Friday Fun: Christmassy Homes

Christmas and I are in a bit of a love-hate relationship. I used to get excited, of course, as a child, and I was lucky enough to live in Vienna, where the Advent period is an art form. But my parents were never big on flamboyant consumerism and hearty Ho-ho-hos, so I soon learnt to manage my expectations. Then, when I grew up and moved abroad, it became that time of year when all of my friends returned to their families and I was left alone with the dreary jingle-jangle of Christmas music on a loop blaring out of all shops. So I made the most of it when I started a family of my own, and learnt to love the season, as seen through my children’s joyous eyes. The past few years, however, it has been the season of cabin fever, constraints and complaints and this year will be the worst of the lot. [I tell myself that, if I expect the worst, it’s bound to surpass expectations and be … okay-ish.]

However, we can all love Christmas decorations, the smell of cinnamon and real fir, the crackle of log fires, the taste of mulled wine. It’s also the season when all kitsch is allowed and even honoured. Here are a few favourites, some more tasteful than others.

You can't beat the red and green colour scheme for seasonal cheer, from Blake-co.com
You can’t beat the red and green colour scheme for seasonal cheer, from Blake-co.com
Victorian nostalgia seems to predominate in most decorating magazines at this time of year, from Blake-co.com
Victorian nostalgia seems to predominate in most decorating magazines at this time of year, from Blake-co.com
Scandinavian-inspired interiors are always a winner, from Pinterest
Scandinavian-inspired interiors are always a winner, from Pinterest
The manor house in its more modern guise, from Country Living.
The manor house in its more modern guise, from Country Living.
Casually cool Scandinavian style again - perhaps too cool? From Interior Design Files.
Casually cool Scandinavian style again – perhaps too cool? From Interior Design Files.
Achingly modern, from Home Designing.
Achingly modern, from Home Designing.
An alternative fireplace, from freshome.com
An alternative fireplace, from freshome.com. But did a pheasant have to die for it?
I'll admit it - at this time of year, it's the cottagey rather than the minimalist style which appeals to me. From About Christmas.
I’ll admit it – at this time of year, it’s the cottagey rather than the minimalist style which appeals to me. From About Christmas.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, whomever you are with, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a very joyful and restful holiday season! Here’s to a far, far better 2017 for all of us!