Jobs for December. Get the Decorations out.

Suddenly it is dark by 4pm. This happens every December, but is always a shock. Every afternoon we say interesting things like ‘It’s dark already,’ before checking the news about Omicrom, with anxiety fuelled by grey skies and vitamin D deficiency. Stop it. You can’t change the outside world but you can mess about with your home. Go to the Christmas decorations, and see what’s there.

Boxes of Christmas Decorations

At primary school Christmas was all about angels. You even had to be one, and line up on stage for so long that somebody would inevitably vomit or faint. Angels flew about, got people pregnant, and delivered messages. You can’t have Christmas without representing them somewhere.

Christmas angels looking old and scrappy

These angels are very old, and are missing pants and legs, but at least we have angels. The chipped marble dove likes to lurk around with them.

Christmas tablecloth

This is essential for making the dinner taste special.

Christmas tablecloth

The tablecloth helps you tell the difference between your normal roast dinner, and the Christmas one.

Straw Hearts and Reindeer

In Sweden, Christmas is all about Hygge, which means wooden houses twinkling tastefully in the snow, with things like this hanging on the door, or just inside on a gleaming wooden sideboard, next to a tray of cinnamon buns or lightly dusted gingerbread men.

Swedish houses are warm and insulated, with underfloor heating and no leaks, and everybody is sane because they can skate or play in the snow all day, before coming home to drink hot chocolate and admire their straw things.

Thanks to Swedish ancestors we’ve got loads of Hygge.

Straw Swedish Christmas hearts

Just need to nail these to the door, and round up all the reindeer.

Christmas reindeer

Safety in numbers here. The little sleigh at the bottom is over 50 years old. Sent by a Swedish Grandmother who was born in the 1890’s and always had biscuits for visitors. The green one is a rescue reindeer, saved from the dump in 1996. He’s the favourite. It is not his fault he is plastic.

Father Christmas comes in many forms
Knitted Santa

Another ancestor made this, 40 years ago and 41 years after the Blitz. We are lucky she got through that, or some of us would not have been born and we would not have a knitted Santa.

I remember her every year when I hang it on the tree, and wish I had asked her what the Blitz was like.

Clockwork Santas

They arrived in a kit from Tesco five years ago. If you wind them all up at once they race about and everybody laughs. It was one of those good christmasses where you think you are the Walton family for a day.

Much better than ‘Family Tensions Christmas.’ The sort that involves a tight lipped discussion, that is apparently about who is going to make the gravy, but is actually about something that happened months ago.

So seemed like a good idea to keep them. They are horrible.


The Scandinavian version of Santa. Over there the man with the presents does not attempt anything stupid like getting in your bedroom when everybody is asleep. He comes at a decent time on Christmas Eve, and knocks on your door like everybody else. Then you get your presents early.

Swedish Tomtas

This gang have more style than the rest of the decorations put together, despite the dirt smudges.

Tasteful Items to add some sparkle

This is the real business, gathered in the days when it was OK to go to the pound shop and load up with plastic things. These days the pound shop is a good place to get cheap super glue, so you can glue yourself to the pavement outside, and protest about too much plastic.

Plastic baubles and Christmas Tat

All you need is a pile of baubles, golden chains, plenty of tinsel, and a plastic tree in a box.

Tinsel and a plastic tree

I found the tree at the dump in 2011. Ten fir trees are still alive somewhere because of this one.

And, stick some lights up. Fairy lights probably give off tiny amounts of vitamin D, so use as many as you can.

The light is coming back soon, but not yet

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