{04/12/2012}   Getting out the Christmas decorations

It’s day four of my advent calendar and I’m already two chocolates behind.  I fear this sums up my Christmas decorating too.  I used to get decorations up on 1st December and keep them up to the bitter end.  I am now a bit lazy and slapdash about organising myself.  However, seeing trees up in other people’s houses, I am lamenting my lazy Sunday and wishing I’d foraged in the vast damp reaches of my eaves cupboard for my box of decorations.  The tree, however, needs to be dug up from its home in my mum’s garden so it may take a while to prepare myself for that – I should manage it for Christmas!

As for my box of decorations, there is something delightfully familiar about it and all its contents.  The only thing I know for sure is that, as with every year, I will open it and wish I’d packed things a bit better in January as chaos will reign in my main decorations box.  I will also discover some decorations I forgot I had and I will gaze in awe at their loveliness.  I really am a sucker for Christmas and now I’m writing this, I just want to rummage in the box and start putting things up.

There are two things I particularly love about Christmas decorations: real Christmas trees and fairy lights.  Every year, it is a genuine struggle to take the lights down as they’re so pretty and I realise I have a bit of a penchant for mood lighting, ie everyone is obliged to sit in semi darkness with merely fairy lights on when it’s Christmas time!  I would happily have a Christmas tree in every room, except perhaps the kitchen.  It makes perfect sense to have one in the bathroom, for example, as so many bleaches and air fresheners claim to be “pine fresh”.  What better pine freshness than a small pine tree in your bathroom?

Fairy lights, to me, are best simple, none of these flashing reindeer-nosed type lights or any other such nonsense, just non-flashing multi-coloured lights, though there is a place in my Christmassy haven for white lights too.  From doing two consecutive years of five star hotel Christmas decorating in Japan (yes, yes, I did!) I finally learnt that you should always plug the lights in to check they work before putting them up.  We also had a fantastic gadget there for testing bulbs so could isolate the duff one, albeit a major labour of love.  Ah, how smug was I to review other people’s decorating skills after my puffed up Christmas decorating experience!  I thought that hours spent over night, jet lagged and confused, decorating massive hotels with the joy of Christmas would be enough to ruin my own personal Christmas decorating pleasure, but, no, it made me love it even more.

So now, here I am getting all excited about decorating my flat and I have to go to sodding work.  What’s all that about and why is “work” this year not heading into the deepest, darkest secret passages of a hotel at 10pm to magic a hotel into a state of Christmas sparkle and shimmer?  Ah, if only.  Tonight, instead, may the small-scale Christmassing of my home commence!


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