Friday, 18 December 2015

A handmade Christmas

I love Christmas. I really do. It starts off with the smells - that faint hint of cold and Winter in the air mingles with remnants of autumn bonfires in the garden and wood burning stoves crackling inside. It quickly moves to the sights - bright lights in the dark (the darkness that seems to come too quickly, too soon in the afternoon), the bright displays in shop windows, Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, mixed spice, candied fruit. Cooking. Ah, did I mention the food?! Puddings, custard, mince pies, roasts, stews, gravy. Heaven! All done with The Christmas Song in the background, a Nat King Cole soundtrack counting down the days.

A time for being all cosy, wearing something woolly and hibernating in the living room. Indulging in just that one evening I found myself watching a Christmas craft show. You know the ones I mean. Beautiful homes and stunning decorations show off Christmas and guests display their crafting skills, happily telling the presenter that everything is homemade. It's wonderful to gorge on the interiors and feast on the home decor. Though lovely as that is, I did catch myself thinking, who in the world has time to make individual felt reindeer as name places for the Christmas meal on top of doing everything else that comes with getting ready for the big day? Reality for most people is usually some festive lights, putting up and decorating the tree and then spending the rest of the holidays telling the toddler not to pull off the baubles. Or the little person to leave the presents under the tree wrapped... 

Before you think I've gone all 'bah humbug' on you, I adore (and admire) all the wonder created by the crafters, it just might be a little more refreshing to have the Christmas craft bar set a bit more realistically.  For those of us with one third of the time and  budget available to us, how can we recreate a bit of rustic Christmas style in our own homes? 

Armed with nothing more than a patch of countryside in front of me and a pair of secateurs, I went forth and chopped holly, pine, laurel, ivy and anything else remotely evergreen. Although amateur, I 'gave it a go' and put it all together with a bit of twine and some mini christmas baubles to create a Christmas wreath for my front door. Hey, it can be done!

So, for those of you who may only have a work lunch break, the length of a child's nap time or a school morning to complete something in, here are a few ideas to tap into that home made vibe. Don't be shy, these really are easy peasy. 

Merry Christmas everyone! x

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