Friday, November 30, 2012

I'll Have a Victorian Christmas

This year, I'm determined to reuse more and waste less.  I was raised with the idea that Christmas is a serious sport, and traditions are not something taken lightly.  For our family, that meant glass Christmas ornaments, vintage tinsel, wreaths, and tree garlands.  Like other European families, we put chocolates on our tree (no candy canes allowed) and open gifts on Christmas Eve, not Christmas day.  There is an overwhelming amount of citrus, nuts, chocolate, and Czech cookies that are put out Christmas eve and linger until New Years.  This year, Christmas came early, and my family made Victorian ornaments on my Mom's birthday.  It was so much fun, I had to be told to stop, and they turned out really charming.  We used Victorian cutouts from my Aunt, and tons of leftover glitter, bells, pipe cleaners, with bits and pieces from broken wreaths, and lots of hot glue.  I will post our creations soon. The ornaments also made me realize how fun it is to make homemade decorations, and that they don't have to be hokey.  Growing up, kids crafts didn't go on our Christmas tree (maybe they went on the fridge, but I don't remember them there either).  I remember there being a clear division between my families' trees, and those of my neighbours.  If featured homemade ornaments, they usually looked like someone threw some crafts on and covered it with popcorn and candy canes.  

Clockwise from top:
 Cranberries ready for baking in a pretty bowl; Cinnamon ornaments and dried orange slices from Frugal Interior Design
Tin Boxes from Sharp Studio; Bunting garland from Emily

But this year I'm planning on making my garlands from scratch.  It would be great to get my hands on some vintage baubles, but I think it would be fun to do a real Victorian Christmas, with homemade ornaments fashioned from Christmas cards, and garlands with dried cranberries, oranges, and cloves.  I'm not sure if the latter was actually a Victorian tradition, but it sounds beautiful, and since the Victorians were skilled at repurposing basically everything, I'm sure I can dig something up.

In the mean time, I need to get my hands on some glass glitter.  My mom picked some up at a Christmas store, and I'm really jealous.  It has a texture and patina that regular glitter could never begin to replicate.  It's gorgeous!  Sometimes you can get it at fancy gift stores, but I found it here.


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