In the corner of the lounge is a plump, round, green little tree, dressed from head to toe in lights, baubles, snowmen, stars and a whole heap of felt ornaments along the bottom layer. We went back and forth this year on the pros and cons of a real tree, knowing that this year of all years, anything tall green and sparkly in the lounge is going to be a magnet for a one year old, but in the end it wouldn't be Christmas without the fresh smell of pine needles toasted by snowman fairy lights, and so we have a little Nordmann fir, set up on the coffee table so that the lowest branches brush Kitty's head (or at least they did when we set it up, before she started yanking on them).
The precious baubles, the ones from our holidays, from the first Christmas we were married, and the first in Kitty's collection, with tiny 12 week old hand and foot prints are all up at the top, safely out of view and out of reach.
Our newest bauble is right up there too, a Murano glass extravaganza, lovingly nursed back from Venice in multiple layers of bubble wrap:
We choose it together on the last rain-drenched day, in a wee little shop tucked down one of the tiny streets of the Dorsoduro; trying not to drip on the entire stock while Kitty snoozed in the sling. I'm glad to say it fits in beautifully with out ramshackle collection of treasures.
And we've added one to Kitty's collection too. I want each year's ornament to reflect the things that she loved at that time so this year when we pottered around the Christmas shop in Stratford, there was one that jumped out straight away:
A little swinging elf, for a little girl who loves to swing.
December has hit double figures, we've got four strings of fairy lights in the lounge alone, I've turned this:
(and eaten the resulting mince pies before I remembered to photograph them), the cards are sat on the dining room table waiting to be written, and finally there's a wintry nip in the air. Christmas is coming and we're getting ready.