crEAting, drEAming, fEAsting

sEAsons…and since we’ve no place to go

Finally I get to sit down and write.

The whole of December has been far too hectic this year, I am not sure why as I did not plan it to be quite so mad.

We closed the front door last night after saying goodbye to our final pre-Christmas visitors who had joined us for a festive drink and a few nibbles and it felt really good to wake up this morning and not be preparing for something or going anywhere – not even work as I have finished now until the New Year. Yeah.

I pottered around this morning doing the last of the washing and ironing, putting the tags and finishing touches on to the wrapped presents, even taking a few photos for my blog.

Gift wrap

After an early lunch we walked down to the village, dropping off a present or two for friends on the way, and collecting a sprig of eucalyptus and Hypericum berries from the local florist for my front door decoration.

The Flower Box

I decided against making a conventional wreath this year and have done something completely different to hang by the door, but you will have to wait until tomorrow for a photo.

It has been a lovely relaxing day and I have been able to sit back and savour Christmas.

Christmas china



Christmas tree

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is adorned with mostly vintage baubles going back to the fifties, maybe even earlier, I love the fact that they have been part of our family and displayed on many trees down the generations.  Of course our usual tiny twinkly fairy lights failed this year when we got them on the tree so we had to scramble around and make do with some older ones that used to go outside.

I even attempted making my own Christmas card – I only had a couple of hours to come up with a design and make them so it had to be very simple – it turned out to be a bit of a disaster as you can see but I have included a photo of it here because I like to keep a true record – even of my failures!  My friends who have received them won’t mind – I know I always love to receive home-made cards.

Christmas card 2017

Christmas card 2017


Anyway to fill you in on the rest of my Christmas so far… last weekend was spent with much joviality at our family gathering on Sunday at the Black Swan in Fearby by courtesy of the owner – my daughter’s boss.

We had our best Santa hats and jumpers on, plenty of fun and games and our musical interlude…

and quite a few selfies.

Christmas Selfie

I have mentioned before that OH and I have been busy producing a Family Album photo book for my mum and it arrived just in time from the printers to give it to her on Sunday whilst all the family were in one place.  There are over 400 photos in the book covering almost 9 decades from when my mum and dad were children, through to their wedding and our appearance.  There were plenty of family holiday snaps, family weddings and christenings, first cars, Christmas get-togethers and of course many memories of our dear dad, in fact everyone who is connected to our family is in it.

This is the moment we surprised her in a true ‘This is your Life’ style…

Photo Book

Mum was so pleased she shed a tear or two and then at the end of the evening stood up and made a lovely little speech to thank us all and tell us how much these family gatherings mean to her.  In jest someone handed her the selfie frame and here she is holding it while she delivered her thank you speech.  I think this could start a new trend for the Queen’s speech.


At this same event we were also celebrating my younger daughter and niece’s birthdays and I made them a chocolate cake to share.

I bought some of those candles that spell ‘Happy Birthday’ in silver and gold to go on top but instead of putting them on the cake I wrapped each letter in random order between the layers of the pass the parcel together with a ‘Trivia’ type question and a Celebration sweet.

Chocolate Cake

When the music stopped and a layer unwrapped to reveal another candle letter they had to stick into the cake.  When the pass the parcel finished all the letters were in the cake and ready to be lit…however not necessarily in the right order!!  But it was good fun.

Chocolate Cake

Happy Birthday

After all the hard work I have put in to making Christmas so far I decided I needed a bit of a treat – Neal’s Yard have opened a new shop in Meadowhall – absolute joy for me as I love their Frankincense Intense concentrated serum.  So appropriate for the season – I can certainly feel the love and the assistant dropped a couple of free sachets into the carrier bag – I will skip the price on this one – you can guess it is not cheap.

Neal's yard

The golden pear was something I spotted whilst rushing through Next with my mum on her shopping bonanza – £2 for a bit of Christmas sparkle.

I was also lucky enough to find a copy of L’art de la Simplicite – How to live more with less – a book I read a while ago from the library and decided that it is one to keep should I find it – not only did I find it but it was free at Waterstones with my reward stamps.

So I am truly a happy bunny.

I will be posting one more time before the big day but I would like to say a big happy Christmas to all my readers and to all the other bloggers and friends whose blogs have kept me entertained all year.  I apologise for my lack of comments in the last couple of weeks – I have been reading along with everyone’s Christmas preparations but it has been so difficult to comment on everyone I read.

Thank you also to Simone at Linden Grove for the lovely card I received this morning – what a wonderful surprise – I promise I will be writing to you soon – just be thankful I didn’t send you one of my dreadful home-made cards!!


16 thoughts on “sEAsons…and since we’ve no place to go”

  1. What a lovely festive family gathering. Your house looks lovely and Christmassy. That book looks great. I might look out for it myself. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I look forward to reading your blog posts in 2018.


  2. Viv you inspire me! I think you may be the most organised person I know – and what beautiful results (including your card)! I will spend today sorting the muddle around me! Have a very happy holiday. x


    1. Thank you for the compliment but it is certainly not true – I muddle through as best I can. I saw your photo of your very beautiful and simple decorations and thought yes that is what I should be aiming for – I need ‘simple’ lessons and your blog is just perfect for that so I look forward to more of your simple posts next year. Hope you have some happy memories of past Christmas Days spent with Barry along with your sadness – will be thinking of you. x


  3. I think your cards are lovely. I tried embossing once and couldn’t get on with it. Have a wonderful Christmas and relax.


  4. Over from Freda’s blog–Clearly all your December efforts to celebrate the season paid off. One only has to look at the happy faces at the family party and the joy of your mother at receiving her ‘life’ book to know you did a terrific job; it was time well-spent. Happy Christmas from over the Pond.


    1. Hello Mary and thank you for your comment – it is always nice to welcome new readers. The photo book for mum is the best present anyone could have given her – she was delighted. We have so many more photos maybe we will make another – just not near Christmas! A ver Happy Christmas to you.


  5. Viv, i enjoyed reading your inspiring post about your christmas. In spite of you suggesting it was simple, to me it sounds like it was exquisite, festive and that you put your heart and soul into all the planning for a very long time! I love the part about the happy birthday candles..what a fun idea..also the selfie frame while your mother gave her speech..both ideas are keepers for sure!


    1. Yes we will need to do a sequel now to her photo book. This family get together party is a yearly event to swap our Not so Secret Santa presents – I seem to be the family organiser (we all have one don’t we) – I try to do slightly different things each year just to keep everyone on their toes but the santa hats, jumpers, musical interlude and now the selfies has sort of become traditional. Have a very Happy Christmas.


  6. Your homemade Christmas card is lovely. It is always something I aspire to do and run out of time! Your family get togethers at Christmas always look such fun and I always pick up some good ideas to try out here. Have a wonderful Christmas! Sarah x


  7. Lovely festivities and decor! I love the glass ornaments on your tree. And I look forward to seeing your door non-wreath! Congrats to you for doing your mum’s photo book and I am glad it was happily received. It has been years since I have tried embossing but you have tempted me. Happy Christmas!


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