A SLOW AND NATURAL CHRISTMAS WITH DENBY

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

Here are some of the things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas…

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

One thing that is really important to me, is making sure we have time for slow family Christmas traditions. We’ve been in our house for a few years now and as time passes (Bailey will be 6 next year) we are establishing our own traditions. I love to leave plenty of time for us to spend at home where we can lose ourselves in a bit of Christmas crafting. With some festive music, mulled wine (for the grown ups) and perhaps a mince pie or two we’re more than happy for the whole afternoon.

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

I thought I would share with you some of the simple and natural decorations that we love to make for our home at this time of year.

I try to make space to do some creative things by my myself, little rituals that help me slow down and drop into my breath – my slow moment for the day. Each year I enjoy making at least one handmade wreath for our home.

Whereas some of the activities are crafts we can do as a family. I’m trying to instil in Bailey that one of the special things about Winter and the Christmas holidays is that extra time you get to spend with family. It’s a very exciting time for children and it’s easy for them to get overstimulated. By doing plenty of quiet activities with Bailey at home it helps to keep her calm and grounded during the festive season.

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

When we’re getting our Christmas craft on it’s essential to have lots of bowls and containers to help. I have a thing for lovely ceramics and stoneware and it’s great that Denby’s Studio Craft range mixes and matches with our current vintage pottery. All these beautiful handcrafted stoneware bowls pictured here are from Denby – timeless pieces that will go on to be loved and used year after year. They are a perfect addition to my collection and fit wonderfully with my antique stoneware plate (see third picture below).

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer. Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

One of the great things about December are all the wonderful christmassy smells that start to float through the house. Baking orange slices is the perfect way to make the house smell deliciously christmassy. Combine that with the smell of a real Christmas tree, cinnamon, cloves and some star anise, and they are the nostalgic smells of Christmas to me.

Making cranberry garlands is really easy, and there are lots of creative possibilities as you can add wooden beads, bay leaves, orange slices and popcorn if you wish. I have to confess though that if we make homemade popcorn, most of it ends up being eaten straight away and not added to the garlands.

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

For the first time ever we’re having Christmas in our family home this year and my folks are coming to stay. This of course means we are having the all important Christmas lunch at our family table. I therefore thought it would be lovely to spend a bit of thought on how I will decorate the table and those extra special handmade touches.

I wanted to make a little gift that could be used at Christmas next year, so I decide to make these little star tree ornaments.

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

They were really simple to do, just follow the instructions below…

  • Simply roll out the Sculpey clay (available here)
  • Use a cookie cutter to make the shape you want
  • Create a hole at the top to put your twine through to hang your ornament using a kebab stick
  • Bake in the oven at about 275 degrees F for about 10-25 minutes
  • Leave to cool
  • Thread the twine through the hole and tie to create a loop

Christmas can be such a busy time of year. With all the festivities and all the extra things to do, it’s easy for it to pass by in a festive blur. Here's some of things we do in order to have a slow and natural Christmas...I find it’s really important to stop, take a breath and remind myself to be really mindful about what we commit to as a family, and make sure I am able to enjoy all the special times that December has to offer.

It’s really wonderful to be able to enjoy the process of making something and to create our own decorations, which in turn helps us to have a slow and natural Christmas. To be establishing our own family Christmas traditions for Bailey feels pretty magical too. I hope this post inspires you to create your own family traditions.

To win a Denby pottery Studio Craft 4 Piece Coupe Dinner Plate Set and a Studio Craft 4 Piece Rice Bowl Set share your favourite family tradition in the comments below.

Competition closes Sunday the 31st of December at 12.01 pm GMT and a winner will picked at random. Good luck.

 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Enjoy the slow days at home with your loved ones.

 

This post is in collaboration with Denby, but as always all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. I will only work and collaborate on posts and products that I truly love. Thank you for supporting the blog posts that make Geoffrey and Grace possible.

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  • Laura

    Ever since spending christmas in Sweden for the millennium (17 years ago, wow how time flies!), we make Swedish gingerbread every Christmas. The friends we were staying with made fresh gingerbread and hot chocolate everyday, it was a lovely ritual.

