Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas already?!?

I nearly had to breathe deeply into paper bag this morning when it  hit me that it is only 43 days left till Christmas!! 43, people!!.. Breeeeathe iiiiiin! And here I am in Sydney where the sun is hot, and Summer is on approach.. That sort of combination is sure to send a Swedish girl into ANYTHING BUT the mood for Christmas!

Usually my inspiration comes from the looming darkness of November, lighting candles, watching the first flakes of snow... Sigh! I am seriously contemplating moving into our freezer for a week in order to get into the spirit! And no I don't mean the frozen Vodka on the top shelf.... Though that would totally help for sure..!! :)

In there I my brain would cool down and kick into an efficient factory of fun & festive ideas, however only for an hour or so before Marshall would check me right into a clinic of some sort.. So, instead I am turning to you my friends, and I am so grateful for your wonderful Xmas posts that are already popping up around the blogosphere..!

 Cox and Cox

For example... I felt flutters of Christmas merriness when I saw this divine picture over at 'Le Creuset South Africa' (HERE). Who wouldn't feel that way at the sight of this stack of goodness..!?!

Le Creuset South Africa

And of course there is always Martha Stewart.. What would we do without her endless supply of resolve, support and great ideas..!?! When the sleigh bells sound more like alarm bells in one's sorry little head, one pulls oneself together and heads over to her website and types in 'Christmas' in the search field for an impressive 400-something hits that instantly makes for a Silent Night.. (Sorry. I can't really help myself when I am in this mood..) Not that dear Martha's spread exactly made me stop in my tracks, but at least she gave me lots to look at.. And many ideas would actually translate well to a 'Tropical Christmas'..

 My sweet friend Will over at 'Bright Bazaar' also made me feel better when he posted some gorgeous images of timeless white Christmas inspiration from 'The White Company' that whispered sweet words to my Swedish ear (HERE). Thanks Will! xx

And the lovely Cecilia of Desde mi Ventana gave me some great ideas for 'Advent Calendars' for the kids (HERE).  Actually, who am I kidding. I'd love one of these for ME!!  ..You reading this Marshall..?! :)  The ideas shown in her post were all lovely, but I am thinking the 'glass vase option' will work best for us. I also absolutely adore the hand stitched bags as a 'wrapping idea'! Gorgeous!

Tine K usually puts on a good Christmas spread of ideas & inspiration, and although this year is no exception, I must say that I am surprised at how muffled and dark the theme is (HERE)...

 via Tine K

And whilst sipping a (very strong) cup of Italian coffee, I read words of promise and hope over at my dear friend Minna's blog ('Blomsterverkstad'); "This year I'm going to Christmas inspire you to the max. Daily. From 1st of December I'll be sharing ideas for wreaths and decorations, my best Christmas recipies, personal and easy-to-realize table settings and plenty of giwe aways!". Honey for my ears Minna!! xx And for everyone else, click HERE to jump across to Blomsterverkstad to enter a give-away for her gorgeous book 'Blomstrande Idéer'.

Over at Sköna Hem there wasn't much Christmas inspiration to find. Well at least not anything that would work here in Sydney, but I did browse a cute (and very traditional!) Christmas house tour (HERE), and saw some stylist interpretations of the holiday season (HERE).

Then suddenly I felt as if dear Melissa over at 'The Inspired Room' had read my mind when she issued a fantastic list of '10 Ways to get inspired for Christmas' (HERE).

That got me thinking of a personal list of things I could do to get myself into a jolly Christmas mood... Here it is, my ten steps to making myself Merry and Bright!

1. Browse around for Christmas cards.

I had a lot of fun browsing Etsy for Christmas cards the other night and
there were plenty of inspiration. Usually I try to make my own, only the
last two years that has ended up in a frenzy that resulted in us not sending
any at all.. Have I learned? Not sure yet.. hmm..

2. Buy cute trinkets for the table.

 I bought 3 sets of these cute felt acorns from 'Green Baboon Designs' (HERE).

And am going to pick up at least one set of these gorgeous napkins from
Piper's brilliant shop 'One Sydney Road' (HERE). Aren't they fabulous!!?!

3. Listen to Christmas music & watch holiday movies.
I love old time classics for Christmas, and we often let ourselves drift away to the soothing
& comforting sound of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crossby, Louis Armstrong etc.

4. Do some easy and fun Christmas crafts with the kids.
We are a 'crafty house' really hence this shouldn't be too hard..

5. Start buying and/or making presents.
This is my favourite part. Because really, is there anything more fun than to buy
gifts for those you love and care for? I think not! And call me commercial, but
I love spoiling my little trio with carefully selected gifts. It's better than receiving!!

