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Advent Calendar | December 9
I think the red lights have the biggest impact in making this tree glow all red. Besides that all decorations are kept red as well. A truly wonderful Christmas tree!
In the words of my daughter's favorite book 'Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas' "our house never looks fancy…except…at Christmas time." And it's true. I don't like clutter, and knick-knacks just take up valuable space. I prefer an empty bench in the kitchen that's primed for a fabulous cooking session, and maybe one or two carefully chosen items placed on top of the piano and various coffee tables. Magazines live on a shelf in magazine boxes, and the only vase out of the cupboard contains fresh flowers. And the only souvenir allowed to be purchased and brought into the house, is a highly practical tea towel. That's the rule.
But at Christmas time, there are no rules. I go crazy. I have large plastic tubs of ornaments, baubles, tinsel, bowls, bells, snowflakes, snow domes, and of course, knick-knacks. And I LOVE IT. On the first of December, the children and I spend the entire day decorating the house. I have hours of Christmas music which put us in the right mood, and off we go.
We start with the tree. It's a lovely big seven foot thing that over the years, seems to have developed an odd lean. But I hate throwing things out 'just because', so we keep propping it up and weighing one side with more bells and baubles, and it seems to eventually look tall and straight. My sense of order is always compromised with the tree because the children tend to decorate in 'clumps' rather than 'accidental but on purpose random placement', but that's okay. Santa won't mind if all the red baubles hang together. And I just end up restoring order by ensuring all the presents wrapped in red are carefully placed to balance it all out.
We then move onto setting out the 'tin-santa village'. It started with a lovely train (the carriages of which contain festive lollies), and has broadened to include a selection of santas, two decorative sparrows, and a sleigh. It's lit every night with candles.
The children are in charge of the knick-knack placements, while I lovingly put out the table runners and tablecloths, some of which have been handmade. They always bring back wonderful memories of special friends.
And finally, it's the Christmas tins and containers. They are placed all along the kitchen bench ready for snowflake cookies, rum-infused cakes and melt in the mouth shortbread. Christmas clutter at its best.
The best things you can give children, next to good habits, are good memories.
Sydney J. Harris
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