Tag Archives: White House

If The Tree’s Not Full, You’re Doing It Wrong

31 Dec

I decorate the tree using the above principle. I believe in moderation in everything except Christmas and Maltesers. Speaking of which, I still have seven of my nine boxes & bags left and it’s been five days; I’d better get myself to the doctor.

Here are a few of our tree decorations. We buy at least one new one every year. That was Tory Boy’s first question when he arrived home on Christmas Eve: ‘Where’s the new decoration?’

The mirrored bell you see below is the first decoration TB ever bought me, from St Matthew’s Christmas Fair, here in Edgeley about ten years ago.

 

This is a decoration from the White House, from 1995. It comes in its own specially marked box. The White House issues new ones each year for the public to buy, though this one was a gift from the Hub via eBay. It is a solid piece.

The candy cane is also from America, one of a box of ten sent by one of the Hub’s chat room friends. They are about ten years old, those that are left. We never took them out of their plastic wrappers but they are getting a bit soft now. Don’t think we are mean to our children: we can buy them here in the pound shop. We just appreciated Brenda’s kindness and didn’t have the heart to eat them

 

 

The white stocking was made by Spud in reception (kindergarten); the Christmas sock is one of a mis-matched pair given to me by my Mother-in-law when we brought her and the Hub’s Dad out to South Africa one Christmas. I think the funny basket rat thing held mini Easter eggs once; I bought it on a boot sale because I liked it so much. The glass bauble to the right is part of an expensive set of ten that the Hub got for a knock-down price on eBay. Each ball contains a different Christmas figure. They have their own specially designed wooden crate with an acetate showing which bauble goes where.

 
 
This is our most precious decoration.  The Hub bought it for his parents in 1970 and it went on the top of their tree every year until they died.  It went on the top of our tree after that until about five years ago, when Tory Boy bought us a new angel with his pocket money.  I forgot to take a close-up of his angel but if you look at my earlier posts you will see it.
 
 
  
The tatty silver and gold balls were once shiny and new gold balls, part of a set of six we bought for our first Christmas tree, twenty-five years ago.  These are the only two left.  The pink fairy was handmade by me under Flo’s tutelage; I also have a reindeer and a Christmas tree, all made from dolly pegs.  I also made the cross stitch snowman.
 

 

 

My friend Elone often buys me Christmas decorations when she goes on her travels; this one of Sponge Bob came from Disneyland.  I also have one of Mickey Mouse and a blue glass teardrop from Kusadasi which is my favourite of all she has bought me, mostly because I love saying ‘Kusadasi’.  The dog is an old Christmas tag made of foam.  The Hub bought a set for my presents one year, and I like them so much I use them as decorations.

  

The red and gold box top right first held a ring that the Hub bought me and hid on the tree long ago.  The gold bell next to it was our first top-of-the-tree decoration when we married in 1985.  The cloth bell came from a little shop in Jo’burg on Louis Botha Avenue in the early years of our marriage.  The shop sold all homemade/hand-made things, including cakes and clothes and Christmas decorations. 

 

Homemade and hand-made decorations are my favourite, but I love them all.  I overload the tree because I am seriously sentimental at times and when I decorate the tree, I’m bringing out happy memories.  Who wouldn’t want a treeful of those?

The Host Of Christmas Past

3 Dec
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  

 

Look what I got in my stocking

I couldn’t sleep last night – I ran out of decaffeinated Earl Grey on Monday and I don’t shop until tomorrow – and I lay awake thinking of past Christmases, so I thought I would share one with you; it’s an easy way to fill a blog.  Christmas 2006 was not a vintage year.  We got our turkey on Christmas Eve and it showed –  I have never been so disappointed in a frozen bird; it was as if that particular turkey didn’t want to be someone’s Christmas Dinner.  No meat on it at all.  Luckily, we also had gammon and duck, though the duck was an unpleasant surprise – so much fat on it, I know now why they don’t get cold on winter ponds.  We didn’t have gravy so much as artery-killer. 

Luckily, only Mum was having dinner with us that year, Dad having had the good sense to pop his clogs Christmas Eve 2000, once he heard I’d be cooking.  He wasn’t so lucky the year we had 22 for dinner and I remembered everything except the setting of the table, so everyone ate wherever they could grab a seat, some inside and some in the garden (in South Africa, don’t worry); and the greedy lot gobbled it up so fast that by the time I served the last plateful (mine) everyone had finished and I sat in lonely and tearful state with the Hub.  On the plus side, the washing up was done by the time I was. 

We had no problems at all in getting Spud to bed in 2006: he no longer believed in Father Christmas; hooray for the death of children’s fantasies!   – although he did wake up at three in the morning.  He managed to go back to sleep after rummaging through his stocking, but woke Tory Boy at 5:45, to TB’s vociferous displeasure.  Spud then climbed into our bed with the apparent intention of him no sleep, no one no sleep, so we gave in and were up by six-twenty.  Grandma was already awake, so it was simply a matter of toilet breaks, tea all round, video camera at the ready, and then the boys were allowed into the living room to receive their gifts.  Once they’d had a good poke around their booty piles we all sat to unwrap the under-the-tree gifts.  That took a good two hours, what with all the squealing and ‘thank yous’ and sorting of gift wrap, bows and ribbons into appropriate recycling bags.  

The Hub is a great gift giver.  That year, I got stuff from the White House, including a tree decoration, pin, and cufflinks which I am going to wear every time I have on a long-sleeve blouse, if I can only find them.   Unusually, no underwear, but furry socks and a large bag of Maltesers and lots of stocking fillers.   He also bought me the bread maker I so desperately desired.  I must be the only wife in the world who doesn’t hurl a new kitchen appliance at her husband on Christmas morning.  I had wanted one for ages and I used it every day for a fortnight; then about once a month; and now it’s just another dust-gatherer on top of a kitchen cupboard.   Why am I cursed with such a listening husband? 

The boys bought me thoughtful gifts: Spud bought me the Take That cd I was after (I had to have a little patience but I got it in the end) and a large box of Maltesers.   TB bought me a £10 book voucher and a large box of Maltesers.   How I love my children, especially when they spend their own money.  

I also love my mother, who bought me The West Wing.  Need I say more?  

Christmas dinner was delicious, reluctant turkey, oily gravy and all, and afterwards we watched a new dvd while Mum snored

Boxing Day was buffet day; a sort of ‘all-you-can-eat’ for the greedy amongst us, with me at the front of the queue.  I always do a buffet on Boxing Day because my Mum always did a buffet on Boxing Day.  I set it all out on a table in the lounge and we stretch out in front of the tv we taped but didn’t have time to watch on Christmas Day.  The only year since I’ve been cooking Christmas that I didn’t do a buffet was the year I didn’t cook Christmas because we were invited out.  That Boxing Day, the Hub and his offspring insisted I cook Christmas Dinner on Boxing Day because it didn’t feel like a proper Christmas without my Christmas Dinner.  Something to do with them missing the kitchen hysterics and burnt smell permeating the air, apparently.  Happy days! 

  

  

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