This year, the girleen broke away from standard flat-tree format and went all 3-D. She also (making use of a feature in the recycled ballot box that we were using as base material) incorporated a secret door in the design....
We fashioned a secret shelf in the middle of the tree, making it a cupboard...
...in which to hide the handmade Christmas crackers (another emerging tradition of ours, it seems).
The last week of downtime makes all the madness of the previous few weeks seem like a million miles away, as it should.
(Here's a bit of design college humour from the last few weeks at work.)
It has been a time of winding down, going to craft markets and kicking back with my girl and with friends. It's a time of al fresco dining and drinking and talking.
Sometimes, we've even managed an accidentally-colour-coordinated theme for the evening.
The garden is rewarding us with harvests of spuds and salads and vegetables. There have been apricots (and there is now a larder full of apricot jam).
My Christmas surprise this year was the arrival of a copy of The Better Bagmaker in French!
To celebrate both birthday and Christmas this year, I broke with tradition and bought some fun red shoes... because a girl sometimes needs to step outside the practicality of functional black sandals for summer.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season, whatever you may be doing to celebrate or relax. See you in 2015.