December. Month of holidays, vacations, family and get-togethers. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, or the First Snow Day of the season, there is no denying that December is one cozy-ass month. Even here in Bermuda, the lights in town are twinkling, and the nights get chilly enough to throw on a sweater or curl up in front of a fire. And for that reason, I decided to make My Home the focus of this month.
My family is coming to spend Christmas with us in Bermuda, which means that I will be the host for the first time…..ever. I’m so excited to NOT be dealing with the headache that is holiday travel, that I’m not even stressed out about having my entire family in my house for 5 days. In fact, I’m seriously looking forward to it. I mean, THESE GUYS! C’mon!
Aside from the usual cozy pre-holiday preparations, I have had a few house projects lingering on my to-do list for a while (ahem, okay, a year) and this was the perfect month to get them all crossed off. Here is the complete list of “Home” related tasks that have kept me busy this month:
- Holiday Cards. Knowing that I needed to send them out from the States when I was there in early December forced me to order them in November and have them delivered to my condo. This had the added benefit of allowing me to indulge in my Christmas music obsession from the VERY beginning of December. I could write an entire post on the awkwardness that is sending a photo holiday card when you don’t have kids, but then I’m always a little bit disappointed when I receive cards that have photos ONLY of my friends’ kids and not my friends themselves. I mean, I love their kids, but I love them too, and I want to see them! Anyway, I digress…
- Decorating the house. This year, we got a real tree at Sundeck for the first time. I brought the family x-mas tree skirt back with me from Boston, as well as some of my favorite ornaments-and all of the ones that Paul and I have purchased on our travels. No matter where we go, no matter what time of year, we always get an ornament. Trimming our Christmas tree becomes like a little walk down memory lane.
- Recovering the Dining room chairs. A year ago, we bought a new dining room table and chairs from a friend who was downsizing. The chairs were fine, but our dining room doesn’t get a ton of sunlight, and I wanted a fabric that would brighten things up a bit. I found the perfect fabric in Chicago, brought it to Sundeck, and it has been sitting there FOR A YEAR. Here’s a little before and after. I love how they turned out.
- Framed artwork: Full credit goes to Mr. Wonderful for this one. Our dining room has a lot of wall, but, a) all of our good artwork is in Boston and b) frames are crazy expensive here. Paul had these old charts lying around from his sailing days. They held a lot of sentiment for him, obviously, but they were just folded up and put away (for the next time he happens to be running charters off the coast of Turkey?). He picked up some old imperfect cedar planks the lumber yard had discounted, cut them to size, and made the most gorgeous cedar frames out of them. So now we have these amazing charts decorating our walls (and they happen to coordinate super well with the new chair fabric-BONUS!). We still need a few other things for the room, but at least it is starting to look like some adults live here.
- Re-learned how to bake bread. Years and years ago, I did this a lot, and with the rate at which Paul goes through a loaf of (very expensive, store-bought) bread, I figured it was worth digging out my old recipe again. It always makes the house smell amazing!
- Organized our closets and drawers. Tedious, yes. But necessary. ( I won’t bore you with the photos of Paul’s sock drawers, but trust me, they–yes, the guy has multiple sock drawers–are amazing)
- Tidied up the guest spaces. New blinds, a new lampshade, some new guest towels, etc. all ready for our holiday guests!
And overall, I’ve just been really enjoying my time at home. Evenings in front of the fire, mornings in the sun-room, and we even hosted a little post-concert party for some musician friends last weekend. Lots of cooking, reading, and drinking lots of tea and wine.
With twelve days left in the month, there is still time for cookie baking, holiday meals, and piling everyone into the living room to watch movies projected onto the wall (again, courtesy of Mr. Wonderful). When January hits, I’m going to have 5 fairly intense months in a row. It’ll be so nice to know that the house is in order, and that it is holding that many more memories for us.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!