I have a friend who collects bird feathers from her garden all year round and, come Christmas time, turns them into an amazing door wreath with tartan ribbons and gold baubles.
The result is just beautiful!
My friend also grabs a bundle of ivy from her garden and uses it to decorate her fireplace. It looks like something from a high-end interiors magazine. She has a talent that I yearn for because if I grabbed anything from my garden and tried to turn it into a stunning Christmas decoration, it would look like, well… something I’d just grabbed from the garden and thrown together! It takes flair and a creative “eye” to produce something wonderful from nothing. Unfortunately it’s just not a talent I have. So why is it that some people can turn a bunch of flowers into a centrepiece and others (me!) end up with a floral mess?
I know what I like, but sadly I’m not creative. Although I do try! Just like the time, a few years ago, when I saw a Christmas candle centrepiece in this very magazine and tried to recreate it.
Visualise, if you will, a mirrored tray covered in candles of all heights and all shades of taupe, with a scattering of gold and silver baubles, a sprinkling of fairy lights and a shimmer of gold-sprayed pine cones. the picture in the magazine looked amazing. Except when I did it… it most certainly wasn’t amazing. it looked like something that needed tidying away! My husband says it’s due to my lack of patience, and he’s probably right. It’s also the distraction in my life – I get halfway through something and the phone rings and I start doing something else!
So, I accept (reluctantly)
that I’m no Martha Stewart… And I believe that life really is too short to make your own tablecloths, but here are my tips for making a home feel lovely at Christmas.
Firstly, pick a theme.
For me there are three obvious choices: traditional, funky or nordic.
traditional is usually red and features Santa heavily. Funky tends to be multicoloured – think gem-stone colours (purple, turquoise, green). And nordic is usually white and wood (think ski chalet). Last year I did nordic. Simple and white with a touch of silver, and faux-fur stockings on the fireplace. We were in Birmingham but could have been in Courchevel! I bought these two reindeers made out of wooden logs, which were “ugly-cute” (if you get my drift), and I stuck silver baubles on their faces as noses and put them by the fire. The kids liked it, at least!
No Christmas is complete without candles! The smell is wonderful, they give a gorgeous light and a calm, peaceful atmosphere. the house feels really special. Christmas is the time you should bring out the best china and the finest glasses; and use them – enjoy them. My grandmother used to save things for “best”, but that meant we never used them.
Finally, there are three things that don’t need styling. Family, alcohol and food. And make them plentiful!