I’m risking making every post into a cheesy Christmas tune but “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”!!! OK, I promise I’ll stop!

Last week (Thursday) was Thanksgiving here in America. This is truly the major family get together in the years calendar, from what I’ve observed in the 13 years I’ve been here I’d say that Thanksgiving is more important than Christmas for the average American family. It’s almost a sin to miss it, and the day before is the single busiest travel day of the year as people try their darndest to be “Home for the Holidays”. One of my work colleagues flew from Michigan to Texas to be with his parents and siblings.

To us, Thanksgiving is just a four day weekend. We always make ourselves a nice, homemade dinner and a dessert, set out the good plates in the dining room and make sure we change our clothes from “slobbing around the house” to something more presentable, but we still put our main effort and focus into Christmas.

The time off is useful though, we use it to make a start on our Christmas preparations. It’s a good opportunity to put the lights up outside and the wreath on the door. We don’t go over the top, but we wrap coloured lights around two small conifers by the front door along with the large weeping cherry tree in the front border. There’s a wreath on the door and a fresh, evergreen wreath on the front of the house too. At the back of the house, next to the deck is a 25ft pine tree that also gets strung with coloured lights…. putting them up is quite the challenge I can tell you, but it looks really pretty all lit up. And that’s it for outside. We don’t actually turn them on until December 1st, we just take the opportunity to get them ready.

Inside, the Christmas tree is bought and is in its stand awaiting baubles and garlands; the wreath is up above the fireplace and the mantle has the lighted swag on it too. Out in the entrance hallway quite a transformation has taken place already. The stair banisters, both sides, now have lighted swags on them as well as big, homemade, floppy bows with long tails on the newel posts; there is another homemade wreath on the inside of the front door. On the wall is a new decoration I just made from three small artificial evergreen branches which are wired together close to the top of the stems so the arrangement hangs downwards. On to this I have wired bright red berries and small, glittery gold baubles and have daubed silver glitter here and there; the finishing touch is the homemade, dark red and gold bow. Rather pleased how it turned out actually. But my favourite thing is the bakers rack in the hall. Every year I keep all the trimmings from the Christmas tree and decorate the rack with them. To add interest there are also some more red and gold berries and some Christmas picks from Michaels. This year, as a centerpiece on the main shelf, are my three whimsical little homemade Christmas trees, and at the foot of the stairs are three potted poinsettias.

[Christmas tree cuttings.]

[Getting ready to decorate.]

[Finished bowl on the bottom shelf.]

[Finished middle shelf.]

[Whimsical Christmas trees.]

After this was completed I decorated the banisters and then stopped for a cuppa before making a start on the new little decoration, unfortunately by the time I finished it all it was dark and couldn’t get a decent photo.  More to follow hopefully!

The next thing on the list will be to decorate the tree, it’s been in its stand and in position since Sunday but we always leave it for a few days in order for it to “settle”. Perhaps Wednesday night will be the night to do it.