The writing, ideas and thoughts of Fiona J Phillips
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Window No. 15
Do you colour co-ordinate your Christmas home? It seems to be the fashionable thing to do. The magazines provide us with themes too - Scandinavian red and white, Jewel inspired teal and gold - and I have to say that I'm very impressed by the efforts some of my friends go to in the styling of their Christmas homes. TV presenters share their festive decorating secrets with us. Everyone seems to be in on the plan to make Christmas as stylish and colour-matched as possible. The adult in me wants to buy into the whole festive interior design experience but the child in me feels differently.
The child in me delights in an overload of clashing, vibrant, wonderful colour. In past years, golden angels have sat beside an orange bauble which in turn hung over glittering, red tinsel on our tree. I refuse to keep back decorations made over the years by my children simply because they don't match each other (or anything else in the room).
When I was young, Christmas was a feast for all the senses - the smell of roasting turkey, the sound of Slade belting out 'So here it is, Merry Christmas' over and over again, the slippery feel of the wrapping paper as I ripped it off my presents, the taste of Mum's stuffing, and the sight of our mismatched, colour-strewn living room. Christmas simply smacked of colour. There was the red and white of Santa's outfit. The green of the tree and the holly from our front garden that my mother would decorate the mirrors and pictures with (accompanying the decoration with 'ouch'es and 'ooh's as the holly fought back). There was the glorious orange of butter drizzled carrots, and the golden yellow of the star on the top of the tree. We had blue baubles, purple baubles, red, gold, green - a rainbow of glitter and gleam that decked our tree. Then there were the presents in whatever colour wrapping paper my mother had bought that year, the crackers, the layers of trifle sponge and jelly, and the red flowers of the poinsettia plant that my father would buy each December. It was an interior designer's worst nightmare, and I loved it.
We're on the point of moving house at the moment. In fact, we start tomorrow. We'll be in and at least partly unpacked by Christmas Eve so our decorations and tree will have to wait until then. I could get it done when the children are in bed so they'll wake up to it on Christmas Day. I could do that but I think this year, I'll let them be in charge of decorating the tree. The result may not be a picture of style or design. There'll probably be gaps without baubles and clumps of decorations on other branches. I don't really care because it'll be our tree and our Christmas with all its wonderful, clashing, imperfections.