Sunday, 19 December 2010

8 days til......................

This is my 8th  and penultimate Countdown to Christmas post. I have so enjoyed writing these posts and again would like to thank everyone for their kind comments; I really do  love reading  them. I also enjoy hearing how others celebrate this magical time of year and what your traditions are. My very last ** days til post for 2010 will be posted next Friday, on Christmas Eve, so please remember to come back for my final instalment.

We were finally able to decorate our Christmas tree last weekend. We have a real treasury of ornaments, some owned by my grand parents. As a said in my last countdown to Christmas post we chose our tree from the local nursery, with the reindeer close at hand!

We firstly attached the lights which immediately brightened the room......
Next was our fairy who has sat on top of our tree for many years. It's an interesting question to ask...do you have a fairy or a star at the top of yours?? ;0)

We also love to open our boxes of treasured ornaments and I wanted to share with you some of our special ones, both old and new. I know the history of every single ornament we own which makes them so unique and reminds us of our Christmas past.
The very 1st ornament my Hb and I bought was this dated Betsey Clarke ornament for our 1st married Christmas in 1981, the box is a bit bashed...






But this remains one of my favourites. Betsey Clarke was huge in the UK from the early 70s-80s, I still love these images and I really think she would sell well again now.













My Hb used to buy me birthday, Christmas and anniversary cards with these wonderful illustrations....I rather miss them.







Some of the oldest ornaments we own were my grandfather's who was born in 1898! He had these just after the 2nd world war, they are made of early plastic and although not hugely pretty they are special to me.









I also still have a very "kitch" elf which I can remember my Nan (born in the early 1900s) hanging on her artificial tree in the 1960s when I was a little girl. I know it is really quite brash but I do love hanging it on my tree. Here it is below. Very 1960s!!!







I also have some other rather old glass baubles....

My Hb and I have also  been lucky enough to visit the  German Christmas markets in Cologne and Nuremberg and have bought home some really beautiful  ornaments. Some are even limited editions. Here is a small selection....yes we have lots!!

As you already know from this post I am a great fan of the man in the moon and one of my oldest memories of buying an Christmas tree ornament was with my Mum, possible in 1968  (yes that long ago!)when I was quite small. We used to have a shop nearby which sold cards and gifts and one year I remember seeing wonderful man in the moons twinkling in the window. As children always do, I managed to pester her into buying a pair, a blue one for my brother and a pink one for me.

                                                                       


They are really showing signs of age now, this is my pink one.....don't tell my brother but I also have his!! You will spot his blue one on the tree at the end of this post.














Over our years of marriage we have also bought some other dated
ornaments. The one on the right was made for us at Covent Garden in London in 1990, my children were only 4 and 1 at the time and I can still remember walking around the craft market held there and us choosing this festive heart. Such fond memories.











I also have these other dated ornaments, not for every year but some.....



These are ones my Mum bought for me over the years on our Christmas visits to Harrods, I also have a really rare unusual Harrods man....

















He is at least 25years old and survived so far intact. My Mum has one too but hers has a broken arm sustained during a fun New Year's party when our dancing got a little out of hand and the tree was toppled!!








This year I commissioned the talented Vita to paint me 2 wooden ornaments, 1 for mine and 1 for my daughter's tree and I was totally delighted with the results shown below. These are signed and dated and will be treasured by us.


And of course I could not possibly have a Christmas tree without pigs could I......
Now it took nearly 3 hours for us to put all our decorations on so this is just a small selection of our treasures that I have shared with you. Here is our finished tree, fully decorated. Please excuse the stark walls....we are in the middle of decorating.

Every bauble has a special memory of Christmases past and has been hang with love....a special tree every year for us. Each morning when I come downstairs to turn the tree lights on I get that wonderful smell of fresh pine .......mmmmmmmmm! The smell of the Christmas and it can transport me back so many years..

To finish this post I have found a little poem to share ...I hope you have also "decorated with optimism" your homes, as it suggests, and can hold the spirit of Christmas close throughout the year.


Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life—
Each day a sweet surprise.


Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.


Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)


Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease.


If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.

By Joanna Fuchs

Bye for now, see you on Christmas Eve ;0)

Jane x
PS I am not sure why the day shows as Thursday today... that's computers for you!