6. Go through Christmas decorations and come up with a 'look' for the tree.
OMG are we even doing a tree? I  might opt for a 'regular tree' this year,
rather than a 'pine tree'. I could spray it a glossy red, silver or just white..
It will look a lot more stylish here at the height of Summer that's for sure! 

7. Make 'Glögg' and bake ginger biscuits with the kids!

 There is nothing like the smell of brewing *Glögg* to make us Swedes
go all Christmassy and cheery..! Glögg is a bit like 'mulled wine' only not so tangy, 
and it is always served hot, with a side of peeled (skinned) almonds and sultanas. 
I have a recipe that goes 4 generations back in our family. I'll share it later.

8. Confirm numbers and design menu for Christmas Eve (Swedish Christmas).
It will really be too hot for a proper 'roast buffet' of traditional foods.
Instead I am thinking seafood, BBQ meats served with sallads and cold
sauces. Plenty of nice cold drinks, and yummy deserts & sweets.
What are you serving for Xmas my darlings?

9. Buy wrapping paper, pretty ribbons and labels.
And there is always so much to choose from that I have to sit myself down
and really decide on a 'theme' before I head out, or I'll go over board...

10. Get a pretty dress to wear on Christmas Day.
We are usually roasting away in near 40C (ca 104F) and any attempt to do
a formal look will melt away. A new bikini for a Christmas morning swim,
and a strappy Summer dress for after will be perfect. Only mandatory is that
they are 'RED', and today the gorgeous Carolina of 'Absolutely Unique' shared
some splendid festive frocks (I would pick no. 2 or 3 in her post!). Thanks love! xx

What is YOUR lists my lovelies?
I'd love to see them, so please share via your posts!
I beg you..please ! :)

xx Charlotta


This morning I woke up to the most lovely surprise any blog girl can get - a loving feature!
It was the truly kind Leigha Oaks of 'Elle Oh' who did a beyond flattering showcase
of me and Space for Inspiration! You can read the article HERE..!

Leigha.. Once more, thank you from the bottom of my heart to you for your
genuine kindness and for finding me worthy of your beautiful writings over at
Eco Salon. What an honour it is to have met someone as generous as you! xxx


Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

How lucky do I feel to be included in your Christmas post round up, Charlotta?! Very! Thank you so much.

I really like the pieces you posted from Skona Hem, so I'm off to check them out in some more detail now.

Hugs. xo

Lumo said...

The rainy weather and pitch black days don't get me for Christmas mood yet, but I have already bought most of my Christmas presents (some from Sydney), have started to plan for Christmas cards and home made presents.

Christmas music we start to play on first advent and Christmas decorarins go up early to set us on the Chrismassy mood.

Thanks for the lovely images, they gave me some good ideas.

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

Hi Charlotta! thank you for SO much tropical christmas inspiration. I need it too! for the moment I'm craving a gorgeous red (and fresh) dress for Christmas eve. I can't let pass one more year without a red dress! xo

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina said...

Dear friend!
In spite of that I actually live in a dark November Sweden, I have no Christmas feelings what so ever yet. Therefore I am so grateful you´ve shared this fantastic inspiring Christmas post with me(and the rest of the world)! I could really use some!
I would love to make a list of 10 things to get inspired for Christmas. It might help me fully getting there:)!

Hoppas allt är väl med dig!? Allt är 'bra' här! Korta dagar, mörkret faller på tidigt. Är dock tacksam över att vi sluppit kyla och snö. Kan gott vänta till vi kommer lite närmare jul:)!
Många kramar till dig!

Nuit said...

OH I LOVE these photos.... so much yumminess in Scandinavian christmas style i adore this post. Many xoxo to you darling!!!

Leigha said...

Charlotta, dear.
I will trade you one frigid Christmas (38 degrees at my house this morning) for one sunny Christmas. We'll call it a house swap!
Love the acorns, too (they are always a hit at my house, with a last name like Oaks!).
I wrote a little something about your fabulous self today.

I'll send an email, too...


Kerry said...

How could I even begin to match that list of yours Charlotta! It's fabulous (and funny). I'll be the one burying me head in the sand and ignoring the impending Christmas terror:)

anita @ a dreamer's den said...

Charlotta --
I will be reading and re-reading this post from now until the middle of December. I love all the photos and your commentary.
You are not alone, sweetie. Even though most leaves have fallen from our trees, I have not one feeling of Christmas yet. It's the music that really helps, I'll have to start playing some Nat King Cole!
(What are sultanas?)

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

thank you so much darling Charlotta for the link love! you are the sweetest blogger friend! xo Carolina

The Zhush said...

In the midst of November's looming darkness over here, and I am sorry, but its hard to feel anything but jealous about the summer clime over there!:) Even though winter will come to Australia as it does to the states, its surely not the same as here in NY...and yes, its quite lovely in a Norman Rockwell way (albeit sometimes) but the rest of the time its so cold and dark and bitter (oh dread!) I will cling to these heart warming images to keep the chill away! congrats on the Elle oh feature, Leigha is such a doll! xxx

Leigha said...

