Deck the halls
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I wrote this last December – I can hardly believe time has gone so quickly.
I’m not in the market for any more baubles having totally bling-ed my house out in 2011, but if you want some really special decorations this year, the places mentioned in this post are still relevant, so I thought it worth re-posting.
My Christmas tree seems to display ever more artistic delights from my children’s schools – crumbling gingerbread men, splattered snowflakes, scrawls on plastic. Isn’t it wonderful to see their creativity showing through on every single flipping branch of the tree?
Hmmm. This year I’ve decided I’m playing Christmas hardball. The kids’ decorations have moved to the side (out of harm’s way and er, sight), and I’ve been on the search for really beautiful, one-off antique baubles. They’re harder to find than you might expect – no big UK dealers seem to specialise in them and because they’re so delicate, there aren’t that many of them around.
If you’re interested in finding some pre-60s decorations, it’s pretty much a case of calling antique dealers (click here to search for antique dealers where you are). Biggies in Oxfordshire and Bucks include the Lamb Arcade in Wallingford (83 High St, tel: 01491 835166), the 3-floor Deddington Antique Centre (Laurel House, Bull Ring, OX15 0TT. Tel: 01869 338 968), Station Mills antique centre in Chipping Norton (75 dealers in 11,000 sq ft, Station Road, OX7 5HX Tel. 01608 644563), or award-winning The Swan in Tetsworth, where I happened upon some beautiful 1920s Christmas decorations below.
I confess I snaffled seven of them, including a 1920s teddy and the silver Father Christmas, but there are plenty more there, including two boxes of gorgeous glass and tin baubles that have only just come in (and hopefully haven’t gone again by the time you read this!). Each box was £32, which I think is a bargain investment, and something you can hand down to your children, along with your gout and gambling debts.
However, if your style is more New England than Victoriana, the 15th century Tithe Barn in Haddenham has some lovely tasteful decorations to put a dent in your pocket, while The Tree Barn on Christmas Common has a massive choice of garlands, baubles and one-offs, as well as the Christmas trees selected for Downing Street last year.
Alternatively, if you’re truly running out of time and just want to get your sodding decorations up, the Halcyon halls of John Lewis await you. Breathe deeply, enjoy the peace and tranquility and imagine the beautiful ad-tastic moment when your child too will rush into your bedroom on Christmas morning with a large expensive present gift just for you. AS IF!!