A First


It’s almost Christmas  (December is but a week away!) and I get overly exciting at the thought. December is a beautiful month, and now that C is a bit older, through her I get to live Christmas through a beautiful, different angle. We have started singing carols, and I have introduced the Christmas characters to her. It is never too early, and she MUST love Christmas as much as I do!

Come autumn I start thinking about my Bucilla which I always abandon at the beginning of summer. But with colder weather, nothing beats staying warm inside with a cup of coffee in one hand and Bucilla in another.

This year I had grand plans to make a tree skirt. That didn’t happen for various reasons, and I settled on something less elaborate, but equally charming.

The Cupcake Fairy herself

The Cupcake Fairy herself!

We have this tradition here in Malta of growing what we call ‘gulbiena‘ (vetches) about 4-6 weeks before Christmas and use it to decorate for Christmas. I have never grown or used it before, so this is a definite first for me. I have been told it’s not that easy to keep alive and prospering, so that helps non-green-fingers myself.  My vetches are currently in the soaking stage. Today we plant!

This is a growing pot of vetches. Apparently all that is needed is a dark place and watering every other day. We'll see. (Image from xaghraparish.org)

This is a growing pot of vetches. Apparently all that is needed is a dark place and watering every other day. We’ll see.
(Image from xaghraparish.org)

And how impressive is it that nearly all our Christmas shopping is ready!?! Allow me to gloat here, for we are the kind of people who never finish Christmas shopping before Christmas Eve. This year things were facilitated that bit for us because C has been repeating over and over again (just in case you didn’t read my previous post, she is now in the phase of repeating EVERYTHING all the time) what Santa Claus is bringing her. Perhaps being here constantly amongst family has also eased the thinking and decision-making process for us. Whatever it is, I’m glad that we’ve just crossed off a huge chunk off our shopping list. Since everything was bought online, we had to think that bit ahead because come December the postal services do start taking much longer than usual. We now have more than a month left till Christmas, so that should not be a worry.

I do miss England at this time of the year. I miss the shopping outings, the decorations, the cold weather, the cheesy John Lewis Christmas Ad which always sets me off and the coziness of a heated home. But settling down in Malta and slowly making our own traditions is heartwarming as well and makes the nostalgic feeling pop up much less often than usual.

What are your Christmas traditions? Do you grow vetches, do you set up a crib, do you make your own decorations? Have you already set up your Christmas tree? Is Santa’s letter already written and sent? I’d love to hear what you get up to in the run-up to Christmas 😉

And this is last year’s John Lewis ad* – equally beautiful:

*A 90-second, £6 million video-clip shot in New Zealand in July 2012. Crazy but beautiful.

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