    • Hello Laura, Lovely to hear about the Swedish gingerbread, you are the winner of the competition. Could you drop me an email at geoffreyandgrace@gmail.com and I can sort out the prize for you. Melanie

  • It’s our first year as a family of 3 (plus the dog) so we’re just in the process of starting what I hope will become our family traditions. Dean Martin’s cd ‘A Winter Romance’ and making dundee cakes are musts from my childhood and hopefully little’y will be able to help with our orange garland, Yule ring and Christmas Eve open house in the years to come!

  • Anna

    Hi Melanie 🙂 I really enjoyed this post! You’ve really captured the spirit of the season with natural elements in your home and crafts – such beautiful photos!! We also love to spend time making things with our hands – often as gift toppers – crocheted stars or stitched felt hearts. And we also love to nordic ski – spending time in quiet snowy trees. Happy holiday wishes to you and yours.

  • Emily

    What lovely decorations! We have a few simple ones each year, like making gingerbread biscuit decorations for the tree and dried orange slices too. I think it’s really important to take a few quiet moments with the children for a bit of making – so calming and grounding! Wishing you a very peaceful Christmas! x

  • Rachel Lucas

    Beautiful words and images as always! We read a chapter of ‘A Christmas Carol’ every evening in the run up to the festivities, ending on Christmas Eve night with Scrooge’s transformation. We always dress the tree on 18th, but the lights aren’t switched on until dusk falls on Christmas Eve…it makes everything so magical and the waiting means that we are entranced for days by the little pins of white light….Happy New Year and looking forward to more inspiration and beauty in 2018 x

  • Hi Melanie, I absolutely adore your natural Christmas decorations and I’m going to make your gorgeous Cranberry garland next year. One of our Christmas traditions is choosing our tree together and decorating it. All our decorations are made up of things we collected or made over the years. Each piece holds lovely memories. Some are from my childhood. It’s a very eclectic tree and to us it looks magical. We love snuggling up in front of it, watch a movie and eat Christmas treats. Wishing you and your family all the best for the New Year xx

  • Janice Issitt

    I love the simplicity of Denby, it’s such a classic, you can’t go wrong with it as a home essential. As always your images and styling is impeccable and you’ve inspired me to head off and get some oranges to dry, I bet they smell wonderful. x

  • Beach Hut Cook

    Our favourite family tradition is us four being together with whom ever wants to join us such as friends or family but us four always feature. We always have home cooked gammon with roasted potato wedges and poached eggs and homemade chutneys made from our own apples and herbs. I hope we never stop this tradition as it’s relaxed and comforting.

  • Clare Williams

    Lovely blog, as always. And we too like to make our own garlands and decs. Sadly this year I haven’t been well enough to get organised enough and energy levels have been too low, so ours was a Christmas on the hoof this year. However, we did make a gingerbread house again, which is fast becoming a family tradition x

  • Camilla Westergaard

    I love the sound of your Christmas and the traditions you are creating for Bailey, Melanie. For us, Christmas centres around traditions and family too. Our Christmas always starts off with an advent calendar (homemade if I have time) and we’ll buy or make one new decoration for the tree every year. We only bring the tree into the house on the 23rd December, which is Little Christmas Eve, and then decorate it together. It needs to be fresh because it has real candles on it. We also do lots of baking, pebbernodder, vanilla biscuits, gingerbread, mince pies and the girls bake the Christmas cake with their Mormor (grandmother). It’s all those little things that matter x

  • Emily Smith

    What a lovely blog, thank you. We always have a quiet and gentle family day on Christmas Eve. Making Christmas crafts, this year mini sun catchers, and then we attend a Carol service and come home for slow roasted Gammon and homemade braised red cabbage. The boys always have a present on their beds of new PJs. We then snuggle up for a Christmas story. Then we complete the very important job of leaving some of home made sloe gin and a not so home made ( sorry!) mince pie for Father Christmas and of course a carrot for Rudolph.

  • Laura Parsons

    I love going to a Christmas carol service with my family or simply
    singing carols at home.
    Happy New Year.