I suspect that Santa’s elves would be pretty impressed by how industrious the boy and I have been in the run-up to Christmas. We’ve filled the gloomy winter days with crafts of various kinds, cheering ourselves up with sprinkles of glitter and the smell of freshly baked biscuits. The freezer is full of the goodies we’ve made, ready and waiting for hungry visitors. And our house is peppered with homemade decorations of all varieties, from baubles to wreaths and paper chains. I’d planned for us to make tree decorations as gifts for the grandparents but Little Boy refuses to be parted from them, so our tree is now groaning under the weight of our felt creations.
Tasteful it’s not, I’m afraid. Much as I enjoy browsing the ordered show-home Christmases in the likes of The White Company catalogue, it’s not something I could (or would) replicate myself. I prefer things with a little less order and a lot more charm.
It’s been lovely turning our house into a festive home, although there have been moments when I’ve wished I’d just gone to a shop and thrown money at the problem. Wrestling with greaseproof paper to try to double-line the Christmas cake tin was one. How does Nigella make it look so effortless? And every time I spot glitter glinting at me from the baby’s scalp, I wonder if it’s worth the effort. On balance, though, I’m sure has been.
I like to think that some of the things we’ve made will last the course and make an annual appearance. Christmas is about nothing if not tradition. My Grannie, who I loved immensely, gave me an ornament each year for the tree. They’re hanging up now, beside the rough-around-the-edges felt decorations that the boy and I have made. She never met her great-grandson so it’s lovely to see them hanging there together. I’d like to borrow her tradition and change it a bit, maybe making a decoration each year with the children. One day they can hang them on their own trees with their own families.
Here are a few of our creations.