Jingle bells

I’m not that great in malls at the best of times but at Christmas I get quite panic-stricken. The parking can be very stressful and the crowds claustrophobic and then there are the January sales! I used to be a very good shopper, or perhaps a very bad one. A visa card and time and I was out there.

These days, as I don’t have the money I find it better to work with cash, make a list and really think about needs and wants. My philosophy of, “Thanks, I ‘ll think about it”, is effective because the novelty wears off once I’ve left the shop and unless it is really telling me I want/need it I’m gone for good.

A coffee a day keeps the mortgage payoff at bay. How easy it is to spend $10 per day on a coffee and a something. I allow myself $50.00 trivia spending per week but am working hard at not spending it all the time. Those old cliches really are true about how much more you enjoy it when it’s a treat.

Good grief I’m sounding both sanctimonious and parsimonious!


I have been working madly on my tiles this week but am a bit despondent when I tally up what I have earned compared with what I have paid in materials. I’m still in the red by about $200. Still, I am going to a proper Christmas market this weekend at Browns Bay where I hope to sell quite a few.

Browns Bay Christmas Family & Market Day

I’ve started doing tiles with quotes on them now
These are my first tiles made specifically to hang up with a little ribbon attached.


The Christmas tree is in its body bag on the deck ready to undo and I’ve slowly started to get a few things out for decorating. I am a total nostalgia freak so I love looking at the beautifully embroidered stocking my sister-in-law made for Sam when he was little. It is now a family heirloom. Thanks Dawn!


Equally, my BFF’S mum was a super-experienced craft maker so I have loads of little handmade things from her. She died this year so they are all the more special.


This photo has my London bus bought in Harrods when I was living in London., my BFF’s mum’s Christmas wreath and scotty dog. The fairy I bought  had a pink identical twin. This went to my friend Jean when she was in a dementia unit and I always think of her when I get the white fairy out.

And then there’s the photos. I love looking at Sam with Santa over the years. The very first year he wasn’t keen but we got the photo, the second year he is just sitting by himself in the “snow” as he wasn’t having any of that sitting on a creepy old man’s knee business. After that though, all was well.


I also have a collection of books I only get out at Christmas. My very favourite is Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas present and the best line in the book is at the very end, “I wonder what it was…”



Last year I left for France on Dec 16 and as it was just my two chaps at home it was hard to get excited about decorating at all but this year we are having lots of people over so my 52 Angels will get an airing.

So far I just have my paper ones out.


When Sammy and I lived in Christchurch we always made a driftwood tree after we had made the ritual excursion to the best driftwood beach in NZ. The wood is bleached a bone white and there is lots of it. It is Taumutu beach beside Lake  Ellesmere and I knew about it as I lived at Irwell once upon a time. It is a very spiritual place with a wild, dangerous sea. I even brought the wood to Auckland but it turned a disappointing grey under the house. Eventually I bought a white one but as the wood is still under the house and I have a couple of test pots of paint I am going to get the driftwood out as well.

I will post if it looks okayish. While working on tiles this week I worried about perfection but my friend Deb, says they are hand made and allowed to be a little imperfect. So I am letting the words of  Leonard Cohen ring in my ears. I hope you do too, nothing had to be perfect. As my dear friend Jean said in a moment of clarity amidst dementia, “Suz, it’s not the quality of the couch it’s the people who sit on it.”

So on that note

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in,

That’s how the light gets in.

Wishing you a smooth run up to Christmas. FG

One Reply to “Jingle bells”

  1. Enjoyed your blog today. Had a day of taking boxing off the concrete footings, so your blog was just the antidote for me!! And yes, I also look forward to a treat once in a while. Living where we live, you can’t just go spend. It’s got to be good for me!!!


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