An alternative Christmas tree

This idea for an alternative Christmas tree has been in the making for a few weeks’ now. I had been chatting to a friend about Christmas and getting a bit over-excited about our annual tree buying day. The fact we always have a fairly large, real tree; the tradition of decorating it. The scent of the pine needles. And she said, much as she’d love to have a tree in their sitting room at Christmas — real or otherwise — they simply didn’t have the space for one. Instead, they had a tiny fake tree that sat upon the window ledge. She said they always made an effort to decorate the rest of the room but were sadly lacking in the tree department, due to floorspace being in short supply. Which got me thinking. Now I’ve seen a fair few non traditional Christmas trees on Pinterest but really wanted to create something that would work in their home. I’ve spotted some fab ladder versions but they’d potentially take up as much (if not more) room as a regular tree. And I’ve seen lots of lovely wall-hanging trees made of twigs and twine. But they’re a bit rustic for my friend’s taste. So my idea for an alternative Christmas… Read More

143 weeks and 6 days | Welford Christmas Tree Farm

Last weekend we revelled in the most wonderful of family traditions. We went Christmas tree shopping at Welford Christmas Tree Farm. As Andy Williams immortalised in song ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’ and — for me it really is — the lead up to Christmas is magical. I can’t quite put into words just how much I enjoy this little activity. Ever since we owned our own home, my boy and I have made a really big thing about ‘getting the Christmas tree’. It’s unquestionably my favourite annual excursion (and, given my enthusiasm for music festivals, that is a pretty impressive accolade). Some people prefer an artificial tree — no needles on the carpet to vacuum up, no annual expense — and I can see the attraction (sort of). Each to their own at the end of the day. For me personally, getting the tree is more than just the tree itself. It’s about the excitement of a lovely day out.  It marks the start of the countdown to Christmas; the anticipation of the big day. And if I was ever feeling a little bit ‘bah-humbug’, about the impending festive season, ‘getting the Christmas tree’ is a surefire antidote to that. I love it. Particularly as the Welford… Read More

Deck the Halls | What’s your Christmas decorating style?

Can you hear it? Jingle bells and a slight whisper of panic as the run up to Christmas begins. Now, I’m not a fan of the cold — and certainly not of short dark days — but I LOVE this time of year. A shiny, sparkly beacon amidst the grey, rain-sodden skies, Christmas is — without question — one of my annual highlights. I think I may actually like the preparation and the anticipation even better than the day itself, if I’m totally honest. I love the planning and excitement (getting the tree is unquestionably one of my favourite things EVER) and decorating the house — whilst carols and festive songs play in the background — makes me feel ridiculously happy. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. We’ve had various Christmas decorating ‘themes’ over the years. Everything from one colour (silver one year — gold the next) to rustic and handmade — it’s very difficult not to have your head turned by all the glitter and sparkle on offer, at this time of year. The high street is a fantastic source of inspiration, for a magpie like me. Jam-packed with baubles and trinkets to suit every taste and every pocket, you can deck your halls with colour and sparkle or go for a more understated,… Read More

113 weeks | Home {and what it means to me}

Home. A little tiny word with enormous meaning. What feelings and emotions does the word ‘home’ evoke? What does it mean to you? I’ve been thinking about this long and hard and I can’t think of a single straight answer. Home means so many different things to me. I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. So here are the first things that spring to mind. Home is feeling safe and secure. It’s pulling up outside the house and feeling relief and excitement wash over me, that I’m back in the place I feel the happiest. It’s hearing my boy’s key turn in the lock — then hearing him whistle. Something he’s done ever since we’ve been together. That two-tone whistle is synonymous with home. Home is our funny, beautiful cottage with it’s wonky walls and tin roof. And no, I’m not joking. It really does have a tin roof ;) It’s sitting around the kitchen table, listening to the radio, with the warmth of the AGA enveloping us. Home is snuggling in our giant bed, strewn with books and magazines — on a Saturday morning — with my three lovely boys (tiny boys and big, man-shaped boy). Home is bimbling about in the garden, safely enclosed by… Read More

42 weeks and 4 days | Goodbye Christmas, it’s been a blast…

Well, that’s it. Christmas 2013 —and all it’s associated festivities— is finally over. Our beautiful tree has been stripped of it’s baubles, lights and glitter and is now waiting, in all it’s naked glory, to be whisked away by the recycling men, tomorrow morning. Each garland, bauble and sparkly adornment has been carefully packed away again and normality has resumed at Seymour House. I feel very deflated. Christmas is my very favourite time of year. I love the tradition, the sparkle, the food, the gluttony, the long, long days spent with friends and/or family, the crap TV, the great TV, the relentless Christmas songs, the carols, the board games, the nostalgia, the excitement… I love it all. And this Christmas, in particular, has been one of the best. Our tiny boys have added another facet to my love of the festive season and I have been in my element; watching their reactions to things their little eyes have never seen before. Without question, it will be one of the most memorable years ever, for me and my boy. But, for now, all the glitter has gone and we have the greyness of January and February to keep us company until… Read More