December 16, 2011

Ain't it the truth

Ain't it the truth that Christmas trees look best in the dark when just their twinkly lights are on? It was still totally dark outside when I got up this morning but Richard had been downstairs before me and switched the fairy lights on.

A Christmas tree all lit up in the quiet darkness and a cup of tea is good way to start the day.

And it is a busy one today being the last day of the winter term. And it is snowing! It all feels very Christmassy around here, and I am just finishing off wrapping a few last presents and writing the last of the cards before starting the holidays proper and enjoying the run-up to Christmas with my kids. So before the happy chaos begins I'm having a cup of this (frothy capp with cinnamon),

and a little sit down to write this post and think what else needs to be done. I have never felt so calm and chilled about Christmas as I do this year, and I feel ready. Amazing!

The present wrapping, like everything else this Christmas has been very simple and pretty thrifty. Bulk craft paper (the same that I wrap my bouquets in during the summer), proper bakers' twine from a baking wholesaler - a huge great reel of it for not very much at all, and a few tags and fun tape. Cheap and cheerful but I rather love the look and the "brown paper packages wrapped up with string" feel!

Ok I did splash out on some red pom-pom ribbon, but if you can't buy red pom-pom ribbon at Christmas, frankly when can you?!

I found some huge bunches of real mistletoe being sold at our local deli for a pound, so it seemed rude to refuse. I got so many "ooo, have fun under the mistletoe" remarks walking through town I feel duty bound to spend most of the holidays puckering up and hoping for the best! Anyway it looks very festive above our sittingroom door, and I added an errant sprig to this plain wreath on our stairway (the sky was so blue yesterday, it is white with snow this morning!)

I always love candlelight, and at Christmas some extra ones in lovely sticks are lit in the evenings, I love these mercury glass ones.

Meanwhile the snow has been falling gently (the sloshy kind, I think it will melt away), this is the view from my kitchen door - I don't think I have ever seen my yellow roses in bud and bloom still whilst covered in a sprinkling of snow!

I am so glad Friday is here, it feels like the run-in to Christmas has started. The children have Christmas parties and sleepovers and I have an excuse to put on a party frock myself this weekend.

I must mention that this weekend is the last one for UK Christmas orders from the Wild Acre jewellery shop, (although the shop is not closing over the holiday period, items after this weekend will not be dispatched until the new year). Thank you so much for your support (and purchases) - it is lovely to think some of my pieces will be opened from their little be-ribboned boxes on the 25th!

So,  bring on the holidays, and some downtime some serious cosy! Have a really wonderful weekend where ever you are.


  1. Ooh, are so organised! Last few presents?...I think I am going to have to get my skates on!
    I agree that trees look best in the dark with just their twinkly magical.
    Have a lovely time with your family this Christmas.
    Love from a very snowy Northumberland....
    Julie x

  2. What a pretty tree.....and with snow on the ground, you must be feeling very festive! I think your lovely, simple present wrapping reflects the slower pace you have embraced during Advent. My enjoyment comes from a gentle approach too and long gone is that feeling of frantic, frazzled business.
    Katie x

  3. Good Morning from sunny Virginia. All does look merry and bright there.

    Enjoy your cosy family time and of course your party.

    I'm off to work for another day of sappy insanity. Thanks for such lovely images to hold.

    xo Jane

  4. We're saving decorating the tree for Monday when the little grand-daughters will be here. Haven't done much wrapping yet, but mine is planned to be a variation on the spruced up kraft paper theme. (I have just fallen in love with your candlesticks.)

  5. oh your tree is beautiful and everything looks so lovely. have a lovely weekend in your party frock.
    (ps where did you get the twine from, I think I need some of that....)

  6. Love your brown paper packages - they make everything else seem gaudy! And the lovely cappuccino by the tree. Would have had a bit of Earl Grey myself (for morning), but love the feeling.

    Have a wonderful week. xo

  7. Yes, it is a lovely feeling now that school is finished... YIPPEE!!!!!! Still got tons to do but no pressure to get out of the house at 8.30. Fab. Your tree looks gorgeous. Good luck with the mistletoe... Ax

  8. Julie, I know, I know! I am usually in a total flap in mid December, this is the first really relaxed run-up I can remember. I just made a mental decision not to get my knickers in a twist about anything and it seems to be working. I think not reading any mags about how utterly fabulous everything has to be is helping!

    Katie, exactly! The slower approach has changed everything and I wish I had discovered it years ago. Stepping off the crazy carousel - I'm loving it!

    Jane, are you nearly done, there's folks all over blogworld wishing a napathon for Christmas!

    Blue Hand, nothing like littles for creating some Christmas magic! The sticks are from Cox and Cox mail order.

    Tess, thank you and the twine is a total bargain from Click on Bakers' twine - if you buy 6 it works out just over £6 for a huge spool, about a third of the normal price from fancy shops. Even if you only buy one it is less than £8. It is a bit thicker than the divine twine type from papergoods shops. Next year I will buy the white and green I think. Totally authentic though. great for tying baked goods pressies too.

  9. Tess, sorry it is

  10. Webb, I am becoming such a creature of habit, first morning cuppa - tea, midmorning break- coffee!!

    A - ha! Have already warned my 8 yr old he is fair game for a random hug if he pauses for a nano second under the mistletoe. Glad to say the mister is doing a bit of loitering under it!!

  11. What a lovely post, I especially like your brown paper packages tied up with string! I'm nearly organised but hope to be better next week....Just popping downstairs to put the tree lights on for when the urchins wake up ( probably hours from now...) Jane x

  12. Lovely post Belinda! Totes agree with you on the tree lights. Obviously I love the food and the presents at Christmas but my very favourite thing is having the Christmas lights on in the dark... no other lights. Andrew thinks I'm bonkers because I just sit and gaze at the tree! I find it calming and quite spiritual.

    Isn't mistletoe pretty?

    You got snow! Lucky! The perfect amount - just a sprinkling to look pretty and still be able to get out and about.

    Nicki xx

    PS I have been eyeing the very same candlesticks at C&C!... I'm also hankering after the ones at the White Company. Love mercury silvered glass. Bring on pay day!

  13. Everything there looks just beautiful. Suzy x

  14. Wow- look at those poor roses! They sure didn't see that coming!

    That mistletoe is so beautiful and elegant. The stuff that grows around here is much denser with fat, round leaves and not nearly so many pretty berries.

    Your home looks cozier and more festive than ever!