To round off our enjoyable Christmas holiday we visited Trafalgar Square in central London on Jan 3. The Square is a famous tourist location and landmark which commemorates a famous sea battle in 1805. The British Royal Navy was victorious against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve off the south west coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar.
We wanted to see the giant Christmas tree which every year. The tree is donated to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo each year since 1947 to thank Britain’s assistance to Norway in World War Two (WW2) & is prominently displayed in Trafalgar Square from the beginning of December until 6 January. Jean was happy to see that the giant Blue Cock still occupied one of the four plinths. We enjoyed the views and watching the various street entertainers too.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree & Views
Our home made Christmas arch & lights
Each Christmas Jean & I put up our home Christmas decorations we like to make sure we have many sets of lights festooned in our main rooms including the kitchen. 🙂 We also puts a string of lights around the yew tree in our front garden, but as it has grown over the year, we found that the lights are spread thin so we may need to get new longer ones next year!
Most of our Christmas decorations have their origin from 18th century Germany where candles were used. The Victorian era also introduced Christmas decorations and illuminated by lights were influenced by Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert. With the coming of the electric age, many variations of various sized decorative bulbs evolving to use of LEDs also are now popular.
In the UK, Europe and other nations, having light whether by candle and lantern was essential to drive away the deep winter darkness. Christmas became the time to over-indulge with lights to celebrate the bright birth of Jesus.
Our Christmas Lights
Photo by JMorton
Christmas Decor: The Paper Balls
As soon as I saw these, I had to have to take a picture, more nostalgic want rather than admiration though they did look really pretty and dainty.
When I was a little girl, a very long time ago, in Marag, Philippines, we used to make these paper balls just before Christmas as part of art education in elementary or primary school. I had to admit that I found it difficult at first. Glue and my young hands and less than desterous little fingers were not compatible then.
However, after much patience and perseverance, I was able to make my first ball made from the delicate folds of tissue papers; I was so proud of myself that I immediately graduated with such alacrity into making the paper bell shape.
Though I was very proud of my effort afterwards, my dearest Mother was even prouder. With all her pride and enthusiam of my work, you would think my little bell was more of a Rodin or a Picasso rather than a good effort in basic gluing project! 😉
For years, my Mother would hang the bell in one of our windows on Christmas.
With that memory in mind, I will try to make a bell as a Christmas project!
Thank you, Mom, with all my heart!
Christmas Decor: Christmas baubles
I love my Christmas balls. The family have collected quite a sizeable amount of these baubles over the years. We had so many that at one time we had to have six Christmas trees to put these baubles in. 😉 It took days or a couple of weeks to set our Christmas decorations in.
And then during the year, we find these balls under settees, behind cabinets, hidden by the folds of long curtains and at some places you would not expect to find them and yet they were there. When I do find them they usually replace my look of puzzlement with one of nostalgic smile.
I do feel sad when one breaks but it is a fact of life, you buy some, you lose some!
Christmas Decor: The Reindeer
Santa Claus’s sleigh is led by eight reindeer, namely Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and and of course, Rudolph, the red nose reindeer.
After being a victim of reindeer bullying in Santa’s toy factory because of his unusual bright red nose, Santa Claus redeemed him and made him the star of the sleigh show!
His nose was so bright that it lit the sky making it possible to fly faster and deliver gifts to children who have been good and deserving.
Let’s hear the story of Rudolph the red nose reindeer from one of the best balladeers of all time, Johnny Mathis!
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
– John Ruskin
I love peacocks, despite their rather vainglorious reputation, I supposed they are really one of the most beautiful and most impressive of all creatures. As they said, “If you got it, flaunt it.”
They are, therefore, ideal Christmas decoration (not the real ones).
There is a peacock at Golders Hill Park and would sometimes give a show of how beautiful his plumage were. The poor peahen was absolutely overwhelmed with desire to run away and count grass blades in a far-away corner, far, far away from the metrosexual peacock.
Despite the peahen being unimpressed with the display the peacock went ahead with his prinning and prancing. And he has the loudest and ugliest yell ever. Imagine being woken by a peacock in the morning. It might be really horrendous.
Christmas Decor: Peacock
Photo by JMorton
Christmas Decoration – Three Trees
I absolutely love these hand blown glass red Christmas trees.
It would be so beautiful placed near a twinkling candlelight or by the fire in your hearth, yes even heart. hahaha or is it HO HO HO
Tomorrow starts the opening of the first door out of 24 of the Advent Calendar.
A little present is usually concealed in each door, usually a little chocolate.
Children would raise downtairs all excitely to open the day’s alloted door until all the 24 doors have been opened which means Christmas was just a matter of hours and all the big presents are finally going to be had.
Over the years we have had different Advent Calendars that have become part of Christmas and thus, a family heirloom. My son James, when he was little would excitedly look for the present in Advant calendar in the form of mini-pockets hanging against a wall. Peter and I were equally excited to fill the pockets with little knick-knacks that would delight our little boy. They is nothing better than seeing your mini-me looking all happy and joyous!
Advent Calendar is a freindlier version of drawing sticks on the wall by way of counting days like what prisoners were supposed to do.
Christmas stockings are essential to Christmas decorating. The stockings work like magnets for Santa Claus. If you had been good all year round then your Christmas stockings will be filled with lovely goodies, come Christmas morning.
I think Santa and his reindeers will appreciate really snazzy designed Christmas stockings. They see billions of these that yours must stand out and perhaps will get the choiciest gifts.
I had a very sad story regarding Christmas stocking when I was seven. I have to admit I was rather a bit of a handful as a child. When there was a strife amongst my siblings, my parents knew that I started it all. LOL
Anyway, despite my being so naughty, I still hoped that Father Christmas, the dear old Santa Claus, would overlook my willfulness and would still leave me a present. So with so much excitement like a seven-year old of the 70s, I hang one of my favourite red socks in our veranda. It was a knee-high sock so I thought it could sufficiently hold a few nice pesos and chocolates.
It was my little secret. I did not tell my mother and father or anyone because I had hope to surprise them in the morning with my present from Santa; that even a naughty girl like me deserves a gift!!!
The next morning on Christmas day, I went to check and it was all empty. (I was so very, very upset, so upset in fact that it still gives me nightmare now and seriously messed me mentally.) 😉
With the maturity of a seven year old, I told myself that I was so naughty I did not deserve a present from Santa. Justice learnt from an early age.
When I was a child Ive always dreamt of a white Christmas. Snow falling against the window pane, and wake up in the morning to a snow-covered garden, excitedly rolling balls of snow to make a snowman.
I must say, I would not have had a clue how to make a snowman as I lived in a country where snow was just a dream that happened in a far corner of the world where there are more than two seasons as opposed to that of just the rainy and dry season.
Apparently it was not just a matter of rolling snow into a ball. There is a certain consistency to the snowflakes which is adequate for snow sculpturing.
Talking about snowmen, my favourite is from The Snowman, which theme tune was sung by Aled Jones. The first time I heard it, I was totally blown away. And the film was so charming and nostalgic.