I thought I would use this opportunity to bring all things Christmas-related into one big bumper AHC Christmas special. To fill you inspiration my lovely festive friends, here you will find some Christmas decorations ideas, handmade gift ideas, some nature-inspired gifts, gifts for foodies and some easy peasy craft projects for you. Simply click the titles to see more.
I love transforming the house into a magical rustic wonderland at Christmas. The following creations really bring the house to life, yet they are so easy to make. From the pinecone and cinnamon garland to the nature decorations, all of which would also be perfect for a winter wedding too. As well as the rustic ideas in the link above, here are some handmade decorations I made for Christmas last year ... snow-covered branch + crochet snowflakes + felt decorations
Snow globes and old christmas ornaments. The things that come out year after year seem to have a soul of their own and it's a lovely feeling when we come across them ... almost like remembering old friends.
I've been a champion of the potted christmas tree for as long as I can remember. It makes me happy knowing this little tree is alive and kicking. Here's an eco guide to buying or renting your christmas tree.
Goodies for foodies
I shared this very special recipe for * CHEESECAKE MINCE PIES * on my friend Poppy's blog ... this recipe was handed down to me from my Ninja chef of a mother-in-law and they are simply the BEST I've ever tasted.
A christmas treat! Laura from the blog 'We made this home' shared her delicious seasonal recipe for Winter spiced biscuits on the blog - aside from being a scrumptious nibble they make ideal home-baked gifts too!
I'm a sucker for ceramics ... mugs, jugs and bowls especially. When is comes to lovely bowls you simply can't go wrong with Mason Cash, especially their new 'In the forest' design ... they're so beautiful, and the perfect gift for nature-lovers that bake.
Here is the AHC guide to making the lovely winter tipple - Sloe Gin (or Vodka!). A quick and easy recipe that will bring warmth to your cockles on the coldest of December nights. It's also the perfect gift for nearest and dearest at Christmas (well, minus the kids of course). But remember you'll need to make it 3 months prior to give it time to infuse.
Handmade gift ideas
Christmas is such an expensive time of year so I tried to help and inspire you with some handmade gift ideas. Most of which would make a lovely gift for any occasions ....
Here are a few of my favourite nature-inspired gift ideas, some of which I've made throughout this year. Featuring a pressed flowers lampshade, a crafty birdhouse, trinkets and more.
If you're stuck for present ideas for those hard-to-buy-for types why not check out Good Gifts: this is a refreshing alternative to conventional presents, as not only is it a nice gesture but you can help the environment and those in need at the same time. Plus they have gifts to suit all budgets.
Say it with flowers ....
Instead of buying gifts I sometimes like to make the ladies in my life a little flower display, using sprigs from the garden, hedgerows and a few stems from the florist. Flower displays like this can be expensive to buy but they are super cheap to make, and people are always touched by the thought and time that has gone into it. Here's a simple to follow video .... they're so easy, once you've made one, you'll want to make them time and time again for every occasion.
I love christmas. The scent of pine, mulled wine, stockings (not the sexy kind) but for many it's a time of worry and stress. Whether it's the fear of getting in debt, stress of catering for large groups, or having to get out of visiting the in-laws, here are some possible solutions that just might enable you to finally have the Christmas YOU want.
Happy Christmas friends,
JM, hubby & Ralphy