Sunday, 5 December 2010


In case you hadn't noticed 'tis the season to be jolly. Like everyone else, we're digging the decorations out of the loft and are all set to transform the place into our version of Santa's grotto.

Lest we forget, let me remind you that our grandparents used to buy things like paper chains which had to be assembled by licking and sticking them together. If they couldn't afford to buy these, they would cut them out of colourful magazine adverts and then apply the glue. It has to be said, that for many, this pre-Christmas activity was all part of the fun.

Do you remember those folded paper decorations which when opened up became a colourful bell or ball shape? There's a lovely blog about these vintage Christmas times here. I suspect that all the paper decorations went out of fashion after a few house fires and got banned by 'Christmas elf and safety'.

We like to make an event out of writing our cards. On goes the Christmas music and out comes a nice bottle of wine. As you might expect, the handwriting tends to deteriorate as we progress through the alphabetical list of recipients. Still, at least those with a surname early in the alphabet will receive theirs.

One of the most effective part of our decorations at Christmas is to display all the colourful cards we receive. You can buy special holders for them of course but we like to cover the doors with them. This presupposes that someone has taken the trouble to send us a card and I'm sad to report that it looks like the sending of Christmas cards may go the way of the paper chains as more and more people can't be bothered to buy them, write them and post them.

Unfortunately the era of the e-christmas card is upon us and in future, we are likely to receive festive greetings from our nearest and dearest via the web. Well contrary to the trend, I love writing Christmas cards so my friends wont be getting e-greetings from me just a hand-written personally chosen Christmas card - which if their name begins with 'W' or beyond will contain a completely illegible drunken scrawl.


  1. My chosen few often get a snail-mail card and an ecard!

  2. I much preferred those old paper balls and bells we had a huge paper bell that came out year after year when I was a child along with the sticky coloured paper chains I made at school and fir cones with glitter and snow. We had wonderful big bell lights on our tree with nursery rhyme characters on the bell with proper little light bulbs (which as the years dragged on got more sparse the branches were screwed in to the wooden pole. I carried the tradition on with my children but these days a christmas tree and decorations are for show not purpose sadly I don't have very many people left to send cards to.