Thursday, December 17, 2015

Decorating decorating

I start and then I cannot stop. Here is what we have been up to where Christmas is concerned:

Ok this is not me but our building lobby. It all began one Sunday morning two weeks ago. The boundary wall was festooned with fairy lights and these beautiful pots of Poinsettias appeared all along the lobby. It all looked wonderful; festive and elegant without being over the top.

Then the next day a Christmas tree appeared in the lobby. Real and smelling all woodsy, with elegant red shiny baubles and fake red wrapped gifts all tied up in bows below it. Still good.

Then they came and ruined it with giant purple and acorn and silver and green trimmings and wreaths and gnomes and mini snow covered trees all over the available surfaces - along staircases and next to the plants and on the lobby desk and every wall....overdone and far too much clashing going on....

Meanwhile in Casa 30 (OK OK 40) we had begun our own decorating. I like to try and follow the philosophy of reuse and recycle and being makers. We don't get a real tree (we have enough opportunities to see those) and instead make one. It's been a few years since we began this and it's always been interesting as a process and not always beautiful. 

This year we used our TV box. We covered it with brown paper and then used washi tape to create the silhouette of the tree. Then green and white kitchen string with clear mounts and red green blue pins to hold them in place. 

All along the string are little Christmas tree shaped clips, holding in place pictures of people and places and events that have been important to us this year. Clips are a couple of years old: 

That's Mt. Everest base camp and a very excited V's hands in the air. You get the idea.

I can't show you the finished product on the blog but it looks pretty amazing with all the pictures on it. The washi tape is not symmetrical and that's because the tree was created mainly by a 6 year old (with some supervision and an opinion which leads him to shout 'don't help me, I can do it' at regular intervals). I think the final product looks pretty spectacular in a homemade way and the pictures have given us a chance to reflect on the year and all the changes that have come home tonour little family. 

In other parts of the house Christmas decorations have appeared all through December. Our lovely smiley Father Christmas is sat next to the lovely poinsettias that my friend M gave us. 

And the main cabinet in our dining room has this little decoration going on:

The baubles are table decorations I bought two years ago. The trees are a set from IKEA, bought this year - I thought they looked quite interesting. They have some silver bells on them that I have had for a few years. The ceramic ornaments I bought from a very talented woman in Singapore last year. We sent many of those to friends last year and these ones were left for us to use. 

Then today we created a table centrepiece. Fishbowl which we already had combined with a cheap packet of 'make your own snow with water', paper trees from a new multipack, small wooden Santa figurine and of course the ubiquitous Lego police man who completes everything: 

And of course our little wooden tree. It's been painted over a few times but we still love it. 

I find I am reluctant to buy new and buy more things whether it's Diwali or Christmas. I'm enjoying using what we have and repurposing things to be useful over a longer time period. It's the last few days of school before we close for the holidays. It's a busy time of year and the chilly Hong Kong weather is taking some getting used to. I'm having to bundle up after the years of flip flop living. The festive cheer in the air is certainly making it easier to bear the cold. 


  1. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Wow, does your family get crafty or what. That was a treat for the eyes. Loved, loved, loved the x'ams tree perched atop Everest and V's hand in what I'm assuming is a show of victory. The terrarium with Lego man is so cute too.

    Alas, unlike you eco minded folks all we do in this family in a nod to sustainability is maintain a living christmas tree instead of getting a cut one like all of America and it's cousins seem to each unfailingly every year(ok, except those few who are also like us and now I find folks even leasing a living one which is even better). But we do have a sorta family tradition of making atleast 40% of the ornaments ourselves with all adults and kid getting equally enthu about it until of course my desire for perfection kicks in and I start "improving" everyone's creations:-)


  2. Such lovely, festive decorations! I love your trees- the new and the old.

  3. loving the fish bowl santa!!!