Here's a couple of things that help me to feel Christmassy - little ways to assist in eeking out all that is good about the season (ie. Jesus' birth, celebrations, peace and goodwill), while hopefully avoiding the bad bits (ie. manic present buying, headaches, budget blowouts etc).
* Playing some Christmas music - not the jangly shopping centre versions of "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer" that have your head spinning (and not in a good way). I'm talking a soothing mix of something atmospheric, peaceful and tuneful - whatever rings your bells, so to speak. Here's what's on my playlist (and where I got it, if I can remember)
- Michael Buble's Chrismas (http://www.legalsounds.com/)
- Ce Ce Winans (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJk0OukFPjc&feature=relmfu)
- Casting Crowns' Peace on Earth ($5.99 at Koorong)
- WOW Christmas 2010 (http://www.legalsounds.com/)
- Essential Carols - The Very Best of King's College Choir, Cambridge (Decca) We bought this years ago. It's a double cd and fabulous to listen to every year.
* Placing some greenery (garlands, wreaths, fronds, plastic topiary if you can't do real) on top of a cupboard, in a pot or bucket next to a doorway or on a shelf or window sill.
Then you can:
* Put shiny sparkly christmas baubles (cheap ones are fine; multi-coloured or the colours that fit with your scheme) into tall glass vases, glass jars, under cloches or on any serving dishes that are a bit snazzy. The more the merrier looks good (and here's a hint I found on Pinterest: Remember to use a toilet paper roll as a filler - it makes ornaments go further in filling vases! smart!!) Oh, and remember to place them out of the kids' reach!
Place Christmas related objects under glass - for an instant vignette. Some Christmas cards under a tall cloche, or some ornaments and candles on a gilded plate under a small one. So cute.
Framing favourite Christmas cards or pics from magazines for some instant Christmas art - or check out free printables (www.pinterest.com) with inspiring Christmas words/verses too - to place either on a dresser, shelf or to hang on the wall.
FINALLY, get the kids to paint Christmassy letters, like HO HO HO with glitter paint.
You'd have to be pretty mean-spirited not to want to hang that up for all to see!