Sunday, 30 November 2014

Decorating for Christmas

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and the weekend closest to 1st December, which means it's time to put out the Christmas decorations!

I love decorating for Christmas.  I get it from my mum.  When we were kids there were decorations everywhere - in the kitchen, in the hall, in the lounge room, even in the bathrooms!  Hanging decorations was one of my favourite family Christmas activities - that and looking at Christmas lights.

It still is one of my favourite Christmas activities.  Finding unique or special ornaments on my travels, reliving the memories as I decorate, or creating something special of my own.  These are some of my favourites on display this year.

The cross stitch Nativity scene on plastic canvas.  I started this about 10 years ago, although it took me awhile to finish.  It was a 3-parter in a CrossStitcher magazine probably about 15 or 20 years ago.  We had one of the parts and Mum managed to track down the others so I could stitch the series.  There's also an angel, a star, and the Inn Keeper and his wife, but I need to buy more stands to display them!  I've used game piece stands which work a treat.

Blackwork Christmas Angel.  This one also came from a magazine, although I can't remember which one!  It was one of the patterns I stitched in 2012 when I lived in the UK. She was meant to have a border around her, but I didn't like it, so I left it off - after all, life's too short to stitch background.

My cross stitch advent calendar - another one from a magazine!  I think this was also from CrossStitcher.  There's a stitched picture on each reverse side.  4 and 15 are missing because I have to fix their hangers.  Mum made the hanging quilt.  It has tabs to hang on a dowel hanger, but I'm using a skirt hanger in the meantime.

Ninja turtle baubles.  They were surprisingly easy to make  - green baubles, ribbon, googly eyes and some craft glue.

My Christmas decorations from my travels in the UK and Europe.  They should be hanging on the tree, but my 7 month old kitten thinks the Christmas tree is her new climbing frame and that anything hanging on it is hers to attack by right.  So instead they are on sticky hooks on one of the high kitchen cabinets to keep them safe!  The teacup and crown come from the Royal Palaces in England, the shamrock from Ireland, the purple bell is from Germany, the man in the red circle is from Iceland, and the two on red ribbons are from Harrods.

My second advent calendar - Lego Star Wars!  Very excited to start this tomorrow. Each day you get a little thing to create or build.  I had to hunt it down online because the only one I could get locally was the Lego City one.  And Star Wars is so much cooler.

Discworld Christmas cards.  I bought a set of 4 one year, gave two away as presents, and kept the other two as decorations.  They did hang on my wall for about two years before joining the Christmas decorations box.  Artwork by the very talented Paul Kidby

The Willow Tree nativity scene.  I love Willow Tree figurines - they are some of the only dust-collectors that I own.  The nativity scene is just stunning in its simplicity.  There are a couple of other sets you can buy to build on it - the wise men, and a set of animals.  Maybe one year.

Do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you go all out, or only have a few special decorations?  Do you prefer to have colour themes, or do you keep and collect your decorations to use year after year?  Are you a geeky Christmas person, or more traditional?  Religious or mainstream? Or maybe you don't do Christmas at all - maybe you do Hanaka or forego religious celebrations. I'd love to hear how you decorate (or don't) for Christmas, or any other holidays.

Happy Stitching!

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