a way of life...

Month: December 2015

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

This year I employed a very special person to help me design my Christmas décor. One Friday evening eight year old Sam and I sat with a pile of  H&G magazines and thumbed the pages of the January issues to find a vast array of decorative schemes; everything from the ultra-modern to the very traditional. Funnily enough it wasn’t me who turned my nose up at the chic minimalist schemes, but young Sam.


So when it was time for me to decorate our tree I turned my back on the sophisticated golden ornaments that had been adorning the tree for the last few years and decided instead to dress it with the colourful wooden toys and papiér maché angels that I had collected when I could only imagine what it would be like to have a house full of children at Christmas.












I haven’t discarded the shiny stars, moons, suns and reindeer that have been faithful friends in recent years but have added these little characters to add a sense of magic and mischief.


My all time favourite Christmas accessory is this windup music box. As it gently turns the four colourful angels, mouths wide open, sing to the tune of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Not quite the Bruce Springsteen version but a goody nonetheless. I just hope this much loved trinket survives the current generation and gets handed down as a family heirloom!


Happy Christmas everyone.  And remember……

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town

Gift Tags and Ribbons

I’ve just wrapped my first batch of Christmas gifts for delivery to far flung family this coming weekend. (No peeking children!)

Using gift tags made from last year’s greetings cards and salvaged ribbon handles from high-end High Street carrier bags I’m really pleased with the end result.


To see how I recycled last year’s Christmas cards go to https://langdonhyde.com/christmas-gift-tags/.



To purchase longer lengths of contemporary ribbons visit www.sophiesribbons.com where you will find her own collection of coloured, striped and printed ribbons sold by the roll.





Bored With Baubles?

Bored with baubles? Tired of tinsel?

With Christmas celebrations less than three weeks away I have spent the weekend decking the halls in preparation for the big day.

I love Christmas and always enjoy the anticipation of selecting the tree and decorating the house with lovely sparkly decorations.

This year I vowed not to be tempted to add to my collection of baubles and tinsel but to turn to look at more traditional materials that would add seasonal aromas and textures to my home over the festive period.Eucalyptus

One of my favourite scented shrubs is Eucalyptus which looks very stylish with its rounded blue-grey leaves. I love to display it in a delicate storm lamp that I was given as a Christmas present several years ago. It looks equally stunning on its own, in a mixed bouquet or with carefully selected silk flowers. I usually place it on a console table in the hallway to provide a welcoming festive aroma for my yuletide visitors.

IMG_5778This year, inspired by the mild weather, I decided to go foraging for windfall Silver Birch and berry-laden Holly.

Silver Birch, with its lovely papery white bark is perfect to bring into the house in the winter. Whether it is to provide logs for an open fire or to use purely as decoration it can look very effective. Here I have wrapped it with Ivy and partnered it with a floor standing lantern in an otherwise bleak corner.

IMG_5765A collection of woodland finds can be used to great effect as a table decoration. I don’t believe that these have to be formal arrangements just a handful of evergreen shrub stems, preferably with berries, a few  fir cones of varying size and type, and a little imagination go a long way. Here I have used a white Ikea jug, some prettily decorated votives and a beautiful glass serving platter with silver base to make this centrepiece for our dining table.

Fruit wreath

If,unlike me, you have neither the time nor inclination to collect your own materials there is an abundance of beautifully crafted wreathes and table decorations available to buy.

One of my favourites is this cheerful looking fruit wreath which is on sale at my local farm shop.

For more details visit www.thefarmshoplyneuk.com where you will find a large variety of fresh seasonal produce.

To find woodland style decorations including Birch Bark Candle, Frosted Branches Hanging Tree, and Jewelled Twig Light Up Garlands visit www.coxandcox.co.uk.

To make your own decorations using natural materials in woodland surroundings go to www.surreywildlifetrust.org and search “What’s On” for list of up and coming events.

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