Fri 08 Dec 2017
The Traditional Christmas Home
Ditch the plastic, unplug the technology and seek out, find, and collect some natural greenery to display in your home this Christmas. Tis the season to deck the halls after all!!
Set the scene for this season’s festivities with some foraged treasures. Use natural finds from the garden or items collected from a winter walk. Why not get everyone in your household involved adding to the ceremony of the occasion, and potentially creating a new Christmas tradition in the process. Combine your foraged treasures with some seasonal sparkle, handmade decorations and candlelight for an eye-catching display, rich in rustic charm. If you don’t have access to greenery contact your local florist or Christmas tree supplier who should be able to help you.
Using greenery throughout your home will form a theme that naturally flows and creates a really striking seasonal display. The scent of a real tree with the added greenery, combined with cinnamon, citrus and cloves, reproduces an unmistakably Christmassy aroma that adds an extra dimension to your theme.
Start at the front door with a fresh wreath. I am a traditionalist when it comes to wreaths, I like a lot of greenery and lots of aromatic decorations, so when one opens the front door your guests are greeted with that special Christmas aroma. Fresh wreaths are available from all good florists, or you could attend one of the ever popular wreath making workshops and have a go at making your own.
An alternative to the fresh wreath (or indeed in addition to), put together a collection of foliage in baskets or buckets and group them together at the side of your door, creating a striking instant hassle free display. Use bundles of Christmas tree trimmings, holly or bare hazel twigs. Leave them ‘au-natural’ or dress with twinkling lights for evening sparkle.
Create a table runner by laying down small pine branches along the centre of your table, and break it up with some springs of holly and randomly placed pine cones. Then place a log slice in the centre to bring together a display of candles to add a finishing touch to your dining table.
A pretty and aromatic table centre can be created using some pine cones in a large bowl, then place in a few dried citrus fruits and cinnamon sticks, and place on a coffee table. A lovely rustic table centre display that requires minimal effort.
Use sprays and garlands of festive foliage to swag along bed heads, stair spindles and around pictures and shelves. Use the greenery as backdrop for displaying twinkly vintage baubles and homemade treasures to add a touch of sparkle. Candles have to be the finishing touch to any room, and the flickering of the flames delivers layers of light that have natural motion, bringing an organic twinkle to your display.
The use of evergreen foliage to decorate homes in mid-winter dates back to our pagan ancestors, and their celebration of the winter solstice and the reappearance of the Sun. Luckily the magic of the past lives on in the beauty and aroma from these evergreens, even if the meanings have been lost.
Once all your hard work has been done, why not bring the whole family together, pour a drink, plate up some nibbles and sit together by candlelight, and read a story aloud. Stories take on a new depth when reading aloud, and for me listening to a story read aloud evokes the nostalgia of my own childhood. How often in the current day and age do we unplug from the digital technologies, and take time to just be.
I leave you with a perfect extract taken from Dylan Thomas “A Child Christmas in Wales”
“Bring out the tall tales now that we be told by the fire, as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like owls in the long night, when I dare not look over my shoulder. Animals lurked in the cupboard under the stairs and the gas metre ticked.”
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