Choc Lit Christmas Special – Day 5

choclit-logoxmassmallerChristmas wouldn’t feel so special without all the extra sparkle we add to our homes each year – the lights, the tinsel and the candles. And whether we’re decorating the tree or the rest of our house for the festive season (or like some people, the entire outside of the house plus the garden!), we all have special decorations we treasure for one reason or another. Here is a selection from us:-

Juliet – When my daughter was born, my mother-in-law gave us a big bauble where we could add her name and the year. (No. 21 on the list of things you can have personalised for Baby!) There was also space to add a second name and year, which we did for our son three Christmases later.

Henriette's Peace Dove

Henriette's Peace Dove

Henriette – My favourite tree decoration is made by capiz shell by craftsmen in the Philippines, and it’s either a Peace Dove or perhaps a symbol of the Holy spirit, I’m not sure.  I love the simple beauty of it and the reminder of what Christmas is truly about.

KateI bought a glittery butterfly for the top of the tree last year. In the Christmas market they had a display tree totally covered with them, in all different colours: it looked like something Tim Burton would have. It was fabulous!

Margaret's big bauble

Margaret's big bauble

Margaret – Christmas isn’t Christmas without a tree covered in as much tinsel and other tasteless trash as it can possibly hold. I’m not a fan of tastefully colour-themed trees – all white, or all silver, or a minimalist few twigs hung with one or two exquisite baubles. I like there to be as much clashing colour as possible, and as for the baubles – as big and brash and bright as possible, please!

EvonneThis year, I coveted some beautiful decorations shaped as birds in the gift shop at the Birmingham Art Gallery.

Sue – A Christmas tree made out of dough and painted green, by one of my children. It’s probably past its “eat by” date, by now …

Jane's bauble (unchewed version)

Jane's bauble (unchewed version)

JaneNow here is where I have a problem. We have mice. (Bear with me here). Every year I swear I’ll find somewhere to keep the decorations where they don’t get chewed, and every year they go back into the same cupboard, and every year (afterwards, obviously) I triumphantly bring out decorations which now resemble doilies or, in the case of the salt-dough ones the children made in playgroup, are just a piece of string with a sad lump of something unidentifiable on the end. So every other year we buy completely new decorations. It doesn’t pay to get too attached to anything in this house. Some of those mice are really big … But if I had any, they’d look like this. Only, due to mice, they’d probably all say ‘Mer Histma’.

Liz – I can’t yet photograph these decorations as we’ve eaten the ones I made in previous years, and I’ve not yet made this year’s decorations.  I don’t make them too early as I fear that I might eat them well before Christmas arrives if I do.  They are a Polish decoration – chocolates which look like snowflakes all over the tree.  I was shown by a Polish friend how to make them.

You take a wrapped chocolate, wrap it in a piece of white tissue, which you’ve cut to size and so that it has a small fringe at each end, then you wrap the tissue around the chocolate, with the fringe at each end.  Tie a piece of cotton in the crease at each end so that the fringe sticks out a little.  It looks like a small white rounded Christmas cracker.  Put all over the tree, they are very effective.

Christina's mini fans

Christina's mini fans

Christina – my favourite tree decorations are five miniature Japanese fans which my mother bought for me when we lived in Tokyo. I love them because they’re so pretty and because they remind me of some of the best times of my life as well as many happy Christmases.

Chris – Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, but my youngest niece, who’s not known for her craft skills, presented my mum with a lovely figure she’d made for her tree. It was a sad little person with one leg twice as long as the other, gigantic feet and a missing eye. I’m afraid we all took one look at it and collapsed with laughter.

Linda's Fairy

Linda's Fairy

Linda – The fairy on my tree. The little doll was bought – naked – at a Christmas fair, one in a box of about 50 one of the parents had brought into my children’s junior school to raise funds. I say, one but really there are two, and they alternate on top of the tree. My children – then aged eight and five – helped me dress the dolls and would be outraged if I chose something else to top the tree! I have to say they are a testament to the glue I used to stick the tinsel and rick-rack on! And here is model one, on top of this year’s tree.

Which is your favourite Christmas decoration and why? The best comment will win you a copy of Star Struck, Jane Lovering’s latest novel, which is almost pretty enough to hang on your tree! (competition ends at midnight on Christmas Day)

7 thoughts on “Choc Lit Christmas Special – Day 5

  1. I confess, I no longer bother to decorate a tree, but I still have ornaments that my mother made. Have you ever heard of snow babies? Well, there are little scenes with them. They are tiny little blue-eyed Eskimo children. Everything is white except for their faces as they wear little suits covered with snow. Their mittens may be colored though.. and you can google them and find them in all kinds of scenes, playing with Santa, dressing up, ice skating… My mum used to do ceramics and she made an entire little village of snowbabies. She painted them. She even had an igloor and a mirror to portray a pond of frozen ice on which snowbabies skated. My have two snowbabies made by her and they are kissing each other! They have their little hands behind their backs and the little eyes closed and lips puckered and you set them both just so they are kissing! They are ornaments, but I just put them out.

  2. I’m starting to think I’d like Tara’s mum for Christmas! She sounds amazing, Tara!

  3. Jane, you are so unlucky to have mice – but then also very lucky at the same time for they are truly delightful creatures (remember the Taylor of Gloucester, still my favourite Christmas story) if only you can overlook their depredations and mess and general lack of hygiene. We don’t actually have mice. At least we try to keep them out but occasionally they climb up the ivy and make a death defying leap on to the roof. So as we don’t have real ones we have found some beautifully stout little fellows in IKEA for less than a pound a time including a contribution to charity. These mice in white and grey are cleaner than clean and can poke their whiskers around the mantelpiece with impunity, generally contributing to the festive feelings.

  4. LOL! My mum is awesome! One of these days, her and I are going to take a trip to England…We lived there and I was born there. Lakenheath AFB. She would like to go back.

  5. My favourite decoration is one that’s seen in most Irish (Catholic) homes – a crib or nativity scene. Since I moved out to India, I got one after years. But the pieces kept going missing. Last year my mother got me a lovely, compact one she’d bought in Jerusalem. It is carved from a single piece of wood so no danger of the pieces going missing. One of my best Christmas gifts ever too!

  6. Thank you all for your comments about decorations! Fennie Somerville, your sympathy for my mouse problem has won you an unmoused copy of Star Struck – and I hope you enjoy reading it in the New Year. And I don’t really dislike mice as long as they don’t get in the biscuit cupboard, I’m just baffled as to how, in a house with four cats, one big dog and a terrier, I can have mice at all!

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