I’m unashamedly mad about Christmas. It is the time of year where it feels like all the good from the past meets all the hope for the future. This is really reflected in the weekend my family and I decorate the house for the holiday season. As I open up the boxes, I am blasted from the past with decorations which hung on many a past tree. From my grandparent’s there is a small cellophane bell they made together for their first Christmas as a married couple when they didn’t have enough money for decorations. My childhood Christmases come flooding back when I see the love heart decoration my mother and I bought together from Hamley’s on a mother daughter trip. Every year I place with love a music box that I remember being mesmerized by at my Grandmother’s house in America, which she had inherited from her family. Sadly my mother and grandparents are no longer with me but in these moments I feel a connection to my beautiful festive past with them.
As well as my history there is the journey my husband and I have been on for the last 16 years. The collection of mini rubber ducks we collected from our work colleagues while on Virgin Air flight for a business trip that we converted to “bauble”. Christmas decorations we have purchased as souvenirs from holidays, the first one being a Christmas bell from San Francisco. As we hang them, they take us back and make us smile.
Our life together now includes two boys and we’re enjoying family Christmases, ones where they will remember Dad’s swearing at the Christmas tree lights (although modern LED light strings mean the “hunt for the loose bulb” may be lost to history!) and working out how to the home made Christmas stockings in preparation for Santa’s visit hang the home made Christmas stockings in preparation for Santa’s visit over a contemporary, modern fireplace hanging .
I get asked a lot to write “How to Decorate your House for Christmas” articles, with people wanting to know what colour is hot for this festive season and should their tree be done in Gold or Silver. As well as tree hints people want to know how to create a chic Christmas table. When I write these I can look analytically at how to deliver these Christmas touches to a home and I always think they do look amazing, but my gut pulls against this approach to preparing for Christmas. Most of us we aren’t decorating our homes for a magazine shoot but for our family. Put taste and restraint aside and decorate it with your heart.
For me decorating your home for Christmas is about the pure joy of not worrying about it. To fill the house with Christmas welcome, be it in Red, Green, Blue or Purple. To remember the people who are no longer with us by enjoying hanging decorations they have left us. To create memories with the people who stand beside you by going “What the hell, let’s have tinsel.”
I have all my husband’s family coming to join us for Christmas this year and I have taken great pleasure letting my Christmas decorating diva out, creating a Christmas guest room to welcome them in. Is it on trend, probably not? Did I have fun doing it, absolutely! Will they be comfortable and will it put a smile on their face – I hope so!!
So my biggest tip for Decorating your home this yuletide is to relax and enjoy it. Christmas isn’t a time to have things perfect, it’s a time to revel in expressing your Christmas joy.
All the Best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!