Ideas for a more natural, mindful Christmas

Boris inspecting the tree {we have two kitties called Boris and Bella !}

Keeping it simple and understated

You know how it is, the 1st day of December and it’s time to start sorting Christmas out. It’s a mixure of stress and anticipation. Afraid I’m still a big kid at heart and love the anticipation and preparation stage of the season.

Over the years I dread to think how much has been spent, not only on gifts and food but decorations too. It is difficult not to be drawn in by the gorgeous catalogues that land on the doormat…..I mean, you know the kind!? Beautiful faux wreaths with white bows, ‘Winter’ scented candles, cashmere throws (who wouldn’t want to create a gorgeous Snowy Mountain retreat kind of cosiness), the list is endless for these beautiful catalogues.

So we have decided to just Stop ! Think ! What do we want from Christmas this year. So a more calm, thoughtful time is what we are aiming for. It’s bad enough that January is long, dark, cold and dreary but to be faced with large bills that then drop on the door mat isn’t great either. {Ohhh !!! Meant to say…..if anyone needs a house sitter on a tropical island during January, I’m free !}

Therefore, just thought I’d sort out a post with some natural, inexpensive ways for decorating the home.

The best bit…..the tree !

Ohhh who doesn’t love choosing the tree!? No help needed with choosing a tree !

But just wanted to tell you this. We have three trees and before you start thinking ohhhh that’s extravagant….stop ! It isn’t. Our trees are teeny tiny trees. Basically it’s because when I was a child I always wanted a real tree – but it was the 60’s and 70’s so it was Tinsel trees and nothing else. Who doesn’t remember listening to Wizzard singing “I wish it could be Christmas everyday” dressed in flared jeans, multi coloured tank top and Jackie Annual in hand, while gazing at a tinsel tree ! So teeny tiny trees it is.

Around the House

Just a few simple ideas !

Fresh foliage /candles/fruit

Eucalyptus, holly, twigs, apples, pomegranates, tangerines and bowls of nuts are all great as seasonal decorations.

Foliage along with pomegranates, nuts and twinkly lights placed on a windowsill or mantelpiece is just a quick and easy way of introducing natural decorations to your home. As well as the odd heirloom decoration from happy Christmases past ! It is after all the season of traditions.

Popcorn and Cranberry garlands.

Just simply thread popcorn and cranberries onto thread. These look so pretty hung on the tree (The garlands should last around seven days !). It does take a while to do but (coffee or hot chocolate and some Christmas music will definitely help you along!) very satisfying when completed. These are just perfect for use outside too, though I would use cranberries and chunks of apple- rather than popcorn – perfect Christmas treat for our feathered friends !

Home made paper chains.

For a bit of a retro feel why not go for paper chains. Very cheap and easy. Maybe just use plain white paper and decorate the paper piece how you wish. Kids will just love helping with this.

Simple table decorations

Fruit with tea lights in them.

Just cut out a hole in the top of an apple, large enough to insert a tea light in……that’s it very simple!

Instead of a tree !

Why not just fill a low sided basket with mixed foliage, berries, twigs, fruit, nuts, a few glass baubles – placed on a table makes a perfect Christmas display.

The good thing about using fresh decorations is that they can either be recycled, used for compost or in the case of fruits and nuts eaten (never a bad thing !). This all means that at the end of Christmas there aren’t too many decorations to take down. I don’t know about any of you out there, but I hate taking the decorations down ! So we have started taking them down during the day on New Years eve – just so that in the evening everywhere is clean and tidy with just some candles and a few bowls of flowering Hyacinths. Then on New Years Eve we can settle down in the knowledge that if we feel a little headache on New Years day…..we can relax and have a sofa and films day ! I know some people leave the decorations till Twelfth Night and that is fine too. Each to their own ! You do what you want to do….simple !

Whatever you decide to do at Christmas

Just remember though that without wanting to sound too much of a cliché, at this time of year it’s the company of loved ones that is important. Be it a cosy day like ours with my hubs and our two kitties, a huge gathering of the clan, or a hotch potch of friends. However during this season there can be mixed emotions and sadness for loved ones no longer here – So be mindful that it isn’t always ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’

People can feel very lonely and isolated at this time of year. So be kind, be happy and be mindful.

Best wishes……

Annie xxx

Hello from Annie !

Hi !

Welcone to ‘Tulips & Treacle’

If you don’t know me already I’m Annie, a Northern lass (but without the northern accent !) – so welcome to my Blog ! Hope you have a cup of something warm(it’s chilly in the UK at the moment!) and are curled up all comfy and cosy!

Going to let you into a secret….I never imagined for a nanosecond that I would start writing a blog. In fact up to a few years back I didn’t even know what a blog was !

It was only when the addiction to Instagram started approximately three years a go that I came across such amazing people and their blogs.

Now I’m not a ‘writer’ but I do love putting pen to paper (afraid I’m addicted to lovely stationery- will talk about that another day !) and jotting down thoughts while out and about. So I thought why not ! Have a go Annie, you know you want to…….so after a couple of years of just thinking and dreaming- here I am !

What’s it going to be about ?

I’m ‘of a certain age’ BUT I love to have fun, enjoy life, food, style, both in the home and fashion. Just because a person reaches a certain “number” in their life doesn’t mean style goes out of the window and sensible shoes and nylon shoppers come in through the front door! No way…..though if it’s snowing then snow style is allowed….in the form of Hunters and duvet coats !!!

Now, I can’t promise that I won’t talk about “that topic” – you know the one!? It’s freezing but you are glowing! Those “tropical moments”, “flashes”, “flushes”, whatever you wish to call them. It happens to all women.

The Menopause!

There,I’ve said it!

Tulips & Treacle?

If you are still reading…….a big THANK YOU !

Why the name ?


Easy……I just love Tulips! Though to be honest all flowers are gratefully received ! (Just in case hubs happens to sees this !)

They just herald the coming of Spring. As for their colour – this year I loved Pink, next year it may be a rainbow of colours.

I mean…..who doesn’t love a vase full of droopy tulips !?

Now for Treacle !

Treacle just takes me back to my childhood. Especially at this time of year. Baking sticky ginger cake and Parkin with my granny (what do you mean you’ve never tried it !?). Plus treacle toffee and fudge for Bonfire night (No wonder I was always visiting the dentist as a child).

Well……that’s it for my very first blog post.

Hope you enjoyed your cuppa while reading this !?

I can tell you my finger hovered over the ‘Publish’ key for quite a few seconds ! Should I shouldn’t I !?

Will be back soon……so please pop along again!

Oh !!! Just in case you don’t know, my Instagram accounts are :-

@annierudsky (my main account)

@annieslittleartroom (my card designs and art work account)

Bye !!!