Christmas cheer

Christmas is full of nostalgia on the one hand and rock solid organisation on the other and I try to get a nice balance between the two even though it's the romance of it all I love not the lists of ingredients to buy or the laundry and cleaning. I am doing a lot more of the fun stuff this year and I am certainly not into keeping things simple - they never turn out that way for me. The house is being layered day by day with new decs which are mostly foraged twigs and greenery and the boxes of ephemera I collect throughout the year get used to wrap presents, make gift tags and turn the everyday into something more special. I collect ribbons and buy some new ones to use at Christmas on pretty much everything. The cow bell I bought as a teenager normally resides in the summer house but I thought he could come in and sit next to the French shutters adorned with black and white ribbons which are the colours of my family's Swiss canton, Fribourg.  I was reading un cadeau inespéré a few months ago, which is set in Provence and the Christmas tradition of having 12 courses on Christmas eve reminded me so much of the réveillon supper we had at home in London. Many Provençal customs are shared in Romandy or French speaking Switzerland. The courses can be served on wooden boards for easy sharing and I think we could do at least 9 after turkey and trimmings:
cheese
nuts
grapes
oranges
tarte aux pommes
chocolate
marzipan fruit
biscuits de Milan

vin chaud & dessert wine like Gama-Belle

Today I did a lot of house dressing with the log burner blazing and the radio on most of the time. I had a lovely Face Time chat with Patrick and have firmed up quite a few present ideas for all of the children this Christmas. Kate asked today for a sack of logs and greenery especially mistletoe, to dress her house, Luci is the fountain of all shopping knowledge and her pointers have made gift buying very straightforward. I do count my blessings and smile with fingers crossed.