I adore the run up to Christmas time. Absolutely adore it. In fact, I secretly enjoy it better than the day itself - the twinkly lights, the decorations, how happy people are, the anticipation in the air, mulled wine freely available onstreet corners, the Christmas market in Edinburgh, carollers, Christmas TV... I could go on forever.
This year, especially as it's E's first Christmas, and especially with her first birthday happening just a few days after Christmas, I really wanted to be present and really enjoy the Christmas run-up with her, so I did all my shopping and planning early, and started crafting early so we could just enjoy the season. I want to start as I mean to go on so I hope every Christmas I will be this well organised. This approach turned out to be quite fortuitous as at the start of December I came down with the worst cold I've ever had (no joke) and was pretty much useless for the first two weeks of December. I'm finally getting over it just in time to enjoy the last week before the big day!
Anyway, I mentioning I started crafting early. Despite being a seasoned crafter at a very young age, I've not crafted for years, so I eased myself in gently and started by making some simple felt mistletoe decorations for my mum as a Christmas gift (she doesn't read my blog so no chance of her finding out!):
Then I made the easiest star garland out of red felt, scrap fabric and twine (two steps - cut and glue!):
By this point I felt almost invincible (especially as I've been making some other crafts for E's 1st birthday - I'll share these later) so I decided to make not just E a Christmas stocking, but us all a stocking! This has turned out to be no mean feat, especially as my sewing machine is broken and I have no idea how to fix it (the tension is too tight so my thread keeps snapping - anyone have any ideas?) so I'm having to do it all by hand. So far I've managed to make E's stocking and Lily bird's stocking (what, your pet doesn't have a stocking?!):
This is E's stocking (I couldn't resist the hippo in the Christmas jumper!)- I'm hoping to get the last two done over the next couple of days!
On to our decorations. We normally have our 6ft artificial tree up, but E is so inquisitive and wants to explore everything. I thought about putting our normal tree up and only decorating the top half but she is still pulling herself up on everything so to me it spelled disaster. Luckily my mum donated to me her old little Christmas tree. The tree is older than me, and although it's not the prettiest thing in the whole world I have such fond memories of it as every year as a little girl I was allowed to decorate it however I wanted. It then sat on the coffee table in our lounge while the tall tree sat nicely decorated in the dining room.
So it is now sitting on top of our shelving unit:
This proved to be a good idea as within minutes of the tree going up E was already standing on her tip toes trying to reach the shiny decorations and lights! Thankfully it's just out of reach.
Our Christmas tree doesn't have a theme - it is just a mix of very old sentimental decorations and some new ones.
As it's her first Christmas I wanted a special decoration for the tree, so I picked out this Santa Girl one from Aberdeenshire based artist, Gabrielle Reith:
Isn't she pretty? She also sells a Santa Baby that I umm-ed and ahh-ed over for quite some time before settling on the girl. If E had been younger for her first Christmas, and not a couple of days shy of one then I would have gone for the baby.
Despite some strange looks from shoppers, I also let E choose her own decoration from John Lewis. She picked out this bird:
I'm hoping to make this a new yearly tradition. It's not one I did with my own family, but it's such a nice, fun and cheap thing to do.
I've not really got many other decorations out this year. Normally I have little Christmas ornaments sitting around the place, but I've ran out of high-up places to put things so I've had to rely on a few simple wall hangings like this felt wreath to give the place some cheer:
And anyway, as we all know, it's not the decorations that spread the cheer. As that famous philosopher, umm, Buddy the Elf, said:
Spotted on the streets of Edinburgh!
How is your Christmas looking?