The C word

Yes, Christmas is coming. It’s now November and the trees are dropping their leaves, the nights are getting colder and the sunshine is sought out for its warmth. I’ve never had an autumn like we are having here. It’s still reaching temperatures of 20°C at the moment! It’s unseasonably warm (we have been reliably informed by those who know this climate better) but next week it drops more. And there’s definitely a chill in the air. We are looking forward to finding some time to get out and explore the autumnal scenery we have around us. We’ve not been able to yet due to commitments and the whole family suffering with a virus and one case of streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat). But plans are afoot. We’ve given in and are getting a car. With my energy issues and other commitments for everyone is just makes sense. I had to take my ill daughter to a doctor the other side of the city on the subway the other day which was not ideal as she was the one suffering with strep throat. I’m so glad she didn’t have a fever and could walk otherwise that would have been a nightmare or a very expensive taxi. I guess, sometimes, you have to realise what’s best for you and your family and right now we need a car. It’s just a lease so we can give it back easily enough if things change again. But this way we get the ease of drs trips and the ability to explore more.

Back to Christmas. Suddenly it’s on everyone’s mind. It’s been on mine for a while and I started planning in September. But when you plan on crocheting gifts for your family (that you will miss hugely this Christmas) it’s important to think ahead. A friend and I have been talking about where we can get a real tree and what our plans are. It’s helped us both knowing there’s an ‘orphans Christmas’ for those not flying home. And we’re starting to see decorated Christmas trees pop up in shops and cafes and lots of lights which has surprised me but it feels homely too. As for me and mine we’re going to spend the week in a log cabin near mount Fuji. It sounds so much fun and we’re going to play in the snow on the ski slopes as well. I’ve even been in touch with the owner of the cabin to ask if we can decorate for Christmas. This means portable and easy decorations. I’ve been scanning Pinterest and it has some interesting ideas. 

Some of the ideas on Pinterest are amazing. Below are two of my favourite trees. Oh and none of the following photos are mine. They’re taken from the links included.

First we have the fabric Christmas tree  I’ve been looking for ways to use up my scraps of fabric and this may just be perfect. This tree is little but it would be great to put in the car and transport. Plus we’d just need to straighten out some bits of the fabric at the cabin. There’s a mini version you can do of this too which is quite cute.

This ladder ‘tree’ is brilliantly simple but I love it and you could add some things or move something every day. It’s from a Top Buzz article on unusual Christmas trees. There are a lot of baubles in there!

Of course, living in Japan, I feel it necessary to challenge the children to these origami Christmas trees this year. We always make paper snow flakes but it’s so difficult to stick stuff on our textured wallpaper here. These would be a great alternative plus my eldest has decided our staircase is a good display case at the moment and these could work well there.
Also, getting the kids to craft really helps around Christmas. It gets them feeling festive without too much excitement as they’re focused on something. Plus these trees are a fabulous excuse to buy pretty papers.

Then there are these cardboard Christmas trees  They’re fabulous and you can really make them your own. This is the link to the template and instructions. I’m not sure I’d have the patience but I love the idea. 

Of course nothing beats a real tree so I’d love to find one that doesn’t cost the earth. And it’s not just about Christmas trees. There are load of ornaments you can make for Christmas. My personal favourite is this one:
Of course it would need to be a crochet hook as opposed to knitting needles for me. This is from 
a woman’s day article with over 40 ideas.

I know I’m early but when you’re a crafter you’ve got to think about Christmas early to give yourself time to make stuff. A crafty friend of mine joked that this is the season her husband has to give up his office to her sewing projects. Also, my eldest daughter is struggling with the fact we won’t be in the U.K. for Christmas so I’m trying to get her in the mood and make it as magical as possible for everyone. A friend of mine has given me a brilliant idea: a countdown to Christmas paper chain. Now the idea is sort of like an advent calendar but with a paper chain. I like the fact we can do it now in November so they can start getting excited but still see there’s a way to go. Also, you write on it events that are happening between now and then such as parties or when they finish school. These paper chains can be used for anything from counting down to a birthday party to a special holiday etc. 

Basically, and as usual, I’m planning far more crafts than I can possibly fit in. But I’m already a way through some of my Christmas crochet projects and will show you some of those soon. I’m even making my sister gloves with different coloured hands so she can tell the difference for left and right. Of course that was deliberate and not because I ran out of the first yarn I was using!

It’s time for me to leave you now. I could overdo Christmas all year as I love it. My husband says I need to wait for the first Christmas movie but I might sneak one in beforehand.

Take care and watch out for those baubles!