If you want a shabby chic homemade Christmas and a home fit for a “Country Living” magazine feature, follow the style tips provided by “Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas” courtesy of Channel Four. If you want a make do & mend homemade Christmas and a home fit for a Blue Peter festive special, follow the lack of style tips demonstrated during the Banceithin Christmas craft day. Actually, it was perhaps more of a Christmas sweat shop. The second the breakfast plates were cleared away, I emptied out my “craft stuff” box onto the table - cardboard, felt, glue, glitter, assorted gold beads, coloured paper, shiny paper, tissue paper... My poor parents only came to stay for a day, and my dad spent his time struggling to cut out cardboard stars with blunt scissors, while my mum spent it painstakingly recreating the felt Christmas trees I’d seen in a magazine but was too penny pinching to buy and, just because she could, she knocked out a few crochet stars as well! Meanwhile, Dave got busy with the glue and glitter and I worked on the ultimate retro Christmas decoration, the paper chain – we’re shunning shabby chic in favour of the primary school look (but without the clothes hanger halos and tea towel & dressing gown shepherds)!
A few days later it was time to bottle up the damson gin and vodka. With hindsight it would have been wise to label the demi-johns, but after a sample tasting or two, … three, four, one to be sure, and one for the road (not that either one of us would have been fit for the road by this point), we figured out which was which. In theory we bottled enough to keep some aside for next year, in practice we’ll probably drink the lot before new year. And when we run out, there’s always the chocolate coated gin soaked damsons to see us through to the end of Jools’ Annual Hootenanny.