Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Coordinating or eclectic?

A lot of Christmas trees will probably be in the loft or shredder by now, but I'm a bit old school when it comes to decorations: they don't go up until the last weekend before Christmas, and stay up until as late as possible on 6th January.  So as I cling on to my twinkly lights for just a little longer, I thought I'd share my tree with you. Please leave me a note to tell me about your tree too.

There's more than a smidge of the obsessive compulsive in me - my DVD and CD collections are in alphabetical order, I'm secretly troubled by all the random sizes of the books on my shelves, and when I craft, I'll spend ages making sure that the colours coordinate properly.  No mixing of orangey reds and pinky reds on my cards thankyouverymuch.  But when it comes to my Christmas tree, I like a big jumble of multi-coloured, random decorations.  It's not messy, it's errr, eclectic.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it :-)  Of course I admire and appreciate the stylish colour-coordinated trees in their modern blues-and-silvers or their traditional reds-and-greens.  The DVD-sorting part of me even wants them in my house (colour-coordinated with the room decor, of course!).  For me though, Christmas and the start of a new year is all about appreciating and connecting with the people who are important to me and that inevitably involves some thinking about my past.

[caption id="attachment_83" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Loved since 1970ish"][/caption]

As a result, my tree groans under the weight of decorations I've made or saved throughout my life, like a scrapbook that only I can read.  There's the faithful fairy that once shimmered at the top of my childhood trees, her crepe paper skirts yellowed from 4 decades of loft living.  One of my fondest Christmas memories is of my Mum covering those skirts with glitter (now mostly gone), because the 8 year old me didn't want her to be thrown out just because she was faded and tatty.  Then there are various test pieces made for classes, web projects and magazine articles - individual baubles covered in glitter, alcohol ink, embossing powder, flock and glass paint. Then there are tiny fake presents and mini crackers that I made from wrapping paper off-cuts for my first tree in my own house. There's even a fancy bauble that was a wedding favour from a December wedding, and a single lantern from my grandparents' old tree lights. My decorations may not match, and they may not be as shiny or sparkly as they once were, but they've shared my life and I couldn't imagine decorating my tree without them.  I just hope the fairy has a few more years in her so she can become part of Bob's Christmasses too!

[caption id="attachment_78" align="alignleft" width="112" caption="Bauble with alcohol inks and bead collar"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_73" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Mini cracker - a great way to use up paper offcuts"][/caption]