Christmas indulgences 6: from the past
Wouldn't it lovely and a sheer indulgence to create a grotto inside your home to bring back the magic of Christmas and memories of childhood? Somehow past Christmases always seemed to be better. Maybe it's the commercialism which has taken the magic out of Christmas for many. The stress and strain of modern lifestyles and of trying to find the best presents, best decorations and best parties has knocked the festive season into a frenzy of spending few can really afford.
This year why not go back to past decades when families gathered with friends to enjoy each other's company and didn't take a second glance the hefty price tag attached to gifts, simply accepting a gift for the gesture of goodwill as was originally intended. It may sound a little sceptical and bah humbug, but in the current economic climate many people would welcome this 'back to basics' attitude and not feel as if they're being a Scrooge.
Of course to create a Christmas grotto you really should have a log cabin, however, you can still use the theme as a basis for your festive décor. The key is to create a homely and welcoming atmosphere. A real log fire would be ideal to set the scene but many homes don't have a usable chimney. You can still use a faux fireplace if you have one to hang garlands and swags made from fir tree twigs, holly, ivy and pine cones to get the look.
Green, red and gold are the colours typically associated with festive season, so pull on these to decorate your home. Add green or red cushions to sofas and chairs along with a warm plaid throw. Have a real tree and decorate it with home-crafted ornaments and a multitude of gold lights – no flashing or musical varieties!; go back to making paper chains as these are fun to make and will remind you of Christmases past.
If you have wooden blinds, flooring and wooden furniture spruce these up with red ribbons to bring a festive element to all parts of your room. Don't forget to ground the décor by using cheap rugs in beige or red. A rug always looks welcoming in front of an open fire – all you need is a cat curled up in front of the fire on the rug and you'll have a classical Christmas card image in your own home!