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[Saturday, 5pm]

There. I feel like a real person again.

We are now in ‘revision’ at school, which means that I am researching furiously on three term papers and studying for an exam worth 100% of my grade in that class. When I’m not reading, or thinking about writing, or panicking, I’m finishing up my Christmas presents. You lucky people who are going to be home for Christmas probably have most of your shopping ahead of you still (except you, Mumsy dearest), but anything coming from Scotland needs to be out the door soon. Possibly last week.

With all this, I’ve felt guilty taking time away from presents, schoolwork or friends to devote to making holiday decorations for our apartment. I kept telling myself that I had the whole month—almost—to ramp up for Christmas. But the decorations that thrilled me in October and cozied me through to Thanksgiving haven’t been doing it for me this week. In fact, the fact that I felt I couldn’t take time to change them made me feel even worse.

So today? This afternoon was house time.

Christmas swag

I worked out new storage for the bedroom—the semi-circular recessed ‘display’ shelves have been housing an increasing amount of sewing fabric, guest blankets, and truly excessive numbers of books from the libraries*, and I was starting to feel like the whole room was a closet. We weren’t able to find a spring rod yet, but I’ve already made the area feel less overwhelming and more festive with a white table cloth that just happened to be exactly the same size as the opening. And Mama K. just happened to have sent us a home-quilted Christmas tree hanging that makes a perfect focal point. (Thanks, Mama K!)

Then NTS helped me hang up some cheap strands of red and gold beads in the living room to replace the autumn garland, embellished with bows of green fabric from a shirt of his with holes it in. I’m hoping there will be a day when I make a holly and berry garland out of red and green wool, but it is not this day. Then, with great regret, I took down the beautiful leaves my mother sent, which still had all their color because she’s a genius like that, and replaced them with pound store** Christmas baubles.

Christmas baubles

Some of the leftover baubles went to rest decoratively around the house. As LittleBig shows, a nice container can be made to look seasonal with very little effort. The same vessels that held leaves and wool pumpkins for the fall now hold shiny baubles***.


Doubtless there will be more yet to come—I have to make ornaments for the Christmas tree!—but that can wait until I’m further along on my exams/Christmas presents. (My plan to make my presents seems suddenly ill-advised.) For now, I will enjoy the signs of the season developing in my home.

* Because one library just isn’t enough.

** I always want to say ‘dollar store’, and sometimes do. Deep down in my mind I still think I’m getting these things for a dollar each. Sadly, I am entirely mistaken.

*** Yes, I’m avoiding the term ‘Christmas balls’. Are you happy now?