It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner; this year has gone so quickly! I had been planning a slow wind-down for Christmas this week, but a last-minute flurry of work requests has put a stop to that and I’m up to my elbows in copywriting. I’ve booked a hot stone massage for Thursday though, so that’s going to get my Christmas holiday off to a relaxing start (I’m going to need it!).
Despite being busy with work, it’s been a nicely festive month so far. The minute it turned December it was time to bring out the advent calendars. In addition to Cadbury’s chocolate ones each, I also have this beautiful one based on a book I’m rather fond of. Each window has a lovely wintry illustration of birds or plants.
We also immediately got into the festive spirit by buying our first ever real Christmas tree (well, our first as grown-ups). It smells wonderful – the smell of childhood Christmases – and I loved putting the Christmas carols on and decorating it with some new and old decorations.
Among the new ones, I”m particularly thrilled with these beautiful bird baubles. We have loads of blue tits, goldfinches and robins in our garden everyday, so these seemed a perfect choice for us.
We bought these nutcracker decorations in the little Christmas shop in Reykjavik on our last trip, so they’re a lovely reminder of a favourite country.
I was pleased with how this photo came out. It’s intentionally blurry because I like how it makes the Christmas lights look! You also get an impression of the soft glow of our living room with candles lit, Christmas tree lights on and log burner going. So very hygge!
This is the first year we’ve bought a wreath, and I loved these ones so much that we bought two – one for the front door and one for the back.
I went for a red and white colour scheme for this year’s presents. I’ve had dozens and dozens of them to buy and wrap, but I did the majority of my shopping online, so at least I didn’t have to spend too long traipsing round the crowded shops.
In my rare quiet moments I’ve been enjoying reading this beautiful Christmas anthology from the British Library. It contains loads of poems and literary extracts on a Christmas theme, as well as the occasional short story. These are interspersed with gorgeous illustrations, so it’s definitely put me in a festive mood.
Another thing that’s kept us busy this month is entertaining. We’ve had loads of people round for dinner – it’s lovely to finally have a house big enough to be able to invite people round. I’ve had fun putting together menus, with chocolate mousse becoming a staple.
Earlier in the month we went across to the beautiful Cotswolds village of Broadway, where there was a Christmas shopping evening going on. There were quite a few foodie stalls, so we got plenty of yummy free samples (including mulled wine – my favourite on a cold night). There was a brass band playing, which gave the whole place a delightfully cheery atmosphere.
All the shops were lit up very invitingly, with bright white lights in the trees.
Last week Lee took me out for a lovely candlelit dinner at The Fleece Inn, a historic National Trust-owned pub. This photo doesn’t do justice to how enchanting the atmosphere was; the whole place was lit solely by Christmas lights and candles, and we sat right next to a roaring open fire.
We also took a day out of our hectic pre-Christmas schedules last week to dash down to France for a Christmas food shop. It was our fourth trip to France this year, not counting flying through French airspace on the way back with the new aircraft. We bumped into some reindeer in the Eurotunnel Folkestone terminal, which was a wonderful surprise! Apparently these impressive antlers only take about a week to grow.
We were in France for about three or four hours in total, and we managed a mammoth shop for the family Christmas party we were hosting next day. I love going shopping in French supermarkets; there’s just so much variety and the food is such good quality.
Christmas is now days away, and I’m all set except for buying sprouts and spuds and picking up our Christmas food order from M&S. With my work diary already pretty much full for January, I’m so looking forward to a well-earned restful Christmas!