Too sweet Charlotta. Too sweet.


P.S. Thanks Sue. I think you're swell, too. :)

Stacey said...

I can't believe it's 43 days til Christmas. My mind has been only on Thanksgiving. Alas, i don't have a list to share...yet:-). Lovely inspiration and i'm off to check out your feature on Elle Oh! Congrats(you deserve it:-))

PS. While you were on vacation, i tried to do the email subscription via the link you sent me but it wouldn't work(not sure why). I'll give it a go again though. Have a great weekend with the family. I'd also love to experience Christmas in your kind of weather! XX

A Casa da Vá said...

that is interesting, I grew up in Rio where our Christmas is during summer time - so now when it gets cold I don't feel like Christmas time - it is like I am the opposite of you! But great reminder for me to buy gifts and plan the decor for the apt. Etsy has some great decor pieces that are handmade and unique!

Linda in AZ * said...

* Dear Charlotta~

I just found, and read, your blog... it's SO CHARMING that I signed up to be notified by E-Mail when you post...

I ENJOYED my read & my visit here so very much< & look forward to returning!

Thank you,
Linda in AZ *

Life love, clutter and other beautiful things. said...

What a gorgeous collection of images, wonderful inspiration. xox

Anna G. said...

Hej! 43 days... how did that happen?! It feels like summer just ended here in Paris! Thanks for the beautiful xmas inspiration though, I will need more of that to get into the right xmas mood... I just discovered your lovely blog, many thanks for the inspiration!
(from another emigrated Swede who actually spent one year in Australia in her younger days, but nowadays lives in Paris where she is blogging about Scandinavian design and interiors in French and more recently also in English)

Maria Dermengiu said...

Hi Charlotta! wonderful post about Christmas, though I understand you perfectly about the weather up there.How can you feel Christmas when it's so hot? I've lived in Sydney for 2 years as a child and I missed Christmas the old way a lot!
best wishes,Maria

Mariska Meijers said...

I need a week to go through this wonderful post Charlotta :). Wonderful that you were featured by Leigha! Enjoy your Sunday xoxo

Tiina said...

vilken underbar julpost charlotta! tänk verkligen, bara 41 dagar nu. vi har slask och blött och inget snö än så länge, men förhoppningsvis blir det lite vitare snart. denna jul blir det i Sverige, för omväxlingens skull och familjen från Helsingfors får komma till oss istället. underbart! stor kram på dig! /tiina

Sarah Klassen said...

love it all! I am in Le Creuset heaven right now, amongst other things! *sigh* so much inspiration! Hope you had a wonderful weekend,


Sarah @ Maison Boheme said...

Oh my word, those are the prettiest cookies ever. How in the world?

tinajo said...

LOVE those birdies! :-)

Yes, christmas is getting closer and I´m beginning to look forward to it for real, especially the Glögg... Nothing gets me in the holiday mood like the smell of Glögg! :-D

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I was just starting to feel Christmas whispering in my ear. I've ordered my cards and have a few presents purchased but still I wasn't feeling it all the way until now. You've got my tinsel curling with all these beautiful images and ideas. I'm going to get started on my daughter's advent project today! Thanks for all the inspiration.

Splendid Willow said...

What a lovely post Charlotta! But I can't say that I am in the mood either -- I still have bats and pumpkins on my front porch!

Will's images are amazing. And I LOVE the dining table picture no8. Must be Swedish. I am saving that image!

Love to you and thank your for all your sunny comments. You are a doll!

And Leigha is a sweetheart too. Will read that post next!



quintessence said...

Love your countdown! The felt acorns are beyond adorable as are the napkins. Also love the cookies and the white and silver paper and birds. Definitely getting me in the mood!

Virginia Blue - Director Blue Fruit said...

I love our summery Australian Christmases. As soon as the first warm days appear, it starts to feel like Christmas - that gorgeous anticipation of walks on the beach, cocktails by the pool, and long, languid days of warmth and sunshine surrounded by friends and family. Yum! Your post is fabulous, lots of research and heart-felt home-sickness must have gone into it, but it is a gorgeous visual feast.

Viera said...

Charlotta, I can not believe Christmas again.
I am not there yet, thanks for an inspiration.

A Perfect Gray said...

beautiful piece, Charlotta, full of inspiration and cheer! I love the boots stuffed with little goodies. Makes me wish my 16 year-old was a tyke again...

are you feeling better? hope you ALL are well in time for a little holiday prep!

love to you! Donna

mydesignchic said...

Wow...what a great way to wake up this morning!! Love your list, and all the images of inspiration - thrilled to have found your blog!!

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