Hello sweet friends, happy first advent to you. Although here in the Netherlands we are still in Sinterklaas season, the Christmas season has officially started too.
And so have I. I started the crafting and decorating for Christmas. No, the Christmas tree won’t go up until after Sinterklaas has left the country (next Sunday), but some vignetting and mantel decorating definitely has begun. And with that a lot of Christmas crafting.
Every year somewhere in October or November my thoughts begin to wander towards Christmas and I begin scheming little cozy corners and new ways to display my baubles and lights. I have done that since I was a kid and I happily took on the responsibility of decorating the house.
This year was no different accept I knew one thing for sure. I wanted a different Christmas.
See my Christmas has been red and gold for almost twenty years now. It all started in my early twenties when I celebrated my first Christmas in my own tiny attic apartment. I only had room for the smallest Christmas tree there. And that was fine by me, I didn’t have a budget for a bigger tree anyway. So I took my bike to the Christmas tree lot and picked out a tree not bigger than a medium sized houseplant. I could slip the pot in my bike bag without a problem.
I decorated my tree with a one small string of Christmas lights and a set of red and green wooden Christmas ornaments. I thought it was the cutest Christmas tree in the world. Except for one thing. It was standing on my old yellow side cupboard and I thought it would look much better on top of my pine tree cupboard. Some furniture rearranging was in order. I vividly remember me sitting in the middle of my living room and sawing the feet of my yellow sideboard with an itty-bitty children’s saw so that it would fit in a new spot under my slanted roof. It took me a whole evening of sawing and hacking at it, but I was determined, my Christmas tree deserved the right kind of cupboard to stand on. My neighbor came over after several hours just to check out what I was doing, and calling me crazy…
So funny, remembering that. Not much has changed though. I still want to change my whole house just to make it coordinate better with my Christmas decorations
Ever since that first Christmas in my own home, my Christmas decorations have been red, soon to be supplemented with gold. And Christmas has always meant lavishness to me. T
The first Christmas I spent with My Love was in 2001, I more or less officially moved in to his house that Holiday and even in between the moving boxes there was a Christmas tree in red and gold. The next year I went all out in his house. I raided the garden so I could make a bunch of Christmas center pieces, like I had done every year since I was a kid. Every side-table in the house was decorated with a handmade, lovely smelling Christmas greenery arrangement (ok, I know this is not the proper English term but I couldn’t find a better translation). I am sure My Love didn’t know what had hit him, but at least he knew me well enough by then to not stand between me and my Christmas decorating ways. Smart man.
Every year some new ornaments were added to the three but the theme still stayed the same. BTW this 2007 Christmas tree really was the saddest tree I have ever had, or seen for that matter. Boy-oh-boy was this one ugly .
Red and gold glass balls soon popped up all over the house in December, on trays, in glass containers, under cloches….
I think Christmas 2009 was my most abundant and glittered and glamorous Christmas ever. The house was just oozing with bling bling everywhere. And I loved it.
My Christmas tree last year was filled to the brim with almost twenty years of collecting red and gold Christmas decorations.
And now? I am so over the red and gold. Just looking at these pictures again, makes me realize I am so done with it. I want something new, something fresh and definitely something a bit more natural.
So I have decided that I am going for a whole new look this Christmas. Except for one thing.
I am not going to buy myself a new look.
Because as much as I have grown tired of my red and gold Christmas I am equally ticked off by the commercialization of Christmas that has taken place. Every year the Christmas trees in the shops are bigger and brighter and more stuffed with things we all should buy. And every year the magazines try to sell us the new and latest ‘fashion’ in Christmas decorations. And that is just not what Christmas is all about.
Don’t get me wrong, I think I have proven to you that I am as much a sucker for the whole Christmas decorating craze as the next woman. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone who invests every year in new stuff, I have done it myself for many years in a row now.
But this year I am going to do it differently. I am going to use what I have, make my own decorations and go much more natural and relaxed. I have set myself a budget of 25 euro (about $ 35) for supplies and some new touches and when that is gone, it is gone. The money I am not spending on Christmas decorations this year is going to go to some people in this world who need it a whole lot more than we do.
So you’ll be seeing a different Christmas here at Songbird’s nest this year. I am sure there will be some glitter and some glamour peeping through, but it will all be so much more toned down than last year. And I am loving it already. I hope you will love it too!