|This Yule card by the artist Briar was sent to me and sits on the mantelpiece.|
How are all your festive preparations going? This week has been pretty busy for me so far; I spent Monday getting out all the decorations and putting up the tree. It always takes longer than I think it will; there is always a big mess to clean up afterwards and boxes to tidy away but I look forward to that moment when it's all finished and I can sit in my oak-leaf rocking-chair with a glass of cream sherry and admire the twinkling lights on the tree and around the fireplace.
Last year I got a new artificial Christmas tree and this year I have new Poinsettia lights around the mantelpiece. I can't have real Poinsettia plants, as much as I love them, because they are poisonous to felines, so these lights are a nice option and they won't harm Pyewackett. They make the fireplace look very festive. Last year I was sent one of Briar's Yule cards (above); I don't generally keep old cards but I am a fan of the artist's work and I like the Pagan elements of this festive image with the sickle, mistletoe and broomstick, so I've put it on the mantelpiece and I think I want to get a little gilt frame for it and bring it out every year. Because it's too small to hang on the wall, I've just propped it up on the mantel with the lights and it looks pretty, but it really does need to be in a frame to finish it off properly.
If you've read my book How to Create a Magical Home you will know that I have a couple of large pewter trees and a three-fold screen, all designed to look like winter trees. These are pretty all year round as they are all meant to hold candles and tea-lights, but at Yuletide I put fairy lights on them too and they really do sparkle. They featured in the photo-shoot I did for Spirit&Destiny earlier this month, so you might spot them in the magazine next year. I love the way the house looks especially warm and inviting at Yuletide.
'Tis the season to be frazzled so yesterday I braved the supermarket and did the grocery run. It was packed with shoppers, all equally stressed, but it's just one of those things that has to be done. I think mums deserve a meddle for putting Christmas together for their families! It looks like such a hard slog in the weeks leading up to the celebration. I did treat myself to Britney Spears new album Britney Jean, as an early present to myself and a little reward to make the supermarket trip worth the hassle and I've been listening to that today as I clean the house.
Tomorrow it's the final trip to the post office for cards and parcels, a last lot of present wrapping to do and then I think mum and I are having the Yuletide baking day at some stage over the weekend. And we have tickets for an Aurora Illuminations Winter Walk at one of the country parks in the next county...so it's all go.
As soon as I've finished this blog post I'm going to settle down with a cup of creamy white hot chocolate with festive sprinkles on top and read some of the seasonal short stories I downloaded onto my Kindle earlier. Some of them are free or cost less than £1, so if you have a Kindle or similar, take a look on Amazon for free festive stories, curl up and enjoy some down-time. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas so you might as well enjoy it!