There is little to beat the feeling of warm contentment when Christmas Day finally arrives. All the bustle and busy-ness seems worthwhile, and you are glad you made the effort!!
Daily pressures are forgotten for a while, and there seems to be goodwill everywhere.
Looking back on the pre-Christmas season, we feel very blessed.
We all have things that are special and important to us at this time of year, and these things may change as we get older. I just love Christmas Eve, and yesterday was no exception. The final shopping and decorating and present wrapping is completed, the house gets a bit of a tidy-up (in preparation for the inevitable Christmas Day clutter), and likewise, the frig gets a clean out to make room for the festive food.
Some of the more elegant felt birds I made last year, and a couple of my Christmas stockings hang from the mantlepiece.
I am afraid my pudding does not look very black or shiny - but we will see when we cut into it this afternoon!
Yule Logs are another important part of our family Christmas tradition. I use a melt and mix uncooked recipe, and add a few luxurious ingredients which vary from year to year. This year I decorated the tops with turkish delight and pistachios, and silver cachous (which William calls "sparkles.")
Many of my decorations now stay in their boxes. I prefer to spread greenery through the house. It seems to provide a buffer from the glitzy commercial part of the season, and provides a link back to old traditions. We have no holly or ivy, but up in the woodland we have evergreen bush and ochna.
Usually at this time of year, only a few red bracts remain on the ochna, and I need to add some red artificial poppies to the arrangements.
But the other day I came on a stand of big bushes just full of the bright Christmas red "blossom," and all that was needed were a few stalks of the silver artemesia.
We all have one or two very special ornaments, and one of mine is this angel which I bought at a Craft Show in Auckland some years ago. She is somewhat understated, but for me she embodies the gentle side of Christmas.