Christmas at The Ugly House! 1


I have a confession that people who know me might find surprising. I am slightly anal about Christmas. Actually, to the astute observer I might be considered to have an OCD – Obsessive Christmas Disorder! I have the T-shirt!

I am not casual about decorating my house for Christmas. I knew you’d be surprised! I decide on a theme – usually on Boxing Day and then spend a year planning. The theme incorporates all Christmas decorations and, most importantly, present wrapping. How it looks is nearly always a disappointment to me because it never lives up to my year-long obsessing. Last year’s pastel and gold theme was a disaster because the house was a building site. We had no tree. I didn’t have anywhere to hang my magnificent pastel baubles!

My presents are meticulously wrapped. I usually have at least three different papers and lots of different ribbons, all perfectly coordinated. It’s awful when people bring presents round that don’t match my theme. Can you imagine?!!! I pretend to put them under the tree then I hide them when they leave, until Christmas day. Only my themed colours are allowed. Don’t tell any one though. They’d be offended. My mom, bless her, wraps up our presents in my theme but never quite lives up to my exacting standards. Her presents are allowed at the back of the tree. Don’t tell her either! Hubby wraps my presents in the paper I give him then I put bows and ribbons on them. He can’t be trusted. No one can! I was asked if the children enjoyed putting up the tree! Good God! They are not allowed anywhere near it. I’m just glad the person who asked was on the phone, otherwise it might have implied that my tree looked like the children had assisted! It’s too important to let the children in on the act! I hate it when all the presents are opened on Christmas day. My theme falls apart! I fall apart! That’s partly why my new theme formulates on Boxing Day!

…I can sense this confession isn’t going to win me any extra Christmas pressies! Actually, I might not get any at all now!

You would think having a colour scheme is simple but I don’t go for easy, like silver and red (although I have done that – but made it complicated by adding a candy- cane twist) or gold or a store paper that is easy to get. Whatever I pick is impossible, which is why it takes a year. When we lived in Sweden I went for stags. Not a nordic soddin’ reindeer could be found that year. I got my mom to knit the most beautiful nordic baubles – with nordic reindeer on. She had to use 5 knitting needles at the same time!. The patterns were very complicated and made her head hurt. I had to ply her with whisky! You have to go to extremes to get the theme right! This year deer are everywhere. You are hard pushed to find a Christmas decoration that hasn’t got antlers. Not the year I did it. I am a trend setter, way ahead of my time. To make matters worse that year, we left Sweden in December so I didn’t even get my Nordic Christmas in situ! The year I did Chocolate, turquoise and silver was particularly challenging, but was one of my favourites. I loved my Moroccan year too, golds and bright oranges and pinks. My all time favourite is holly and ivy but that is just too common now!

This year it is tartan. It’s not Scottish thing! Scottish people have only recently invented the notion of clan tartans and would not approve of several different tartans in the same room! Thinking about Tartan all year has had a knock on effect. Two rooms have tartan curtains. I can sense your sneer! Tartan is all over the shop this year. It is! In Wilco! Wilco FFS! Can you imagine my horror to pick a theme you can get in Wilco? But you are forgetting – I am a Christmas trend oracle. You can only get red tartan! I haven’t just done red. There is only red tartan paper in the shops! No blue or green! Trust me, I have looked everywhere! To compensate I have added brown postage paper to the mix and different tartan ribbons. They don’t sell that in Wilco! (well, actually they do but not as Christmas wrapping paper). The wrapping this year is a disappointment (aka shit!) but I’ve made up for it elsewhere!

I’ve been a tiny bit extreme. I had to be! I have made my own tartan tree decorations, tags, crackers (containing posh tartan handkerchiefs – but don’t tell anyone – it’s a surprise!) and festive tartan bunting. I have made my own quilted tartan table runner but I’d never made one before and fucked it up so it is a little short. Rather than make a new one I decided to make tartan placements. 10 of them. They are nearly finished! I’d like to say it was a labour of love but it wasnt. It was a compulsion! I am really excited though about a tartan table for Christmas. Did I say that out loud? I should get out more! I have even made little tartan sachets of home mixed Christmas spices mixed with dried fruit pot-pourri! And the piece de resistance? Tartan pyjamas for Christmas morning so that I match the presents! Splendid. I take it back. I’m not remotely anal about Christmas!

Once Christmas is over, I’m done with my theme so I am a little worried that after Christmas I am making the wedding invites and button holes for a tartan wedding theme! Not to mention all those tartan curtains in the house! Although it may have been the excitement of the forthcoming tartan wedding that influenced my Christmas theme this year!

Unusually, I’ve already decided my theme for next year, before boxing day! I may be getting worse! I already know I wont be finding any half price decorations in January for my theme – it’s not a popular one – yet!  Next year will be even more spectacular than this year. I say that every year!

Watch out for tartan in the Ugly House shop (when I set it up). A tartan Christmas will be very popular within the next year or so! Trust me! And as for next Christmas? I shall start on my theme now and make extra decorations for the Ugly House Shop- for when it catches on!


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