Countdown to Christmas

I left my mother’s house quite early; that’s how I happened to have my first own Christmas tree at the tender age of 18. Back then, I didn’t have much money, and the little fir tree in a pot had to be decorated with bright red taffeta bows only. In the sale after that Christmas I bought two strings of fairy lights. Ever since, I have been collecting Christmas ornaments. And I just can’t seem to get enough.

Birchcraft Designs

Last weekend, I dragged the whole family behind me and forced them to indulge in a whole morning of oestrogen fuelled Christmas madness. We went to the Country Living Christmas Fair! The yearly event is housed in the Business Design Centre in Islington, which happens to be just around the corner from where we live. How could I not go?

It's girls only. Almost...

The hall has been packed with mostly female visitors. The few male companions that I spotted must have been brought along for carrying purposes only, as they grumpily tottered behind the respective other halves. My very own better half, Big M, has been busy chasing behind little L, trying to keep her from pulling over the delicate decorations or playing football with the Christmas baubles.

Bollywood Christmas

All the while I have been skimming the scene with an eagle eye. Where to go first? Which colours to choose? And what to bring home? I went for an advent calendar and some cute gingerbread men from Birchcraft Designs, some Scandinavian looking ornaments, a Santa Claus on an elephant and a little angel from Bollywood Christmas and a cute T-Shirt with an elephant-illustrations (you got it, we are in the elephant phase) for little L.

As for my tortured family, little L brought home a new word: ‘Spa-tly! Spa-tly!’ (sparkly, sparkly) and Big M bagged a new idea: ‘Maybe you want to go with a girlfriend next year?’

Time to deck the halls now, time to bundle the wreaths (ok, whom am I kidding, there’s definitely no bundling) and to fill in this little advent calendar. Any ideas?

If you are still not ‘in the mood’, I recommend watching this on end:


  1. I’m with you, totally. I wish there was a Christmas fair like that around here to go to! It looks so wonderful!!

  2. This year I’m so of getting in the mood – I’ve started shopping and am now planning festive things

    I do love the new John Lewis ad – I hated the one last year but this one is very good

  3. I have spent the last few weeks dragging home large branches that have blown off trees. They are now painted silver or white and look very like your second photo – at no cost at all. In the catalogues over here, they are selling the same things for about thirty quid!

  4. I hate to think how much money I would spend in such a place! I love shopping for Christmas – both for decorations for our home, as well as gifts for family and friends. We went to a holiday market this weekend – lots of fun!

  5. Please don’t shoot me I use an artificial tree I get out from the basement every year. I love a real tree I just don’ t like cleaning up the needles. It is easy to get in the mood here as it usually snows pure white rather than London style grey slush

  6. I’m so ready to decorate for Christmas, but I need to see Sinterklaas and Luca’s b/day out the way first, both 5th Dec. Still, I’ve been stockpiling some nice new tree decorations and plan to have lots of candles around this year.

  7. I admit to
    1. finding that a bit sick
    2. wanting to go there rather badly.
    Do I have a problem?

  8. I’ll come with you next time. Need to grow up and start decorating. Never had my own tree!
    I have gotten as far as making Zimtsterne, Gluehwein and sticking lights on the balcony. Some angels and an ornament in the shape of a green spa’tly’ high heel boot. … Santa Baby….

  9. For my sins, I used to work at fairs like that (and that very one!) demonstrating and selling products (upstairs in the food section), they would fly out of my hands and I would love looking down across all the stalls being inspired and sickened at the same time ( they get a bit boring those fairs when you work at them!)
    What about drawing cartoon pictures of your family and friends?

  10. I’m with you 100% – already completely in the spirit of things this year. Funnily, I too dragged my family around a Christmas market this weekend and splurged on some new ornaments. So much fun.

  11. Ah I saw that John Lewis ad for the first time the other night and also rather liked it … But there is nothing Christmassy coming into my house before the 1st of December.

  12. Ooh you’ve got me feeling all Christmassy! I am so excited already, but thought it was a bit early for decoration shopping – clearly not! Here I go…!

  13. Stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi…
    And that I am also soooo excited for christmas. Can not wait to get our decs out!

    I look foward to stopping by again soon.

  14. I love it! I decorated last Sunday… but quickly decided that in lieu of anniversary gifts this year, my boy and I will be adding to our Christmas decor. It is definitely the happiest time of the year. 🙂

  15. Men don’t understand how important Xmas decor is. It makes the whole season!
    All of my Xmas ornaments and decorations have been in a storage unit in Texas for seven years! I swear next year I’m getting them shipped to France.

  16. My inner Christmas fairy exploded on Monday when I went Christmas shopping! I like to try and wait until December until I get completely over the top but I confess I listened to Christmas songs on the way to work this morning…

  17. Oh golly…here we go. It’s infectious, that Christmassy thing. I can’t help it either, especially when I keep having to sing ‘jingle-tingle’ and other such ditties.

  18. Oo pretty baubles…I love Christmas decorations too, I usually make my own but really want to go on a bit of a bauble spending spree 🙂
    I’m having a giveaway on my blog atm where you can win some of my handmade Christmas Decorations and one of my lovely little Tomte, if you care to have a gander 🙂

    Must get Xmas tree out this weekend! lol

  19. simone says

    I went to Country Living too, I went on the Friday!

    I have been before, but I just love it 🙂

    I spotted VERY few men too!!! I go with 2 girlfriends and that’s the way I like it!

    I can never get enough Christmas decorations either….I can always find lovely things here too….then I just have to smuggle them home and add them to my ever-growing collection 🙂

    I saw people arriving with empty suitcases to fill with shopping….that’s serious shopping!

  20. Oooh, would have loved to go to this, I’m a real Christmas freak too… and yes, my husband would hate it!

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