If you were to peep through my living room window right now (which I sincerely hope you don’t, because that would be creepy), you might deduce that I quite like Christmas. Our tree went up yesterday and underneath it are bags full of wrapped and beribboned presents. Every time I see it, it fair makes my heart sing with pleasure.
Now, I’m going to get a bit navel gaze-y for a minute here, so you might want to skip forward a bit…
I was told quite recently, by someone once close to me, that the things that are important to me are “just materialistic crap” (another story, not to be told here). This is the kind of barb that can leave a sore; more than once during my Christmas preparations I’ve paused to question the ‘rightness’ of the degree of pleasure that I’m getting from buying things for people and spending money on non-essentials to make my home feel cosy and pretty.
I find myself to be absolutely ok with it!
The thing is, Barn and Petit Man suffered to enable me to gain a degree as a mature student. We spent four years barely being able to afford essentials, sometimes not even barely, never mind having any non-essentials.
At Christmas we couldn’t generally buy presents for each other or anyone else, but we were on the receiving end of much generosity from friends and family alike. We were on the receiving end of much generosity from all of them throughout the entirety of the four years…a needy relative is for life, not just for Christmas.
Without the VIPs I wouldn’t have been able to follow a dream, and I always promised myself that when I’d moved into a better financial position I would repay them any way I could. In particular I wanted to lavish them with treats and the objects of their desire at Christmas.
This year we’re reaping the rewards of prior planning, budgeting and generally financially behaving like grown ups. I made Christmas a project, which meant I became hyper organised about it – I’ve been buying presents and ticking things off to do lists since September! We’ve taken on no debts. Pretty much everything is on schedule and we look set to have a relaxed and fun time with people we love. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with any of those choices, and I can but conclude that a certain amount of jealousy was behind the nastiness of that ‘materialistic crap’ diatribe.
Anyway, navel gazing over – back to fun times…Christmas preparations and decorations!
This is how things are panning out in the Renegade household…
We will spend Christmas Day at home, just the three of us – very relaxed and ‘take the day as it comes’. In the past we’ve been known to eat Christmas dinner at 7 in the evening…there’s no rush and no pressure.
As is tradition, on Boxing Day Mum, Big Sis, Medieval & Mme. H, and Artist if he’s up to it, will come to us for the day. We save present exchanging with each other until then, so we essentially have another Christmas Day. It’s great! I’m ever so excited about the presents we’ve chosen this year, and the surprise extras I’ve got for Barn and Petit Man. For both the tree and around the house we have many beloved, memory-drenched ornaments that come out year after year…things that we ‘ooh’, and ‘aah’, and ‘do you remember’ about. These are must haves in
our my decorating schemes – you’ve got to have great dollops of traditional at Christmas.
The ones above are particularly special as they were purchased during a trip to Copenhagen with Big Sis…a trip that was entirely enabled through the generosity and support of the wonderful people of 43T. The top ones are glass ornaments from the Christmas market in Tivoli Gardens. The bottom one is über special…it’s from Georg Jensen, and the picture in no way does justice to its delicate beauty. A Swarovski crystal star…a present from Barn, from a different trip to Copenhagen. A selection of the one per year* ornaments.
* A tradition started when Petit Man was very young and wanted to buy every decoration he clapped eyes on. Every year, each household member could choose one special new ornament for the tree. Just one! As well as the ‘specials’ we have a selection of ‘theme coloured’ ornaments that I get periodically in order to change the overall feel of things. For no apparent reason I’ve been very drawn to fuchsia this year. This cushion isn’t really a Christmas decoration, but it is gold and sparkly. And utterly silly. But it was a little bit reduced in price and it made me smile. In the end I couldn’t resist it, and paid for it out of the Christmas budget. So here it is, chintzing up my living room in its silly, cheery fashion. I love the simple festivity of this brass ‘NOEL’ sign with the fresh ivy. A door hanger given to Petit Man by someone as a Christmas gift some years ago. An interesting gift to give to a 7 year old, but hey, he quite liked it then and we’re all still enjoying it now.