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Lighting up your life this Christmas....


Good morning Gardeners and Friends, there are not many traditions or customs that come across the pond from the ‘New World’ that inspire me greatly. I am not that fond of Halloween, I preferred ‘Bob Apple’ night and the roasting of chestnuts. Dozens of heavily disguised little devils knocking at my door and hollering ‘trick or treat’ is irritating, and the numbers invariably reach a crescendo at the precise moment as the cliffhanging last three minutes of Eastenders…! I am also not enamoured of this new ‘Prom’ thingy that secondary schools are now partaking in. I think kids are under enough pressure these days, not to have to spend their most important exam year, plotting and planning how achievable it would be to one-up the rest of the sixth form by arriving at the venue in a Chieftan Tank! However, cynical as this all sounds, there is a custom which has found its way east to us in this part of the world that I actually adore and it is the decorating of gardens at Christmas. This never happened when I was a child. You kept your tinsel and fold out decorations (do you remember those?) to the confines of the sitting room and no further, oh how restrained we were in those days lol. However in 2014 I am delighted to report that the small residential estate close to my house is now definitely reminiscent of the Magic Kingdom! Santas hanging on ladders against walls, reindeer galore, sleighs, and illuminated elves et al….I am practically living in my own Grotto, and it, so makes me smile, it is brilliant!…Soo why not get out into the garden, now there is little of the horticultural type activity to be indulged in, and start stringing lights up? It is festive, it is pretty, it will cheer you and your neighbours up and moreover it has great security benefits at a time of year, when our homes are so full of expensive gifts, so get those lights up, revel in the display and enjoy the assurance that the only person creeping around your bright and illuminated garden on Christmas Eve will be Santa….have a great day..much love Maggie x

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I agree with a hundred percent about halloween and the proms, and Black Friday was hellish, they can have that back right away along with their influence on our spelling. We shall be having Thanksgiving next!

All the rest of the Christmas razzamatazz has come a long way from remembering a very humble birth in a stable though,which a lot of children nowadays have never even heard of, and it is motivated largely by the profit motive. We have been conned into it all. Poorer people impoverish themselves for the whole of the following year by the desire for their children to keep up with the others. Many will now feel pressured to spend on Christmas lights on their houses as well as all the rest. We used to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve and keep it up until twelfth night - now the shops put them up in October and remove them the minute Christmas Day is over, ready for the sales. Do you remember how exciting and special the buildup to Chistmsas Eve was - there was no need for all the stuff we get now, it was dark and mysterious. The lights are very pretty in moderation but houses festooned all over with flashing this and that and plastic Santas etc make me wish I was going away for a few weeks. I would quite like a tree in the garden with pretty lights on it, and those ittle icicles round the eves are nice too, but don't go for the overkill. A pretty tree in the house and some festive flower decorations and greenery are all I want. It wouldn't do for us all to be the same after all!

The Americans have at least had the honesty to rename it the Winter Festival.

So sorry to pour cold water and I was hesitant about saying this but maybe somebody should.I'm prepared for an avalance of rebukes!

Christmas blessings to everyone from Scrooge. xxx

5 Dec, 2014


To be honest, I don't mind a few out-door lights if it is tastefully done, but I don't like to see the place lit up like fairyland. I think it looks naff, and I feel irritated by it.

I'm going to have a Christmas tree with lights in my out-door shelter this year - first time ever lol :o)
(but I'll have to clear some junk first !)

Have a lovely lit-up Christmas Maggie :o)) x

5 Dec, 2014


sorry stera but i must agree with you ,i think christmas is spoiled by starting so soon all excitement is gone well before the time i like a small family get together last minute shopping and i still hang a sock up and every year it is filled with goodies and i don,t care who knows banter on this one :(xxx steve

5 Dec, 2014


You lucky so and so Snoop - haven't had a stocking ot hang up since the late 1950s...

5 Dec, 2014


Some of my best childhood memories was dressing up in costumes with my siblings, meeting up with the neighborhood kids and going door to door, then coming home with mountains of candy. However, times have changed since then and this custom has mostly fallen out of favor, but we had so much fun back then.

5 Dec, 2014


Trick or Treat, Proms, Black Friday, Ugh! Blow up Santas, sleighs etc. Nope not for me. I like to see simple plain white lights on a tree close to the door (German fashion) - just put mine on as a matter of fact because it's St. Nicholas day here. The tree for the house will probably go up around the 21st and come down on the 5th. I like to have a simple garland up the banister and across the landing balcony which can be seen as soon as you walk in the front door. Apart from that, a couple of candles and the dining room mantelpiece decorated with e.g ivy, mistletoe are all I go for.

I remember making paper chains from coloured strips of paper to decorate the sitting room when I was a child. And I also had a stocking right up until I was about 50. Always filled. Even when I was in the army, after a night shift at the hospital in Cyprus, I returned to my room on Christmas day morning to find the sock I had left out filled!

But, as long as you have the spirit of Christmas it doesn't really matter how you do it as long as you're happy.

6 Dec, 2014


Your garland sounds lovely Digginfit. Makes ne nostalgic fir when we had a staircase! those paper chains - yes, you used to be able to buy packets of the little strips to glue into circles.
Maggie we may not all like a lot of lights but I think we are all enjoying a nostalgia trip so thank you for starting it off!
And I had another thought about it this afternoon - I rememberd what some of the poorer estates are like and how some lights would brighten them up. Circumstances alter cases don't they? But it seems sometimes to turn in a contest between neighbours.

6 Dec, 2014


My youngest daughter wa born on 12 Dec and we always made sure nothing Christmassy was done until after that date. I still hold by that, apart from shopping, so decorations aren't up for too long. They come down straight after 1 Jan too :) We have a little 'Close' in the village that put up outside lights for charity but I always felt sorry for those who couldn't afford the lights/electricity to join in or who didn't want to. People have moved on so it doesn't happen now but people cannot donate to the charity at the local Christmas Fair.

7 Dec, 2014


And now how about this ??

8 Dec, 2014



9 Dec, 2014

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