I have written in the past that we decorate the house on the 1st of December, but this year we were a bit cheeky. We weren’t able to pick the tree up on December’s first weekend as we were up north visiting family, so we got it on the 26th November. We have gone for a Nordmann fir again. They are fantastic trees that never drop their needles. Last year ours lasted 2 months. It had to; given that we collected it super early (the start of November) because it was needed for a Gardener’s World photoshoot. The magazine is out now by the way, so if you live in the UK then do check out the results of last years work.

nordmann fir

The ever dependable Nordmann Fir

The plan was to decorate the tree on Sunday the 4th December, but we caved in and did it on the 29th November. Only a few days early. We read a really snobby ‘etiquette’ article in the Sunday Times this weekend that said that the earlier the decorations go up the more downmarket the household is. Oh dear. Sorry everyone…

I have also made a start on the Christmas piano tunes. They are great because they are sight-readable by me. Mostly I am still using my Bumper Book of Christmas Songs, but I am interspersing it with other older carols that I ‘inherited’ from the person I bought the piano off. I am also trying some jazzy Christmas tunes. I have said in the past that I would like to play more jazz, so this is my nod to that.

Ideally this post would have been accompanied with a video of me playing I Wonder as I Wander. The Appalachian Christmas carol that I am still working on.  But I don’t feel that it is good enough to record just yet, so you will have to wait for that treat.

We have already done our Christmas shopping. We don’t spend a lot on each other as we already have enough ‘stuff’, but we do like the magic of opening presents. So have got each other quite a few small things. We have also carried on the tradition of getting a new decoration for the tree. A couple of years ago we got this hand painted star:

Hand painted in Kashmir

Hand painted in Kashmir

Last year we got the robin in the background. And this year we got the below. A needle-felted pheasant who appears to have a lot of character.

pheasant decorationWe have also bought a new board game it’s called Ticket to Ride. It was recommended to us by Dave Gorman, who once traveled the length of the UK playing strangers at board games. See the book about his exploits here. So his recommendation was taken seriously. Anyway we had a go at the game at the weekend and is a good one. It will definitely get a place in our usual Christmas games tournament, along with the usual family favourites.

What about you? Have you started Christmas already? What are your plans?