creating a simpler Christmas * days 10-16

Doesn’t time seem to evaporate during December? One moment you are ahead and the next lagging behind. I am definitely behind. Most of our Christmas decorations are stored in the loft and as yet we have not brought them down but during the last week I have been slowly decorating parts of the house with posies of Christmas foliage and flowers and a very few special decorations that I keep in a box downstairs. But I am loving the minimality and I might not bring down the rest of the decor at all. Well I did say I was going for a simpler Christmas.

Christmas would not be Christmas though without an appearance from my knitted Christmas pudding tea cosy, my red china cup and plate and the handmade robin print napkins designed by my daughter and kept in an old Christmas tin from Crabtree and Evelyn.

In the last few days I have been making a few gifts. Starting with the chocolates. I always take a tray full round with me to our neighbours get together – they positively drool with delight; they are rather more…ish.

Homemade chocolates

Once the dark and milk chocolate are combined in a swirl I throw in handfuls of Christmas delights such as nuts, raisins and glace cherries in one half and pieces of fudge, honeycomb and glace ginger in the other. Anything goes. Sprinkle on a few tiny Christmas sugar beads, stars or meringues and decoratively lace all over with melted white chocolate. Leave to set and cut into small squares.

Any left over chocolate can be made into lollypops and decorated.

I made enough chocolates to give a box to a dear friend of mine together with the table decoration of hypericum berries, eucalyptus, euonymus and tiny cream roses arranged in……you guessed it one of those vintage style plant pots!

We have also been on a shopping frenzy – well it felt like it for us – we had one or two gifts to buy for the grandchildren and some temporary flooring for the pantry.

We have been particularly mindful this year with presents to buy items that are as ecologically sustainable as possible or make little impact on the environment. The grandchildren have got mostly wooden toys – the two babies have a little trike each and a smaller educational toy, they are far more expensive than plastic but are so much nicer. Little L has a new leotard (knitted cotton jersey) and ballet shoes (leather) for when she returns to her classes in January and my friends will receive the table decorations and either chocolates or florentines. So minimal plastic in any of our gifts.

I have bought one or two new decorations that again are wooden or of natural materials like hessian and pine cones. I did relent though and buy the little LED pink glittery stars which are £3 from The Works.

The cards and newsletters are all written and posted but I do need to deliver a few now and make arrangements to go and see my old work colleagues one day this week.

There still seems to be a lot on my list to do – lemon curd for the girls (can’t disappoint them), a cot duvet cover for Sweetie, the Christmas cake (yes you did read that correctly) and the mince pies. So it is a week of making and baking again – I had better get a move on.

19 thoughts on “creating a simpler Christmas * days 10-16

  1. Your chocolate looks absolutely wonderful! I have to ice my Christmas cake today, ready for family ‘do’ tomorrow. I have not had any time to myself recently and am feeling absolutely frazzled! Thursday will be spent doing nothing, haha! Love your tea cosie:)

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    1. I don’t usually ice mine and this year might not be any different although I would like to ice the top at the very least as it is my contribution to the Christmas Day feast we are having at my sisters. Hope you get some time to breathe. x

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  2. Your chocolate looks lovely, love the table decoration too, great use of your collection of pots. No one here likes traditional Christmas cake so I never make one. I have made various different cakes over the years, this year I am going to make a Pear and Buckwheat Cake it is delicious but expensive as it has lots of maple syrup in the ingredients which makes it perfect as a ‘special’ cake for this time of year.

    Wooden toys are so special I think, much nicer to handle and play with. They last too, some folks call them heirloom toys, they can be kept and used for future generations. We have kept a lot of ours my children, despite being older, still get them out now and then especially when there are younger children in the house.

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    1. I hung on to the lego sets, the duplo and the Sindy kitchen – Little L is in her element playing with these now. My mum kept my sisters Wendy house which was a fabric one and an original wood baby walker. I would still have my little wooden shop my dad made if my cousin hadn’t left it out in the rain!
      The cake sounds like a great alternative – I love pears in cakes.

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  3. I much prefer wooden toys and always buy them in preference to any other. I too had a Christmas pudding tea cosy which I made myself and also made one for my daughter. It is a Jean Greenhow pattern from her Christmas book.

    Unlike the old days I haven’t done a single thing towards Christmas except make the cards which have now been posted. I feel lazy compared to people I read on the blogs. Still, it is what it is.

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  4. A post full of loveliness! Wonderful floral display, napkins and chocolate! I make Christmas bark each Christmas but you have given me an idea with the chocolate lollipops too! Good luck with the rest of your preparations. I am soooooooo far behind! x

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      1. Received your sweet and perfectly formed little card this afternoon Vivien. Thank you very much for it being handmade and for the sentiment. x

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  5. Your Christmas plans may sound a bit more minimal compared to past years, but your execution, as always, is lovely.

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  6. The chocolate slab and lollies look delicious and your gifts sound lovely. I don’t understand the need for all the plastic packaging to be honest. In one high street store they do stocking filler type gifts in lovely retro looking card boxes and they look so much nicer. We’ve managed to avoid a lot of plastic this year mainly because Amy and Thomas are having cash!

    It’s nice when you have a few special pieces to bring out at certain times of the year isn’t it and being able to take a few memory minutes as I call them. Enjoy your week of making and baking. Hope it’s not too hectic for you. xx

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