Countdown to Christmas || Deck the Halls

Do you want to know a secret?  Our Christmas tree has been up and decorated since 24th November.  Shock!  Horror!  Gasp!  November? I hear you cry! That’s far too early.

Well, not in my house it isn’t. You see, I take my Christmas decorating VERY seriously. We have boxes upon boxes of decorations that we have collected over the years and I would estimate it takes me at least a week to get them all in place.  Even now I’m still not quite finished with all the little details.

Decorating the house is definitely one of my favourite parts of the Countdown to Christmas. For today’s post I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite decorations, old and new, as well as the stories behind them.

Lucy Loveheart

Lucy Loveheart is fast becoming one of my favourite designers/artists, although as of yet I have only purchased her work when in collaboration with Chatsworth.  I’m starting to build up quite a collection of tea caddies, coasters, biscuit tins and, of course, Christmas decorations.

Every year for the past three I have picked up on of her beautiful baubles for the Chatsworth Orangery shop, after visiting the Christmas display in the house.  The bauble on the right is my first ever Lucy Loveheart bauble, the one on the left is the most recent. (If you look closely you can see the little Dickensian characters).

My favourite Lucy Loveheart decoration, however, is definitely this one, which I bought from The Nutcracker themed display at Chatsworth.  Miss Mess and I got a little Nutcracker obsessed last year and bought a lot of matching decorations which has allowed us to create this little themed area on our tree.

The bauble from Bath

When I was a kid, if ever we went abroad we would usually bring back a Christmas decoration so our tree became a souvenir map of our travels.  It’s a very rare occasion when I travel nowadays, so our tree doesn’t have many destination baubles, but we did pick up this cute Christmassy door on a recent trip to Bath.

I wrote a blog post all about our adventures in Bath, and this bauble will also bring back very fond memories.  It’s a lovely reminder of how, even at particularly low point in our lives, we still managed to find something special to remember.

Musical Notes

I’ve always been a huge music lover.  I love listening to music, singing and, once upon a time, I used to play the piano.  (I still have the piano, it just doesn’t get played very often.)  As a child, I used to love finding musical themed decorations for the tree and when I moved out of the family home my parents gave me some of my favourites to take with me.  (At least, I think they did.  Maybe I stole them, in which case I’m busted.)

Disney Princesses

A few years ago I decided that what our tree really needed what a giant dose of Disney Princess magic.  I absolutely adored these Princess hanging decorations and seeing as I knew we would collect them all eventually I decided to save myself money (ha!) by buying the whole gift set.  I think I did get them 20% off, so they were a relative bargain!

Over the years we have added a few more friends to our Disney collection (hello Anna and Elsa) and have even picked up a few accessories for the Princesses.  Miss Mess and I spent AGES this Christmas trying to give each Princess their own unique area.  Cinderella has her carriage and glass slipper, Snow White has her mirror etc.  We still need to find some things for the others (what the heck do I find for Mulan?) but I do love the overall effect.

My First Christmas

I think it might be an unofficial rule of parenting that you have to buy a My First Christmas decoration for every child.  I know my two sisters and I all had one, and now so do my children.  Not content to just have a bauble with a name, I found these lovely personalised baubles from “Getting Personal.co.uk” where you could add a photo as well as a message.

Both girls have a bauble with the photo and date from their first Christmas.  They’re really cute and I love these baubles so much that I had one made for grandparents as well!

Where have all the unicorns gone? (Extra points if you get the reference, please leave a comment below!)

Along with half of the human population, Mini Mess is a little obsessed with unicorns at the moment.  This year she has chosen not one, but two unicorn ornaments including this rather amazing, multicoloured unicorn/pegasus hybrid!  She insisted that they had to grace the very top of our tree, so there they are!!

Do you wanna build a snowman?

I’ve always been partial to a candle arch and this one was very kindly bought for me by my mother-in-law a few years ago. (From Reuben Shaw and Sons, as most of our decorations are.)  I was gutted last year when I thought it had broken, but Mr M worked his magic and it lives on for another year.

Keeping it traditional with Mr Mess

Although Mr Mess is slightly outnumbered by females in our house, we do try and keep the Christmas decorations well-balanced.  While me and the girls may be fans of all the sparkles, Mr Mess does like something a little more traditional.  He picked up these hand crafted decorations made by a local wood-turner at a school fete.

Tis the season to be jolly…

And here we have the finished product.  I LOVE my living room when it’s decorated for Christmas.  I just always feels like this is its natural state.  Everything feels so cosy and snug and festive.  We still have a few finishing touches to make to the rest of the house, but as far I’m concerned, Christmas begins now.

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