As we approach Christmas, I am finding myself inspired by the plethora of exquisite festive decorating ideas which are available on the web…what on earth did we do in the days before the internet? I remember being constantly frustrated when I used to live in South Africa, because the best magazines were all imported and most of the Christmas issues would be available in January!! Too late to glean ideas from them…I used to tear the pictures I liked and stick them in a huge scrapbook I kept for future reference….now, my favourite way to waste time is to read the blogs and websites to see the wonderful things people are doing to create festive decorations…so much easier and up to date!
I read a fabulous post by one of my favourite bloggers, Frugal Queen recently….she draws attention to the excesses of the season , not only with gift-giving but also with the excess food we all consume and waste. It is astounding how much food gets wasted by people all over the world…given the plight of people in the Phiilipines, this year I plan to be really conscious of wastage and over -eating. Although Christmas here in the Middle east is usually played down a bit, in the past few years, the Malls and stores have gone all out with decorations and displays. They reap the benefits in hugely inflated sales and record footfall….everybody, of all religions falls for the hype , the glitz and the glamour.
I try to stay out of the malls and shops and aside from my immediate family, I tend not to spend money on gifts. I do decorate with a wreath and a tree, but my apartment is really tiny so I can’t really do any more than that even if I wanted to.
I do however, lust after the gorgeous houses featured in international magazines from the US and the UK with snow covered gardens, crackling fires and meters and meters of natural pine garlands, liberally covered in cranberries and pine cones….oh how I would love to be curled up in front of the fire in my cozy sweater, sipping a cup of eggnog! The reality is a rather stark one I am afraid! While December is our coldest month, the temperature rarely drops below 18 degrees during the day, so a light sweater and a pair of jeans is quite sufficient and a fire would just be too warm I would imagine….last year my sister and I spent Christmas with our mother in England and I loved being really cold …bundled up in scarves and coats …at the appropriate time of the year. Unfortunately it did not snow, despite my wishing for it, but it was a great experience anyway. I walked in the chilly, crisp air every day and felt so alive!I know most people would think I am insane, but after 14 years of constant sunshine and heat, I loved the heavy skies and drizzle.