This pic is one of my favourite Christmas grouping. The central cross stitch was one that had me tearing out my hair (on and off) over 5 years. The chart was in a LA Christmas cross stitch magazine - it was the 1992 Christmas Plate design. I started stitching it in 1992, when I was a fairly inexperienced stitcher and worked only on 18 count Aida. In retrospect, a linen or evenweave would have been a much more appropriate fabric choice, as the chart was absolutely crammed with fractional stitches. Live and learn! It is a very detailed design, with lots of backstitches, and it was way above my skill level when I started stitching. It is my smallest framed Christmas cross stitch, but one of the trickiest to stitch. The two Santa heads flanking the cross stitch are old favourites - I bought them in San Francisco nearly 25 years ago, on my one and only holiday in the USA, and they have been part of my Christmas decorating since then. The tree is my Advent Calendar. I designed and made it myself. It has 24 red and gold painted stars and each day in December I turn over one star to reveal a painted Santa. When there are 24 Santas hanging on the tree I know that Christmas Day is just one sleep away. In front of the tree are a few of my Santa bell collection, some clothes peg Santas I painted, and my favourite metal Santa music box.
Unfortunately, this pic comes from last year's Christmas decorating. It's been a different festive season for me this year. Usually I spend most of November packing up all the non-Christmas items from walls, surfaces and display cabinets and replacing them with my collection of Christmas. From December 1 to December 25, Christmas reigns in my house, and Christmas visitors are welcomed daily. This year I did not decorate at all for Christmas, because my time and energy was focused on the cancer treatment. I've discovered that I'm pretty much an 'all or nothing' person - and this year it was 'nothing' when it came to decorating the house. When she heard I wasn't decorating for Christmas, one of my sisters threw up her hands in horror, and arrived on my doorstep with a most unusual felt Christmas tree and 2 wooden angels, which she insisted on lending me, so I did end up with a Christmas corner. The tree is about 1.2 m (4') high, and the wooden angels are about 50cm (20") tall. I quite enjoy seeing it in the sitting room.
Just 5 more sleeps, and Christmas Day will be here. I wish you a Merry Christmas, and hope that 2019 brings for you and your loved ones a year of good health, good fortune, peace and contentment.