The Wreath Lectures 2015

As promised, the second part of my Christmas blog. I previously called my round-up of local lovely wreaths ‘Wreathed in Glory‘, but the Mr suggested that The Wreath Lectures was a much better title, and of course he was right, so the new title has been adopted forthwith.

My hunt for new and lovely wreaths hung on local doors has actually become more challenging, as this is our 4th Christmas in our home, and since starting this blog, and I have realised that lots of people put the same wreaths up every year – how dare they! 

I had to deal with this challenge by throwing the net a bit further afield – not too difficult to adjust my local walks when trying to get the baby to nap, as pacing the streets with her in the buggy is part of the regular routine – but perhaps it was a bit much to actually align my walks with some of the posher local streets to try and get a snap of more glamorous wreaths? Slightly too much?

It didn’t actually pay off that well, as the smarter the street, the longer the drive or path and the less easy to get a good picture. I don’t creep up people’s drives just to get a picture of their wreath and anyone who says I do is lying. (Line lifted from Richard Herring, in case anyone thinks I am blatantly nicking from him!)

Despite this, I still managed to find some new and lovely wreaths and I applaud my neighbours for their good taste. As ever, photos have been cropped to try and protect house numbers, so apologies for the wonkiness and shonkiness.

Lovely all-silver wreath. I like how distinctive the shapes of the pine cones remain – this wreath retains the feel of the natural shapes and textures but also stands out from the rest with its colour. Sci-fi meets nature.

And lovely all-gold wreath. These were actually on neighbouring houses, almost as if they’d planned it between them.

Heart-shaped dried orange wreath – in a local pub rather than house. I approve of pubs that do their bit for my wreath quest and put up good ones, as taking a photo of a pub feels less naughty than one of someone’s house.

This was the first I saw of what might be a new trend for heart-shaped wreaths, including a cool chilli one. 


Hearts are the new thing, it would seem. I did see at least 2 or 3 more, but didn’t manage to get any pictures of them.

Stylish all-white wreath – monochrome wreaths are always in style, but I particularly liked this one.

Another simple wreath with berries, but the addition of the golden hanging ribbon gives it a glamorous touch.

A real favourite, though a world away from my usual preference for natural objects and tones – how could multicoloured spangles not be a joyful thing to see on a door at this gloomy time of year? I know it would find favour with the big girl.

(Incidentally, if I was going to throw out all my Christmas decorations and start again, I think I might be inspired by Nadiya from GBBO and her peacock cake, and this gorgeous peacock decoration I saw at the Dulwich Trader – when I saw it I yearned for it. Peacock, jade and turquoise shades go straight onto my fantasy list for future Christmas themes).

Finally, something a little more achievable which I could see myself trying out – jaunty pompom wreath made by community sewing group The Stitch. I haven’t made a woollen pompom for years, but maybe next year I will, if I’m not busy drying out oranges to make a heart-shaped wreath, of course. 

That’s the wreath round-up for 2015. Hope that 2016 brings lots of good things and happy times your way!


‘Tis the season to be glittery…

It’s been a peculiar start to Christmas – windy, but not remotely cold, everywhere still green and fresh but not sunny or cheerful; we were in short sleeve t-shirts yesterday which felt very odd. Then, just as we were hanging the decorations, we were hit by the unwelcome arrival of the infant tummy bug. 

Nothing like a wave of baby vomit to dampen the festive spirit, and to throw into relief the contrast between the Instagram-filtered ideal Christmas and the slightly more rough-and-ready reality – although Christmas scented candles and home made pomanders do help cover the smell of Dettol and sick quite well. (The pomanders were courtesy of the Christmas festival at Morden Hall Park – a craft activity supposedly for children, but I enjoyed it so much I made a second one when I got home).
Luckily the sickness has receded and we can start to feel a little more cheery now. There has been no great effort at creativity from me this year (pomanders excepted) – hands are quite full enough, frankly, but a few decorations needed a bit of mending and tinkering with, so that has made me feel like I’m doing something constructive.

We have a smaller tree this year, after last year’s effort ended with an unfortunate fall, and I’ve even been so restrained as to hold back some of the larger decorations for reasons of space. I have allowed a few new favourites to creep in, though….

This jolly reindeer was a bargain from the local Cancer Research shop.


These lovely baubles were a gift from a friend who went to Mexico – if other people are going to start getting me decorations, well, next year we could be here all day….

Then these red-hatted and jumpered figures I bought because they reminded me fondly of the Danish tree decorations my grandparents gave us when I was little, although these ones I’m afraid came from IKEA. 

And it does feel slightly, now that the tree has Mexican baubles on it, plus Viennese rocking horses and Canadian puffins, as if it is becoming gradually more eclectic and less exclusively Scandi-themed. And that, I think, is OK. 

In any case, I think this year will be the last one where I get any sway over the tree – the big girl already moves things around to her preferred locations: ‘not THAT branch Mummy!’ – and of course everything she’s bought home from preschool has been liberally coated in glitter. 

We have glitter on the sofa, glitter on the floor, glitter on the baby and glitter on every inch of the table, despite endless rounds of wiping. 

It can only be a matter of time before glitter rises up to overwhelm us all – in the mean time, I will enjoy tinkering with my tree, whilst the small humans still let me.

Christmas blog part two – my round up of my favourite wreaths – is being fine tuned as I type. (There are some real good’uns on it this year). Until then, here is the slightly smaller, slightly chaotic, but still resplendent 2015 tree.

(I know it looks like there’s a big bare patch at the bottom. It bothers me too, more than I like to admit – but these branches are actually much flatter and smaller than they look in the picture and no good for hanging anything on. Would be ideal for tinsel, but I don’t do tinsel).