You know it's funny the things that set you off on a trip down memory lane. About 10 years ago when I moved into my old house, I put all of my Christmas decorations down in the cellar. 10 months later when I went to decorate the house for Christmas I realised that actually the cellar was damp and all of my Christmas decorations were ruined.It wasn't the end of the world but I was so sad that everything that I'd collected over the years wasn't able to be saved.
I remember that my gorgeous American Sister sent me my first 'new' decoration of a singing Elvis to start trying to replace what I'd lost. I went out and bought 3 standard, cheap boxes of baubles. Over the last 10 years I have replaced them one by one and so this year for the first year since that Christmas I actually have a tree full of decorations that are special.
When my Grandma was alive, I used to love sitting by her Christmas tree, enjoying the decorations, trying to spot any presents that might be for me and just enjoying my Grandparents........I know that sounds schmalzy but they were awesome and loved Christmas!! From being about 15, I always said that when my Grandma died I wanted her decorations and the year before she decided out with the old and in with the new and gave them to me then. I've never wanted to have them on display in case they got broken which I've decided is completely ridiculous. This year for the first time in a long time I've put one of each on the tree. Just hanging them on the tree fills me with joy and sadness and I can't stop looking at them and thinking about how amazing Christmas was as a child. These are my lovely inherited decorations:
As I said I also am now lucky enough to have various other memories. The first decoration that me and 'the man' bought together:
The one that makes me smile and think of Megan & Courtney's wedding every year:
Ones with Chick's name on that we've collected over the years and a new one for this year made by a very talented friend of mine that owns Mary Lou Swirls:
I've seen a lot written recently about home made advent calendars and some bloggers saying that those of us who have made them are showing up the rest of the world! I'm sure after you've seen mine you'll agree I'm showing up no-one ;-)
Chick has always had an advent calendar but mainly the crappy chocolate ones. The reason for this is twofold but the main reason is that they cost at most £2.99 for a kids one and that's always been in my price range. For a couple of years I've been looking at buying a nice one that I can fill with sweets but that seems kind of pointless when I can stick with my £2.99 usual job. This year however I've taken the bull by the horns and gone all out......
I can't remember where I got the idea but I think Emma from Me, The Man & Baby was the first to make me say 'oh, what a great idea' so she's getting the blame!!!
Chick is massive fan of reading, and the library and I can't keep up with her, so I decided to make her a literary advent calendar. I started off with a trawl around the local charity shops and got an amazing stash for very little cash:
Then I rescued this crappy box from the rubbish bin at work and found some of last year's wrapping paper:
After many, many hours of wrapping I ended up with this:
It doesn't look quite how I envisaged it and when I was still up at 1am wrapping the box and presents I did think about sacking it off and just giving her the books for Christmas.
It was all made worthwhile when she told me that I was the coolest Mum ever.........certainly not something that gets said very often around these parts! I may never do it again but I'm hoping when she gets older that even if it looked crap, I certainly made some effort towards this Christmas cheer lark!!!