At Christmas play and make good cheer,Christmas comes once a year but the memories stay on forever. At least for me because it happens to be one of my favourite occasions. Although there are many things that make it to my list of favourites but if you ask me honestly, this one touches a deep chord in my heart.
For Christmas comes but once a year -Thomas Tusser
For Christmas comes but once a year -Thomas Tusser
Even as a little girl, I used to really , really look forward to the cold Winter mornings just before Christmas. The schools would close for vacations and the festive spirit would catch up soon. We always celebrated the festival with a lot of zest and enthusiasm. From the time the big cartons containing ornaments and tinsel were shaken from their year long slumber and lugged down from the attic to our verandahs, life would take a 360 degree turn. The task of decorating the home and the tree would become the first priority of my life. I would make wreaths, string popcorn and beads, decorate the halls taking the phrase " deck the halls" a bit too seriously and start decorating the tree with the help of my siblings and mom. The tree would always be a real one and it would be so huge that I often had to stand on chairs to reach the upper part and also to put the tree topper :)
The huge verandah at our place used to be decked with streamers, red, white and green in colour, all swirled and twirled to perfection and the entire scene looked Christmasy. The rows of Poinsettias picked up from various nurseries in town would just add to the charm and give it a warm, festive accent .
There was always a huge Christmas party thrown by my parents at home every year and it used to be held outdoors. While the gardeners got busy gathering huge logs of wood for the bonfire precariously placing them over one another and arranging several chairs around the chosen spot , my mom would very tastefully decorate the outdoor dining table with her signature style 'gladioli' flowers , long stalks of white ones with a just one red stalk in between to 'set it off' she would say . It's amazing how some things stay with us because even after all these years, the colour combination keeps coming back to me every Christmas, lots of white and just one red to set it off . Don't we all have so much of our moms in us ? :)
That was several moons ago and now even today in my own home, Christmas is a big affair. For me, it's also a time when the whole family gets together and the whole atmosphere spells happiness from every quarter. Everything red and green starts making an appearance in our home and shopping starts weeks in advance and while I'm pleased as punch saying " It's starting to look a lot like Christmas", the husband's take is " It's starting to cost a lot like Christmas ! "
But then, Christmas comes but once a year :D
So, this year too, things were no different. My family has been getting together at my home since the past three years and it's such a blessing to be together. The twinkling lights on the Christmas tree, the carols in the background, the cake and coffee sessions, lots of laughter and fun, when family gets together, memories are made forever :)
Sharing a few glimpses of our Christmasy moments because it's never too late to join in the fun :)
Gift wrapping is always one of the highlights of Christmas . Lots of ribbons, lace and tinsels, some festive wrapping papers....last year we made our own wrapping sheets but this year, ran out of time so we had to make do with store bought ones.
Curtain rings were replaced by ribbons and baubles for a change.
Snowflakes cut out of white paper looked beautiful on a dried branch that happened to be a ficus tree that died last summer. I refused to throw the remains because I had this in mind. I'm glad I could implement that idea at the appropriate time :)
Handmade tags that adorned the Christmas gifts.
A poinsettia plant with a few red, white and green coloured mugs, the first signs of Christmas at our place this year.
I totally heart these snowflake tea light holders that I picked up just on an impulse from a crafts fair. That time I didn't even realize that these would be my show stopper every Christmas. It's been three years now and I love putting them up and lighting them every year . They make all the difference to my surroundings :)
Christmas is all about giving and some friends of mine here really believe in it ! A blogger friend sent me a packet of cinnamon sticks ( along with other things) and I wasted no time in putting them to good use. The apple pies and pots of spiced tea can wait till the festive season gets over. They adorned different corners of my home and went up the tree as well. Take a look :)
Pretty, aren't they ?? Some more glimpses of my festive corners . Take a look !
Our Christmas tree , some stockings belonging to the kids in the family and some decoration along the window sill. It was quite a mesmerizing sight and I could sit and stare at this for hours. At times, when I got up in the morning when others would be fast asleep, I would sit here with my morning tea and enjoy the serenity of this corner :)
Talking about gifts, handmade gifts always make me very happy. The fact that somebody took out the time and made the effort to create something just for you, touches my heart . There is always a personal touch embedded in them which appeals to me all the more. My extremely talented sister in law made these beautiful bottles for me, a perfect example of recycling and beautifying waste material. The colours are just awesome, aren't they ?
She also made this planter that went so well with the red surroundings :)
Another handmade gift was a set of mug cozies, knitted lovingly by a dear friend . The cute reindeer faces were just what I wanted to see as I sipped my tea and tucked into the fruit cake. They always made me smile . It reached me just in time to enjoy my Christmasy tea - moments :)
Some more decorative pieces were crafted out of aluminum foil rolls, something we usually chuck into the waste bin. This time I was determined to use them differently. They looked quite cute when we wrapped them with some festive wrapping paper and matching tinsels :)
Some leftover ornaments dumped into a tray looked pretty in front of the tree .
Picking some random items from the kitchen and using them as decorative pieces always gives a thrill. Cookie cutters transformed into ornaments hung with the help of tinsel and some evergreen leaves looked lovely next to the stairs :)
For us, Christmas and Winters go hand in hand . Hot beverages like soup and coffee do wonders to enhance the mood and atmosphere. The hot chicken soup turned quite cold by the time I finishing clicking this picture. The family wasn't pleased but by now they are quite familiar with the ways of the paparazzi :D
Coffee and a coal fire. This was at my parents' place where we sauntered off to bring in the New Years :)
A bonfire with the entire family sitting around it happy and content to be together is the best way to start a brand new year. Isn't it so ??
Signing off with a pic of the nativity scene at my parents' place as the star shines down brightly :)
Hope and pray that the new year opens the floodgates of happiness, good health and prosperity for each one of you here . May it be the best one ever :) Happy 2015 !