I’m so excited to be kicking of this Christmas blog series and excited to reveal all the other bloggers I got involved each of the 12 days. Thanks to West Elm for supporting the series and making it even sparklier. It seems logical to start with myself so here goes. And don’t forget you can also follow along on the Front + Main and #kindredspirits.
Christmas for me is primarily about celebrating the birth of Jesus, which I definitely think deserves celebrating with an abundance of singing, people coming together and of course feasting! I’m not a lover of Winter with it’s lack of light and bitterly chills but the Festive period definitely breathes life into this bleak season. Every one has their own traditions from the food you have, to the decorations you put up, to the films you watch and then there’s the fun of creating new traditions. I love how Christmas brings people together, with friends and family celebrating under one roof, enjoying good company and good food. So much happens around the table this time of year in our home as I’m sure is the same with many and my favourite kind of evening is one that involves cheese, wine and glimmering candles. There’s not much that makes me feel cosier and more festive than this little set up. Plus as a concept it doesn’t involve a huge amount of prep, meaning more time to enjoy being with the people you love.
I styled up my Christmas table around this idea of my perfect Christmas evening, trying to create something special whilst still having a relatively laid back feel. I go for morning walks most days even in Winter. I become the strange looking lady poking around on the floor in the park, scavenging for broken twigs, branches and green foliage to take home at this time every year. All these natural elements and greenery inspired my whole table top. These foraged keepsakes went really nicely with the textures in the table linens and the beautiful hand crafted look of the grey crackle dinnerware. I kept the colours all very natural with pops of red and yellow from the berries which I think helps to make the whole thing look more seasonal. I very simply made a table runner by roughly cutting a strip of charcoal, flecked linen which breaks up the white table cloth and adds richness. After all ’tis the season to be decadent.
I LOVE cheese! After years of not being allowed the stuff I now fully embrace a lactose feast come Christmas and all types are on the menu from hard to soft, mild to smelly, plain to fruity. I broke the sea of cheeses up with a string of juicy grapes and figs to add some sweetness to the salty and lined the table with crackers and chutneys to pile up on the plates. I love anticipation of coming in from the cold to a warm, candle lit home to enjoy an evening with friends or family, sipping on the good stuff into the late hours. Even though early December is manic with work, these little pockets of joy always make the hard work sustainable until we can finally sleep our way through a holiday break and hibernation.
We’re headed home to my husband’s parents for Christmas this year to celebrate with family. That usually means stockings from Nick’s Mum followed by church, shed loads of food (more cheese), a Christmas Day quiz, games that may or may not become too competitive for the Christmas spirit and a fresh walk or two to clear the cobwebs. I can’t wait to slow down and get some proper uninterrupted rest and a chance to take stock of life and leave my cares in my inbox. What would I like Santa to bring me?….I’d love a waffle maker and some nail polishes to replace the pile I used up in a recent DIY project *face of regret.
Of course, I had to add some DIY elements to my styled table. It seemed rude not to! The leafy backdrop was created with one of those foraged branches I mentioned. I collected bunch of vines and leaves and just wrapped these around the branch working my way out and securing with wire each time I added a new one. Use a variety of greenery to build up different textures and trail vine like sections so they hang down. It’s probably easier to tie string to either end of your branch to begin with so you can have the whole thing hung up as you attach leaves. This way you can see if it looks balanced and the great thing is there’s no right or wrong! You realistically will need to do this on the day or perhaps the day before depending on whether you’re predominantly using ever green foliage or not.
I hand lettered the cheese labels and used left over wire from the backdrop to create label holders. Take a strip of the wire and snip. Straighten it out by pulling it with your fingers and then start to coil the top round in a spiral. I gave myself full permission not to worry about being to neat and instead embrace rustic charm. Press the coil together and then you can sit your labels in and poke the bottom of the wire into your cheeses. It takes all of two minutes!