Happy New Year to you all! I hope that you've all had a good break over the festive season. I've really enjoyed having time off from my work and studies. No white Christmas here of course. We had a lot of foggy and damp days that were quite mild. It didn't feel that festive outside, but it certainly felt festive indoors! Here's a little pictorial roundup of our Christmas.
Our family obligations were before and after Christmas, so my husband and I had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to ourselves. Christmas Eve was spent preparing the food for the next day, frantically gift-wrapping, and then relaxing in the evening with a lovely Oxtail stew and some cocktails (including the 'Tuxedo' sherry martini that Mim wrote about in the latest issue of In Retrospect). I wore a red dress from Pretty Retro that I need to do a proper outfit post for, as it's really fabulous.
Christmas Day was a total indulgence, as it should be. I wore a stunning robe from Betty Blue's Loungewear (Christmas present to myself!) to start off with. This is again an item that needs a dedicated outfit post. It was a bit too warm to wear on such a mild day, so I then changed into another dress from Pretty Retro, this time the hostess dress in green. I wore my grandmother's rhinestone necklace and red accessories for extra festiveness.
We had several courses over several hours for our Christmas lunch, with no pressure to eat at a set time being just the two of us. It was lovely to have no kitchen stress, and we ate very well. I've always said that if I didn't write about vintage things I'd write about food. The hostess dress was a good choice, as there was plenty of room for all that food! I was rather disappointed though that after just one wear, an inch of seam came undone under the arm. I'll be emailing Pretty Retro customer services about that.
Our Christmas gift giving is rather restrained. In my family, all the grown-ups take part in a Secret Santa, so you only spend a maximum of £30 on one gift for one person, and receive just one gift in return. It works really well in large families, and definitely takes the stress out of Christmas shopping, as well as averting the pointless accumulation of stuff you don't really need.
My husband and I don't spend a lot on each other either - we each buy the other a bottle of spirits (whisky for my husband, gin for me), and then we have a bit of a charity shop challenge and see what we can get for a set budget. It's a lot of fun, and it took us about an hour to open everything. I think my husband won this year, he came up with an amazing selection of goodies! He spent a lot of time getting some Tamara de Lempicka prints and framing them for me, and we have put a few on the walls already. We had some lovely gifts from family too, including a massive hamper of local edibles from London, and I had some sewing presents from my parents (including a life-changing rotary cutter and cutting mat!). I bought myself a few things too, including the Goya Black Rose soap (recreated from the original 1950s' fragrance).
I had found the most wonderful wrapping paper from the British Museum. The black paper with mistletoe is based on drawings from the 1700s, and the 1920s looking designs are from original 1920s greeting cards. Fantastic paper, it went a long way too.
So, it's back to normality now, and no longer having desserts for breakfast and cheese and wine for dinner. I say normality, but I am not back in work until next week (thankfully, as I have been recovering from a cold). We're starting on a few more DIY projects and tidying up around the house this week. Yesterday we went to a community recycling centre and snagged £350's worth of Farrow and Ball paint for £40, which pleased me greatly. So, we have some decisions to make about décor in our hallway, landing, spare bedroom and master bedroom. It's enough to keep us busy on weekends until Spring I think!
This time last year I was posting about how to make January cheerful, and I have indeed been following some of that advice already and have a few things lined up in the coming months to look forward to.
What about you, is it back to 'normal'? And do you have some fun things to look forward to in 2017?