Part 2 of my holiday rituals is all about decorating and surrounding us with all things Christmas. This process for me starts in about September and settling on a theme for the year. This could be based around a colour, a set of colours, a piece of art, or really anything that inspires me.
This year’s theme actually occurred to me last Christmas and the idea of using rustic elements – twigs, twine, wood, glass and metal. It morphed over time into more of a birds/owls and woodland theme based on a pack of paper napkins I found.
So November is prep month – checking what I already have in the Christmas boxes, a list of what I might need to buy and, of course, how I can get my craft on.
I bought a number of birds of different kinds from all sorts of different stores. Some to hang on the tree, some to place about the place with a bird house and a lovely candle holder to use as a centre piece.
For the crafty bits, I bought some unbleached calico and hessian as well as iron on sheets for fabric. I made a couple of cushions, place mats and some wall art using these bits and pieces.
Decorating day is always the first weekend in December. Although this year the 1st of December was a Monday so I went with Sunday, 30 November. This seems a good time to start our Advent.
And this is a taste of what I came up with this year.
It’s all about trees, owls, other woodland creatures, reds, greens, gold, silver and white…. paying homage to European winters and woodlands, berries and snow.
Wow! A crazy three or so weeks has flown by wrapping up all things work related for 2014. And now a lady of leisure, I can concentrate on why this is my favourite time of the year. I do have some silly rituals, but they are dear to me.
The first is all about the wacky genius of Tim Burton. This is the time of the year when I get out all my favourite Tim Burton classics and rewatch. It all starts at Halloween with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack Skellington’s need to infect Halloween Town with the Christmas spirit is just a wonderful tale.
Now I have to mention here that when it comes to trick or treating and kids wandering the neighbourhood door knocking and begging for candy, I morph into the Halloween Grinch. So some parts of Halloween I can certainly do without. But Tim Burton’s imagery captures my imagination at this mystical time of year.
So The Nightmare Before Christmas is quickly chased by Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice and Dark Shadows. I also love Coraline which has a Tim Burtonish flavour but is actually a movie from the director of Nightmare.
All this revisiting movies I love puts me in the mood for the holiday season to come.
At tree decorating time, I celebrate a day of hard out Christmas-ifying of the house by watching Holiday Inn. You know, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and that famous little song White Christmas?
Then Christmas Eve means it must be time for White Christmas the movie – Bing Crosby and Rosemarie Clooney and a whole lot of Irving Berlin classics…. Magical! And finally, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – the Disney version with Jim Carey. Some say scary, I say classic Dickens (one of my most favourite authors).
And that about rounds up Holiday Rituals Part 1 – watching old movies. This about sums it up for me: