I LOVE getting my Christmas decorations up. Living in Orkney means a looooooong, dark winter. I’m lucky to be someone who remains happily unaffected by this but my Christmas decorations do help me through!
We are early decorators. Ours are usually up on the 1st of December. When it’s dark by 4pm, putting on those fairy lights to cosy up the house is one of my favourite things. In the mornings when I get up first, I always go straight to the tree at the bottom of the stairs and put the lights on so when the boys get up they have a lovely cosy glow to emerge in to from their rooms.
The second thing I love about our Christmas decorations, are how they have become little traditions and gorgeous pieces of sentimentality in their own right. The cost or scale of the decorations is completely insignificant to how long we’ve had them, how we came to get them or the story behind them. I really wanted to share a few of my favourites with you….
THE PEGGY TREE
The Peggy Tree is so called for my granny Peggy. She died when I was 4 and a long time ago, I was given a wee suitcase which contained some of her old Christmas decorations. As a traditionalist, I didn’t really know what to do with the bright purple, teal and blue tinsel and multi coloured baubles! Only red, green, white and gold get on my living room tree ha ha! So for a while they went on the kids 1.5 ft Christmas trees in their bedrooms. I kind of felt this was a bit of an injustice and I should do more with granny’s decorations. So I now have a Peggy Tree in the hallway. It’s always a potted tree which I attempt to keep alive after it’s use indoors is done. It gets adorned with all the gaudy tinsel and decorations I have! Purples, pinks, blues, greens of all shades… all go on the Peggy Tree. It’s actually a riot of colour and I love it! And each year when I decorate it I think of granny and that’s what makes it special.
I felt the cat added extra hygge to this photo so left her there… Sleeping Santa came from my husbands parents. They used to set him up for Kenneth when he was little. You plug him in and switch him on and his belly rises and falls like he is snoozing away, resting before the big day arrives! He used to have coloured lights which came on too but sadly these don’t work anymore so I try to add some fairy lights in to the set up instead. It was lovely to be able to have Sleeping Santa set up for our kids to enjoy in the same way that their Dad did. Although I don’t think my set up for him is quite as special as my mother in law managed (he had basically a little room set up at their house!) I love the wee bit of childhood magic that he brings even though our boys are well past the Santa stage now.
THE CERAMIC VILLAGE
This village belonged to my great auntie (I think that’s right, my Grandad’s sister?!). It was given to me, but I suspect more for the boys benefit than mine… I have grown to love this wee village more each time it gets set up. The arrangement gets changed a little bit each year. This year Jack my 13 year old said he wanted to set it up. As this was pretty much his sole contribution to anything other than the tree this was fine by me! I love the wee figures and the different buildings which make up the village. From the pub to the bakery. We added in some cotton wool to give it a proper wintry effect. The village used to have a specific set of lights which fitted into wee holes at the back of the buildings but this gave up the ghost a couple of years ago. I now use standard fairy lights to a similar effect. It makes me think of those picture perfect village scenes in Sweden, it’s lovely to have a little bit of that in our home.
These are just a few of our special decorations. We also have the best cards which the kids made at school, these go up every year, the baubles we’ve bought on holidays, the little ceramic tealight holder from Budapest, the “Baby’s First Christmas’ baubles, the homemade snow globes from when the boys were little… every Christmas is a dive back into years gone by and memories of loved ones still here and not. To me, this is what decorating for Christmas is all about. The warmth and glow comes from the lights but it comes from what the decorations create inside you too.
What are your favourite or most sentimental decorations?! I’d love to hear your stories.