My Mum kept my diet quite healthy when we were kids, but like most children, I loved sweets and chocolate. Being a parent myself I can now see her dilemma – I love to treat my boy – and he’s very motivated by food, but I want him to be healthy too. Just as my Mum did I try to save sweet things for an occasional treat and make sure he has a healthy and varied diet the rest of the time.
One time that went out of the window a bit was Christmas. Ah, Christmas – the only time of the year when it’s suddenly acceptable to have dishes of chocolate everywhere and to start the day with mince pies!
If I was very lucky, one of the gifts under the tree might turn out to be much coveted selection box – 5 or 6 whole bars of chocolate in one go that were all mine! To be honest I liked them all, but a particular memory of the 80s offerenings were the selection boxes in the shape of a stocking, with netting around them.
I remember one year, for a few days after Christmas, I would wake early, grab one of my Christmas annuals and something from my selection box, and spend an hour or so reading and chomping under my duvet before starting the day!
This is Year I’m rather taken with this Cadbury selection box with its special reissue packaging. It retails for around £5 and contains four classic bars in retro wrappers. It comes in a cardboard box – not the crinkly plastic we’re used to – and has some information about the history of Cadbury on the inside. Of course, it is a shame there’s no purple foil in sight, and even more of a shame that the chocolate is not the quality we had in years gone by too, but the spirit here is nice. It would make a great gift for an older relative, presenting them with a little trip down memory lane – or of course a lovely early morning snack!
Here’s my yearly round up of the decorations in my house.
I did debate whether to have a fresh tree this year or just to put up a fake one I have. I thought dealing with the aftermath of a real tree might be one less thing to worry about with a newborn in the house, but my Mum was so horrified when I mentioned this that we went ahead with a real one. Must admit I don’t regret it – it looks and smells so lovely. My friend Becca helped me decorate it, doing the crawling around on the floor and the positioning of the lights etc – things I’m struggling with whilst heavily pregnant! It has my two strings of vintage lights and mostly vintage baubles too. I love it!
I’d wanted a vintage sledge for ages and finally found a local vintage seller on Instagram who had some available. I fell in love with this one and I think I paid £40 for it, but it’s well made, in lovely condition and – who knows – there might be a little person who wants to use it for its real purpose next winter. That would rely on us having enough snow to actually go sledging, which is unlikely in the South but I can dream! For now Mr. Sledge is our coffee table for the festive period…
My three vintage Christmas themed prints in the dining room have been flipped! I literally have these back to back with other images that I can just rotate during December. Makes life easy!
As with lots of jobs this year, I’m just glad I’ve managed to get it done before my Baby arrives and other things take over! Baby is currently two days overdue and who knows when they may finally appear. We’re trying to relax and be philosophical about it! At least the house is cosy and welcoming – this may be the most exciting (and demanding) guest we’ve had in a while!
It is with a whole new level of Christmas excitement I say:
It’s my first Christmas in my lovely vintage home and I’ve been so excited about how to decorate it for the festive season. Here’s a quick tour to show you what ideas I’ve gone for.
My tree is of course my centrepiece and it’s covered in vintage baubles.Some of them I bought in charity shops and quite a few were my Gran’s. These concave ones are my favourite. I must admit I can’t stop looking at my tree! I’m lucky to have a gorgeous mantle piece to dress. I started with a set of white lights and added some cards and this handsome stag which I found reduced in Sainsbury’s supermarket! I had to take him home with me – although the Dr took the edge off a little when he nicknamed him Dobbin…I love way the white lights bring my glass to life – lots of glowing baubles!
I think he adds a certain something and although he was fairly expensive I know I’ll use him year after year.
Next up is my dining room. For those of you that haven’t seen it, it has a strange little mezzanine level! We inherited it when we moved in and It’ll have to go sometime, but for now I’ve hung some lights on it and it adds to the ambience if nothing else!I decorated in here a few weeks back and the walls were looking very white and bare. I decided to buy some vintage sheet music and adverts to brighten it up. I won’t leave them up all year round, but I’ll buy similar sized prints that I can just flip after Christmas.I love vintage advertising – it has such charm and brings back memories.
