"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."
- Hamilton Wright Mabie
The festive season holds such an air of excitement for everyone, young and old alike! The shops are all glittery and shiny and inviting (I try to avoid them regardless) with Christmas decor and magazines and social media is filled with inspirational recipes and idea on how to make this time of year super special for your loved ones.
After all, it's a time to give thanks, spend quality time with your family and soon, ring in the New Year! What better way to do that than sitting around the dining table?
I love using the Presidential Collection during this time of year, unfortunately I don't have the full set and can only dine four people at a time, I'd let the children eat off of the salad plates so they can feel a part of the special occasion.
Rosemary - the herb of remembrance
In pre-christian era, as the winter solstice approached an plants began to die, pagans would bring evergreen boughs into the home as sympathetic magic intended to protect the life essence of plants until spring. Here, I've laid a runner of evergreens with sprigs of Rosemary and home dried citrus, gold painted mini pine-cones and sea holly (a type of thistle) which brought in some blue tones.
Decorating for the Holidays (better late than never, right?)
In modern Christmas tradition, mistletoe, which this faux bunch is not an accurate example of, is hung in an arch or doorway where lovers would pass below and pause to embrace. This became the thing after the serving class of Victorian England would believe that a woman refusing the kiss under the mistletoe would call bad luck upon herself.
As a Yule tradition, it is hung as a symbol of peace. In Norse Mythology, Loki, the God of Mischief tricked Hodur into shooting his twin brother Balder with an arrow made from Mistletoe which what the only plant he was vulnerable to. This tale likely gave birth to the tradition where ancient Norse tribes would lay down their arms during the Yuletide with toasts drunk for victory and power to the king, for good harvests and peace and in memory of the departed. The celebrations would last as long as there was ale.
I love how the ancient tradition comes to life with my faux mistletoe on my faux beam!
I also made a Yule log (Christmas-block) this year, traditionally this would be an actual log burned in a hearth with the Christian belief of the battle between good and evil, the brighter the fire would burn and the faster the log would be reduced to ash would symbolize Christ's triumph over sin. The ancient Germanic symbolism is more to do with lighting the home, it would be around midwinter in the northern hemisphere where pagans would make bonfires to welcome the coming of the new year and harvests. The log would ultimately symbolize the abolition of all things bad; sickness, ill-fortune etc.
Every year I buy an ornament for the tree. After the upgrade last year (we were gifted a 5-ft LED tree from the in laws) I found myself really short on decor. We were away from home over Christmas and didn't stress about how sparse it was last year, but this year I tried to add to what I already had...falling in love with the reindeer decor instead. With the prominent blue and white theme from the kitchen leaking over into the lounge, my turquoise decorations seemed a little out of place, but with the addition of blue and white home made bows (made from scrap fabrics) and the extra laser cut wood ornaments and the white additions, I didn't think the overall effect looked too bad!
The lights are rather mesmerizing and I admit I'm glad I don't have to try hanging lights on the tree manually...