We have just passed the shortest day and now the evenings are ever so slowly getting lighter. I like this time, although the coldest winter weather is still to come, we are moving away from the darkest days. The colours of the countryside are very soft and muted at this time of year.
Without their covering of leaves the silhouettes of the trees contrast with the pale skies.
Although the quiet colours dominate outside, it is the more colourful evergreen plants that I bring into the house at this time of year. I haven't been able to find much holly with berries this year, I think the birds ate them all during the cold weather earlier this month. Instead I have picked this variegated foliage from the garden and mixed it with green ivy and twigs full of catkins.
We bought our tree at the weekend and it is now taking up a lot more space in our living room than I intended - I think we got a bit carried away when we chose it and Christmas trees always seem to be bigger once they are inside!
My Christmas tablecloth is also inspired by evergreens. This was embroidered by my great aunt although I don't ever remember seeing it used. I often wonder why she used only red, I think I would have done the holly leaves in dark green. Still, it certainly brightens up our Christmas table.
The Christmas preparations are almost finished, just a few more mince pies and a "chocolate log" to be made tomorrow and then theres nothing more to do except enjoy the holiday.