fan of matchy-matchy so we chose lots of the individual ones and two of the smaller multipacks (because the contents were pink, naturally). Tinsel was also purchased for the first time in many, many years!
We also needed lights. I've always been a fan of white twinkly ones but had been reminiscing about the multicoloured ones on the Christmas trees of my youth and was secretly quite pleased when the girls opted for those. We bought four packs in the end; two for the tree, one for the front room and one for the kitchen. We also bought some festoon lights for the back garden and (much to Daisy's & Evie's delight, and my horror - sorry B&Q!) a rope light Rudolph and star for the front garden! (I need to buy an extension lead before we can show you these in all their glory!).
The last purchase we made was my decision. B&Q have a seriously brilliant festive homewares section, selling everything from cushions to fleecy blankets and candles - and it was one of the latter that I treated myself to. Their Winter Spice candle smells DIVINE and comes in a really cute ceramic jar with a lid that looks like enamel. At £5 it's a seriously good buy and would make a really lovely present for someone this Christmas.
After spending a good hour and a half in the shop it was time to head home and get creative! As we always do, we had our festive Spotify playlist on in the background and I may or may not have treated myself to a sloe gin at 2pm.
I let the girls decorate the entire tree, and let them boss me around to put the right ornaments in the right place on the parts of the tree that they couldn't reach. I was also instructed exactly where the tinsel and lights should go around the house. I SERIOUSLY love the finished look; it beats my boring old colour scheme hands down! Retro eighties crimbo decorations are the way forward - and I can't tell you how over the moon the girls are with their tree. They've pretty much invited everyone that has come to our front door in to see it over the past few days, they're that proud of it.
THIS is what Christmas is all about! xoxo
B&Q very kindly provided us with a gift card to purchase our tree and decorations.
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