I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but this year has disappeared in (what seems like) the blink of an eye. I mean, seriously, it feels like we've only just celebrated the new year, our holiday in France feels simultaneously like it was only last week, yet ages ago, so much work, so many new people, so many new things (good and bad) have happened, it's been a roller coaster of a year...and now it's nearly Christmas again. Nearly. I'm not quite there yet. I will be once the car is packed and we're on our way to North Yorkshire, once I've found our perfect tree, the decorations are up, the fire is on and the mulled wine on the stove. Once I've taken my first walk on the bare moors and had my first evening by the open fire in the village pub. That's when Christmas starts for me.
However, I'm not adverse to a little planning ahead and one of the most important parts of my Christmas is the table and the food. The food will be more important and complex than ever this year since Monsieur now has to adhere to the "six foods elimination diet" in order to get to the bottom of some health issues. That means I will need to come up with a menu that doesn't include dairy, wheat & gluten, soya, fish, nuts or eggs. Erm, yes, I'm sure this will prove interesting, but I'm ready to take on the challenge.
What's somewhat less of a challenge is my table. Since you've probably just come over from Sarah Akwisombe's post (hello! thank you for joining!), this might look a little different. You see, my lovely friend Kimberly has organised this #UKHomeBlogHop where a whole bunch of us are sharing our Christmas decorations. The last 'blog hop' I took part in was all about recipes that involve pumpkin and you can see my pumpkin mousse HERE. I like these kind of posts. They're fun because we all have our own style and it shows off so many different takes on the same theme. Some appeal more to me than others, but that's the nature of the beast - we're all different and have different tastes. Whilst some might like a lot of glam and glitter, others might like a lot of colour. My taste? Restraint, simple, but elegant, natural and quiet.
When I say quiet, I mean that in two ways: I mean 'quiet' in the sense that I don't want my decorations to 'shout' for attention. I don't want anything that takes over the room or distracts completely from the actual table. The decorations need to fit in with my vintage linen table cloth I bought in France and the lovely white crockery from One World as well as the festive Christmas feel. They need to work with my vintage brass candleholders and not obstruct the view to the person sitting opposite. To that end, I've combined ivy, pine branches, hellebores and stems with tiny little white flowers whose names I've forgotten with one little concession to festive sparkle: some miniature pine cones covered in glitter by The White Company.
Quiet also means something else for me: it means Christmas in a small circle. Usually, this will be my two men, Monsieur's mum and myself. Moving countries does that to you. You leave your family behind and won't always be able to go back for the festive season. After a while, your new home becomes your forever home and you want to remain there rather than travel to what has in the process become a "foreign country". You make peace with speaking to family on the phone rather than having them around, knowing they're happy for the life you have created. Yes, it might be just as nice to have a table with 10 people, but I feel happy and lucky to have a few close loved ones around. Many people don't have that. Besides, a quiet Christmas probably suits me better than a big party anyway. A cosy breakfast in PJs followed by some food prep. The fire will be on to warm up the house. When in Yorkshire, we wander down to the village pub where everybody meets for a drink on the day before going back home to get dinner going. We might watch some movies or go for a walk. We might play some Scrabble and listen to Christmas music on loop. And I know that it's all I need. That, and a pretty table, good food and good wine.
Next up on the hop is French for Pineapple, so make sure you check out her decorations for something more glam.
Now that you've seen my "little bit of Christmas", check out all the other posts which will go live (or, in some cases have already) throughout this week: