Christmas brings the bright red color into our home. Splashes of christmas appear in almost every room adding appropriate zest to the otherwise white/light blue palette.
Even our plain white refridgerator doors gets decorated as well. Fabric scraps are easily sewn into plump hearts. Little magnets glued to the backside keep these on the swinging fridge door (I could write an ode to the hot glue gun!).
Oh, the light must be on! Warm candle light is dearly needed during gloomy October evenings. I have candles in every possible corner of the house, in old and new glass jars mostly. (Those are the safest options with two kids running around.) I light one the first thing in the morning, even for the short time it takes for us to have a quick breakfast before heading off the work, school and daycare. When we get back home, I light one outside the front door even if no one is coming for a visit and another one out back behind our living room windows. My kids know now how to sigh approvingly "oh they create such a wonderful atmosphere!".
My little white houses (bought last year from Country by mail) cast interesting shadows and get the mind geared towards little creatures, like elves, and to christmas, as well.
Our family has a tradition of sending out handmade christmas cards each year. We sit down, have a few mugs of glögi (spiced red wine), listen to christmas music and just cut and glue away. Often this happens on the night before the last date of getting them spent out on time but we just crank up the factory and get them out.
We've done this as long as we've been together with my husband - except for last year when due to the exhaustion of working on my christmas book we skipped handmade christmas cards altogether. And didn't even feel bad about it! (My husband probably did as he gathered up some ready-made cards and sent them to the most important people.). See, I believe nothing about christmas should be an obligation. If you don't feel like sending cards, by all means don't send any.
But I really like christmas mail. I love getting cards and I enjoy sending them. This year I started early. Usually we send out just one type of card, so I did a test run on few of the ideas I had. We've probably always used white as a background, it gives a simple look. As you can see, I've fallen in love with paper punches.
The four little gingerbread cookies on a silver cookie sheet represent the four members of our family.
I like to do stuff like this. When Anna was born, we sent out cards with two large elf's hats and one small - to symbolize the birth of a new member to our family. When Matti was born, we had four silver stars on the card. I don't know if any of the receivers ever noticed these things I perceive as clever though.
Running up that hill to the bright new year? So if we did this card as our family card, I'd put four cars instead of these five.
And maybe there's snow outside? The same way I'd hang four pairs of mittens on the line. Call me silly but I'd just have to do so. I couldn't leave anybody out.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I have a christmas tree already!
OK, it's rather small. And simple.
Just the top part, in an old glass jar. I picked this tiny tree top up on an afternoon walk in the nearby forest. I saw its head peeking out from a pile of cut-down trees (there's been some legitimate forest maintenance done, don't worry). It is not overwhelmingly christmas-y, I think. Just a little tree indoors. I added the red ribbon for these photos to add contrast but decided to remove for a while.
I love the dark green glossiness of lingonberry leaves.
I like my wreaths to be a bit on the skimpy side. To make a simple wreath all that's needed is a bagful of lingonberry and some florist's wire. And some wire cutters, don't kill your scissors by cutting on wire. (I'm obsessed with my scissors for every purpose, I know...).
Lingonberry can easily turn an ugly brown in warmth, so I have mine hanging on the front door.
Not every christmas is white, even here in Finland, so paper snowflakes are almost a necessity. I like to paste them on windows and watch the pale winter light cast shadows through them.
Cutting paper snowflakes is one of those magical things that whisks us back to childhood with the snip of scissors. The uniqueness of every snowflake, paper or real, reminds me of the uniqueness of every human. All beautiful, all unique.
Now, virtual snowflakes, just bits on the screen. Oh, I was a bit sceptical. But soon found out it's actually quite addictive! A neat tool, too, if you want to practise cutting patterns. And no clean-up afterwards.
Go and play at Make-A-Flake.