The other advantage is that each of these cost me just a few pounds and a search on eBay brings up hundreds of results to choose from.I went for a piece of vintage sheet music – Where did my Snowman go – which is one we sang at school as kids.I also nabbed an old Quality Street advert and a Peak Freans biscuits poster too. Both of these are products that are inextricably linked to my childhood Christmases. Tins of chocolate and biscuits were definitely reserved as Christmas treats and we looked forward to them with delight. Something so delicious about prising the lid off and finding layers of biscuits nestled under that piece of tissue paper, or sparking sweet wrappers gently squeaking against each other as you run your fingers through them.
My silver bowl car boot sale find looks lovely filled with nuts, oranges and candy canes.
I’m a sucker for candles at this time of year and a selection of seasonal scented candles and simple tea light holders make a little flickering arrangement in a corner of my living room.
Of of course this bad boy is the behemoth of Christmas, towering over all with his mostly vintage baubles and his original 1940s lights. Totally adorable and I’m going to cry a little but when I have to pack him away.
I’m happy with how everything is looking but have also been trawling the Internet to see what others have done and there are some amazing ideas out there. I’m definitely going to have a good rummage through the department store decorations in the January Sales and see what treasures I can bag. Just need to brace myself for the crowds!
It is with shin pads and Vaseline at the ready I say:
These lights are a family heirloom. They came from the home of an elderly relative and we loved them as kids. There’s something about them – the green flex, the big hand painted bulbs and the vintage box they came in.
We treasured them and only left them on for short periods of time to make the original bulbs last as long as possible. I adore coloured glass and these vivid colours make them a dream come true for me. Many of those lovely hand painted bulbs have ceased to work now, and we spent ages tracking down the right kind of bulbs to replace them.
They’re still fab and they give my tree a lovely feel, I think you’ll agree. I found a second set the same on eBay last summer, so I now have a back up! When you find something as perfect as this you have to make provision for the worst thing happening.
I love putting up festive decorations and remember coming downstairs the morning after ‘trimming up’ and the sight of the tree with its lights taking my breath away. I still feel like that now. Big kid, I suppose… It’s lovely to be doing it in a house I own (sort of) and starting my own traditions. My tree has vintage lights and mostly vintage baubles – but more about that soon when I can take some decent pics!
I have a dream of a vintage Christmas and the long term goal of decorating my tree with only vintage baubles. I got a step closer when I discovered these beauties in a charity shop in Wales. I’ve been watching lots of these on eBay and they go for crazy money – what a find!
One of my favourite parts of Christmas is opening my Christmas Stocking. My Mum does a mean stocking – a traditional one with sweets and little bits and pieces and a tangerine – not one of these pillowcases crammed with full size presents that seems to be the definition of stocking these days.
As soon as we were old enough my Sister and I took up the gauntlet of making Mum’s stocking and it’s a tradition we still carry on today. When I turned 21 my Mum phoned me to ask if I still wanted one and I was horrified at the idea of not getting a stocking! Yes, I still want Mum’s stocking!
My stocking always goes in to this Snoopy sock – it was a gift from my Gran when I was little and my brother has one too. It’s not very big but I think I did go through a bit of a Snoopy phase at about age 4 and it always makes me think of Gran at Christmas ensuring it will have many more uses over the years. I think the choice of stocking is very important!
I heartily recommend the traditional stocking is part of your Christmas if it’s not already. There’s something magical as a child about waking up with that weight on the end of your bed and knowing that Santa has been. Holding the lumpy warmth of the stocking against you as you pull surprises from it’s depths. I love this Snowman stocking from John Lewis, and It would definitely be my choice for any little ones you are buying for…
The actual stocking itself is very important. I love this Pom Pom Stocking from John Lewis – very fun and could be good if the stocking was for a teenager or someone with a flair for colour in their dress sense.
I love the fabric on this stocking from Marcellabella ( https://folksy.com/shops/Marcellabella ) and it ticks my handmade box too. Go and check out her page for a whole range of lovely stockings!
But of course, remember you have to be good or you’ll find noting but a lump of coal in that stocking – a fact my Granddad never tired of telling me. I don’t know why… I’m always good!
I’m thinking of doing a post about what to put in stockings so pop back and look for that – I consider myself quite good at choosing items for a truly great Christmas stocking!