Deck the Halls …

Merry Christmas – to all Decor Extremes followers from Peter and me.

Now I ‘m not generally one for Christmas, although I must say I am settling into the rift this year – with excellent presents – the new Constance Spry biography and Patricia Reed’s William Nicholson Catalogue Raisonné and a host of home-baked goodies from my sister and I’ve still got to look forward to a baked ham (glazed with stout) and a mean aioli made with fresh Hawke’s Bay garlic.

Christmas gets better every year and therefore my participation level increases slowly (I used to be a total refusenik). Indeed some years back a group of work friends distracted me while another group of them broke into my then house and decorated it for me (I wasn’t that thrilled). The policy then was – ‘deck the halls with absolutely nothing.’

I’ll admit that I still fall down in the area of Christmas decorations. At Finnis house there is no tree; no tinsel and the lights remain resolutely at back of the cupboard. There is no tree because I refuse to go for a tinsel tree (appallingly 80% of New Zealanders do) and real Christmas trees are just so difficult to dispose of after the obligatory 12 days – it’s not like you can throw them in a rubbish bag and put them out at the curb.

I prefer instead to go for another traditional decoration in the form of white Christmas lilies. These I’ve been planting in the side border for the last few years and they have an amazing ability to be out on Christmas day. Even yesterday they were only in bud but today they look fabulous.

Even better still this year they get to stay in the border as I was gifted a big bunch of lilies from a stylish friend – so now in matching vases they sit on our white covered table and become our Christmas tree.

We have also put up what are called the ‘drappies’ two embroidered Victorian mantle covers. One in a greenery yallery grosvenor gallery and the other in black and violet. These mark the seasonal passing on the open fires into temporary obsolescence, which occurs about now.

They are wonderful pieces of work – one with baskets of daffodils the other with purple pansies. A real reminder of how nineteenth century women once passed the time – and why so many Victorian homes burnt down.

So these are our Christmas decorations – traditional in their own way and something we look forward to every year.

Have a great day and may the season present great decorating opportunities for all.


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