Decorating Christmas with Heart

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year.

Carols, laughter, stone fruit in abundance, Champagne festively packaged, the aroma of pine, excited children, candlelight, feasts and the art of giving all take me to a warm happy place.

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Since I was a little girl Christmas was such magic to me. I think I still get just as excited as the kids but for different reasons now.

I took it upon myself very early on to be in charge of decorating the tree and the table setting. I obviously had a very open minded Mother!

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Every year when I was growing up, I would conjure up a theme which translated in my gift wrapping, decorations on the tree, my Christmas cards and continued onto the Christmas dining table.

My tradition continues into my adulthood with my own family except I’m not quite as relaxed as my own Mum was! Control freak much!

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With Christmas so close, it’s time to get organised!

Store bought Christmas cards are so generic and expensive if you go for something with quality. I’ve had our Christmas cards made every year, usually by an independent illustrator. pic of artwork of horse

Maybe you have a friend with a skill for drawing or creating artwork?

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If your friends are more the non-artsy types, then have a look on Etsy under “hand made” for some great illustrators who can help you. Make sure to get your conversations started well in advance to allow for artwork to be completed and postage etc. (some of these artists and illustrators are based in the UK or USA) to ensure they are with you well and truly in time for you to sign, deal and deliver.

Another idea is to get your kids (if you have them. If you don’t borrow some!) to draw something gorgeous. You can then take it to your local printer and have it transferred onto thick card stock. On the reverse side, write your messages and there’s your card. Personal, inexpensive and effective.

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The Christmas Tree

Even though we live in Australia and the climates are harsh during December, we have always had a real tree.

All it means is that you are not able to have a decorated tree standing in your home for as long as a fake one, but it’s worth it! There are Christmas tree farms dotted all around the place. We have been visiting on in Dural (Sydney) for years and on the first day of them opening they have pretty much sold out of the hundreds of real trees they have been caring for all year for this moment!

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Or you can do what my Dad used to do with us when we were kids and secretly “borrow” one from your local government land! Shhhh. My poor Mother had no idea! Made for great big happy memories though.

It’s wise to get there on the opening day of a Xmas tree farm even if you do not intend to take it home that same day. They usually start selling around the very first week of December so look out for the opening of the farm near you. You can actually choose, purchase and select a delivery/pick up date that suits. They tie a ribbon around the trunk with your name on it! I’m lucky enough that there are six of us all together so we all split up and run to different sections “claiming” a tree until each of us has agreed who has saved the best and that’s what we take home!

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When you get it home, freshen the base of the trunk so it can drink water properly and make sure you top up the water in the stand every day in the heat!

There’s nothing better than decorating your real tree, smelling the pine and getting your fingers all sappy. So earthy. This definitely requires carols, a glass of bubbly for you and chocolates for the kids.

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