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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Countdown to Christmas #3: The magic of baubles

I love baubles.  When I was little my dad would get down the boxes of christmas decorations and we would throw everything on the tree - the paper chains we made in school, the balding angel we called 'Arthur Scargill', the baby's first Christmas bauble my little brother (now in his 20s) had when he was a few months old, the gingerbread stars we had just cooked up in the kitchen.  It didn't matter what colour anything was, as long as it sparkled.

When it came to buying decorations for my own place I decided to do away with the (lovely) haphazard craziness and try out a colour scheme instead.  Every year I try to find a new bauble for the collection, and find myself captivated by the magical glass creations I have brought back from New York, Tokyo, Paris and Rome.  I love it that we are now building our own story into our tree. 

A couple of years ago my man and I went to Venice and visited a glassblowing factory where big burly Italian men blew the most exquisite, delicate decorations. 

Window of glassblowing factory in Murano, Italy

This year I am thinking about silver and white for the tree, with some turquoisy-green here and there.  What about you?  Do you have a favourite colour scheme for your tree, or do you prefer the haphazard approach?  And do you have a favourite decoration which makes you smile each time you unpack it from the box?


This year I have created some hand-made decorations to give to others.  You can see a step-by-step how-to here

More Countdown to Christmas posts here 


  1. What a sweet post, so glad to know what baubles are!:)
    My tree is filled haphazardly with sentiment. Behind each ornament is a story and brings love and joy to my family as we pull it out of the box to hang on the tree.
    Warm wishes to you

  2. what BEAUTIFUL photos! Venice?! I'm SOO JEALOUS :( I want to go to Italy, ANYWHERE in Italy, SOO BAD!

  3. Brilliant! I am of the opinion that so long as its colourful its in. And with a growing collection of hand made "things" from the children, I feel my tree is going the way of my, and it sounds like your too, childhood tree. Mine is always topped off with my great grandmother's fairy, I don't care that its slightly spooky or bald, its tradition and the rest of the family can like it or lump it. I often make her a new outfit out of bits of left over panto fabric. I hope you find the bauble of your dreams this year!

  4. We have 2 trees - one is decorated by my 2 sons and I decorate the other how I want to - usually handmade decorations.
    I buy or make a new decoration for my boys every year so that when they are old enough to leave home, they have their own set of decorations and memories - probably their wives won't appreciate them so much!!!!!

  5. Oooh i love baubles too. I like to have gold on the tree but also mix it up with lots of hand-made ornaments (from last years swap) and now with lots more to add to the tree from lovely people around the world. I used to love unwrapping the fairy for the top of the tree, she was mad from an old doll of mine, with a white crepe paper dress on. My mum still puts her on the tree today. :-)

  6. Arthur Scargill LOL! So your angel had a comb over & side burns?? Brilliant. x

  7. I lov it all! I also have some favorite christmas decorations that my kids made that i hang every year but I also love the color scheme too so I try to do both. I pick 1 color for the dramatic edge but always have those special pieces poked inside just for me to see.

    I love the silver! This year I'm going to set red/white peppermint candy in big bowls and vases all around the house for the beautiful color and a little piece of candy.

    neat blog post!

  8. My scheme is Christmas electic. Everything goes. My family always ties their packages with ornaments to each other. So over the years we have collected quite a lot of different ornaments. I will say that somewhere tucked in my tree is a small mug of beer, my husband was given by my mother. And of course, every tree has to have a Christmas Pickle!

  9. Thank you all for sharing your memories.

    Kathy - yes, the angel's head was made from a ping pong ball with cotton wool stuck on that over the years went all wispy and looked like a combover!

    Nelly - I am fascinated - what is a Christmas pickle??

  10. I walk past his nemesis' house most days. Wonder if she's got a ping pong ball Arthur Scargill angel on her tree too? ;-) Enjoy this gorgeous wintry weather. Xx


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