My final (honestly) Christmas related post is really an excuse to mention my dad’s seasonal handiwork, examples of which have been a part of my Christmases for as long as I can remember. I’m also going to mention a way in which I plan ahead for making things for next year’s festivities.
The pictures here show you dad’s Christmas logs, which we have freshened up this year. I think that he must have made these logs for me nearly twenty years ago. As my dad trained as a carpenter (formerly working for Chad Valley Toys), I don’t think that making the Christmas logs taxed his abilities too much.
I have been promising to do this sprucing up job (pun intended) for some time. Last year I even bought the silver spray paint, but this year ‘twas finally done. Memo to self, remember to ventilate the room when next using spray paint; either that or do it outside to avoid creating a miasma of paint. And definitely don’t do it the kitchen. At least I had the sense to cover all surfaces and furniture within spraying range with newspapers.
When I was a child, the Christmas logs were a regular part of our decorations though I can’t remember exactly when dad first made them up. I must have been quite young at the time. The logs used to sit on top of the gas fire and the television. Dad made a couple for nan and granddad too. When I am feeling particularly nostalgic I can call to mind the various decorations that dad fixed onto his logs. There was a friendly looking gnome with a Christmas tree on one, a skier and more Christmas trees on another one. I think dad also used small fir cones, candles and artificial holly. For a long time I used to think the idea of Christmas log decorations was exclusive to us, that nobody else had such things. Thanks to the good old internet, I now know that other folks do it too. Not that it detracts in any way from my childhood memories.
The decorated log idea is simple, but effective, using pieces of fallen wood (I don’t think it matters what sort as long as it is dry enough) cut into sections around Swiss Roll length. You could paint them any other metallic colour (I think dad tried some in a gold finish one year) but I do prefer the silvery gleam, which seems to go so well with greenery and berries. You might need to drill small holes to fix in some types of decorations, otherwise use strong glue.
You could try including cake decorations or perhaps recycling damaged Christmas tree ornaments to create something new. It might also be worth keeping an eye out for sale bargains as shops sell off decorations in January. Buy now and get creative later in the year. And don’t forget a smattering of glitter!
During the year, I keep an eye out for fir cones and seed heads etc. that might come in useful for seasonal decorating purposes. Tuck a box in a shed to store your foraged treasures, you never know what might inspire you come Christmas. I have also stashed away several pieces of cinnamon stick after I took a dusty spice hanging apart recently; these will probably be added to our wreath next December. You can create much with natural materials and a little patience (well, sometimes a lot of patience if truth be told!).
I’m thinking of trying out some bronze spray paint next year, so watch this space…