16 comments:

  1. Lovely post Jane!
    I too remember Christmas 1981, also my first married Christmas!
    You have some lovely ornaments, I love the peas in the pod.
    I too bought a lovely ornament in Harrods in 1999, I thought it would be nice to have one dated with the last year of the century. However the security staff at Heathrow thought otherwise and smashed it, you have no idea how cross I was!!
    With you it's pigs, with me it's bunnies and I have lots of them on my tree. I too have baubles from my childhood.
    Have a lovely weekend Jane, we have about 8 inches of snow here this morning! Hope that postman delivers today!!
    Vivienne x

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  2. How strange we were married in the same year Vivienne, 25th July for us and it's our pearl wedding next year...!
    I would be really cross with the security staff, how rediculous to smash your bauble!

    I am so happy the postman delivered, I have emailed you. We have just had a heavy snow storm and I think there is a lot more to come. Take care,
    Jane x

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  3. Hello Jane!
    What a lovely and special post! That's really wonderful to have so much lovely decorations with stories and memories! You are lucky to have them even from your grandfather!
    Have a wonderful weekend! xxx Teje
    Ps. Thank you so much for your sweet comment!

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  4. Hi Teje, yes I love having our tree up, it's a shame it only stays for a few weeks but then I suppose that is what makes Christmas so special, isn't it ;0) Have a great weekend.
    Jane x

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  5. Such a lovely festive post - I so enjoyed seeing some of your ornaments collection. The moon ones gave me a real jolt of recognition!! I'm sure we had some like that though my mother doesn't have them on their tree now, so I'll have to find out what happened to them! The Harrods man was amazing! Enjoy your weekend. Helen x

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  6. How wonderful to have stories to go with each ornament! It really does make the tree a holiday tradition to enjoy and reflect. I love the oldies, and the fun elf! (I reserve a special section on the tree for mine! And we top our tree with a variety of angels). Hope you're enjoying your tree, now that it's fully dressed for the holidays! Thank you for sharing this post! :o)

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  7. Good morning Helen, I love my old moons, they are very special, I am glad to have jolted some memories for you. It's snowing so heavily here , we are supposed to be driving to Kent....hmmmm.
    Take care,
    Jane x

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  8. Good morning Michele, the house does feel so festive and the tree has such memories. Have a good weekend, we have another arctic blast here and it's snowing so heavily!
    Have a great weekend,
    Jane x

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  9. I love your tree, Jane!

    It's lovely to see all those memories there, rather than just a red or green or gold baubles "for the colors sake"! I cherish some of the older baubles we (me&my sis) used to fight over who's turn it was to hang which each year. Those are still at my mom's, and we actually STILL argue over the baubles a bit ;)

    I will show you my tree but it'll be on 23rd as we just decorate it then.

    Have a wonderful weekend and happy greetings from freezing Finland (it's 19c and windy!) and a kiss to Billy!

    Yours,
    Mia

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  10. Good morning Mia,it is lovely to hear that other people also have some family ornaments..it makes the tree so special.

    Sadly we have not been able to go to my daughter's engagment lunch today...the snow is SO deep and it is still a blizzard as I write this. So we shall enjoy our tree and keep snug. I may even make some more mince pies! We can celebrate with her soon and they have a whole life time ahead!
    Have a great weekend,
    Keep warm, we think it was cold at -7oc which it was last night!!
    Jane x

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  11. Oh lovely, lovely decorations and the finished tree looks gorgeous! Even more special knowing that the ornaments each hold such important memories.

    Bethx

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  12. The tree is twinkling as I write this Beth. We have just trudged back through the snow from the annual Carol Service at our local church, it really is very festive out but the snow is causing headaches now...let's hope people are able to travel for Christmas. Fingers crossed, hope you are able to get out now?
    Jane x

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  13. Hi Jane. I LOOOOOOVE those little piggy ornaments. Happy, happy holidays!

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  14. .....so do I Bethanie!! Merry Christmas from an artic Surrey, Our MAX temperature here today is -4oc!! oowwchh!!
    Jane x

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  15. I love this post! It reminds me of Grandma and all of my own memories and treasures. You have so many pretty ornaments, I can't pick out favorites. Stay inside with the sparkly tree and forget about the arctic weather outside. I hope you have the happiest of holidays and a spectacular new year too!

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  16. Thank you Linda for your kind Christmas wishes. It is even colder today -4oc was our "high" for today. I am home from work and we will be warm indoors with our lovely tree this evening.
    Jane x

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment; I really enjoy reading every single one of them.
Jane x