If you have stayed with me through the previous two episodes of 'Deck the Halls', gentle reader, you may have gathered that Elizannie's decorating style is more 'tacky' than 'stylish'. The shops this year seems to be advocating a sort of Scandinavian style of decoration [sort of inline with the dark detective dramas on TV?] so true to my decorating style I have added that into the mish mash of earlier years.
'Normal' [not a word heard often in the Elizannie/Other Half household] year round decorations have to be put away or incorporated into the general Christmas scheme. The general household decorating scheme is probably best described as 'eclectic' at best or 'random' at worst. The Staffordshire china dogs collection - which many hate! - but live so happily around the lounge and cannot be put away for the festive season so are given jaunty Christmas hats and scarves [above]
Conversely, some of the 'Christmas House Decorations' tend to be left out all year. The wonderful statuettes of Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Present live permanently on display as maybe befits the house of A Christmas Carol anorak [see Dickens: "A Christmas Carol", and its relevance today'], whether this year's addition of Scrooge's School is a step too far to qualify for year round status remains to be seen.
And as with the Christmas Tree decorations, some of the 'Christmas house decorations' are 'historical' - the snowman cross stitch framed picture made by Youngest Daughter aged six; the Nativity tableaux bought by Other Half's sadly missed late mother; the beautiful candles and icons bought many years ago when our family lived in Bonn; the couple of remaining decorations bought by my mother in the '60s; the knitted silly toys made for the children many years ago and now played with by the grandchildren.
Fresh mistletoe* does not have a place in the household, due to the year when Eldest Son was around two years old and decided the berries looked edible. A call to the local hospital and then onto Guy's poison unit revealed that yes, mistletoe berries were poisonous leading to night where no-one slept, 'flushing him out' with copious amounts of [any] fluids he would drink. And as any parent of a child in this sort of situation will know, he didn't want to drink anything - let alone the usually craved for and forbidden lemonade, cola or any other fizzy drinks. We do have fresh holly, home grown but berry safe as for some reason it 'bears [no] berries' That either means we need a male or female plant to help out, but after the preceding family history I am not in a hurry to find out.
Changes have to be made with changing circumstances. House redecorating and renovations this year mean that the holes where the advent stockings have been hung for nearly twenty five years been filled. So they have been relocated to another place and a new custom will be commenced. Old customs, new customs - as in 'real life' we all are forced to move with the times. The linen Christmas dinner tablecloth, used for many years by Other Half's grandmother in Bermuda then shipped here nearly 40 years ago and used with joy although now covered with many irremovable red wine stains [!] has been joined by a polyester cotton one bought in the West Country a couple of years ago. Some decorations, kept in the loft all year, look just a little too fragile/tatty to be stuck to the walls but are returned to the loft, too precious with the memories they bring to be thrown away.
So whatever your decorating scheme, whether you celebrate Christmas or any other festival or none at all the Elizannie/Other Half family send Holiday greetings to one and all. As Tiny Tim says 'God Bless us Everyone'.
Yes, Elizannie has gone a bit soft but the next blog will be more true to form - possibly - although if you call around, beware there is a bunch of plastic mistletoe* in the hall!