In the past few days I have been walking up and down a few roads (Hursley Road, Winchester Road, Hiltingbury Road, Brownhill Road…), and have noticed quite a few inflatable snowman, reindeer, an amusing upside-down Santa near the chimney, and quite a lot of flashing lights in the walls in our neighbourhood.
For those who are cynical about the trend of Christmas festive decorations, or if you are worry about your road / street has become ‘common’, please just remember that festive decoration is fun. People are happy; their kids are happy; their grandchildren are happy. So, just chillax.
A few weeks ago BBC reported this news about Christmas lights causing a row amongst neighbours in Wiltshire.
According to the news article, one neighbour received an anonymous note claiming the “tacky” lights had made the street “very common”.
This year we also added some lights to the front of the house, for the first time, to be seen in line with the current festive theme in our lovely close. Perhaps there are more small children in our close, which might explain why the close is inundated with Santa, reindeer, snowman, illuminated walls, wall light, fairy lights… you name it. My son insisted “we’ve got to do something” this year otherwise we might be seen as Scrooge.
Or perhaps the lights are not for the children after all. I have a feeling more adults are young at heart and they simply love Christmas, and love showing a bit of DIY skills (climbing up and down to hang a santa, securing a wall of multi-coloured led lights, making sure the inflatable penguin will stay put in the face of Storm Barbara…these seem good DIY skills to me.)
Where did I buy Christmas lights in Chandler’s Ford?
I didn’t know where to buy outdoor lights as I had never bought one before in 20 years since I’ve lived in Britain. I didn’t want to drive and didn’t have time to buy them online (as having outdoor lights was an impulsive decision after having a look round of my lovely close and feeling rather inadequate). Then I thought, “Ah ha, we have a lighting shop in Chandler’s Ford, at Fryern Arcade.”
I dashed into the lighting shop at Fryern and asked a smartly dressed young man, “Do you sell fairy lights, those outdoor Christmas lights, that sort of thing?” He told me they didn’t do this sort of thing. Then I had a quick look round of the shop, and noticed that the shop is where you buy chandeliers or bespoke handmade curtains and lighting, to improve the ambiance and ascetics of a room, not a place for your cheap, tacky, multi-coloured, flashing Christmas lights that might trigger seizures if you suffer from photosensitive epilepsy.
I blamed myself for entering the posh shop, but thankfully I think I now have a better awareness of the British ‘class’ system.
It dawned on me that D & G Hardware would sell lights. I believe they sell everything.
With the help from Helenor and Rachel, the able and friendly assistants at D & G, I bought two boxes of Christmas lights, plus mould remover, washing machine cleaner, bin bags…
The magic of jigsaw puzzles
My old neighbours moved to Bournemouth in the summer and my son visited them and stayed for a few days.
They gave my son 2 boxes of Doctor Who jigsaw puzzles as his Christmas presents. I’m surprised to see the magic of jigsaw puzzles. This box has 1,000 pieces.
But this is what happened when you decided to take a break from your work.
Impressed by my son’s patience in jigsaw puzzles, and his ability to switch off mobile devices to concentrate on the jigsaw puzzle, I promised him I would buy him more in the future, such as Mona Lisa, but he said ‘thank you very much’. He told me he loves making these special puzzles as these are Doctor Who puzzles. My 16-year-old son is a huge Doctor Who fan and he keeps a blog about Doctor Who and other science fictions. He has also met two Doctors at London Comic Con.
The Coffee Room at the Methodist Church
Before Christmas, I always visit The Coffee Room at the Methodist Church on Winchester Road. This has become the tradition of my son and me. We would go there and meet friends, and I normally have my very first Christmas mince pie there. (Nothing could beat a home-made mince pie.)
One of the most-read article on Chandler’s Ford Today is How Methodist Church Dovetail Centre Surprises Me. Two years ago, I also shared with you my Christmas time from The Coffee Room at the Dovetail Centre.
Jane Archer created the Nativity scene with rocks, stones, and fresh green foliage from her garden each year. This is her latest work, on display at the Dovetail Centre.
In the week leading to Christmas, The Coffee Room has mince pies and festive cookies. This year, we also had a few of these lovely dove cookies.
Buying from local traders and charity this Christmas
This year I bought a few Christmas gifts from Chandler’s Ford traders. Yesterday we walked to Bay Leaves Larder in Hiltingbury Road, and bought a Chandler’s Ford produced honey, and two Boozy Preserves (Margarita Time Lime Marmalade, and Strawberry Daiquiri preserve).
Christmas is also the time when you get to buys some ‘silly’ presents which you may not normally buy. I bought 2 tea towels from Heather Dibb from Velmore Church, who sells gifts in aid of The Leprosy Mission.
This canine friends tea towel is for my mother-in-law, who dedicates her life to dogs!
This cat tea towel is for my son, who helps me with dishwashing.
How do you celebrate Christmas?
What’s your Christmas tradition? How do you celebrate Christmas? Share your stories here in the comment, or write a new article and send it to Chandler’s Ford Today so that we could share your story.
I, on behalf of everyone from Chandler’s Ford Today, wish you all a very happy Christmas, and best wishes for you and your family in 2017.
Keep reading, keep writing, keep smiling.
Christmas blog post recommendation
I’m writing this blog post listening to great Christmas carols and music in the background, recommended by Allison Symes, who published What I Like (and Dislike) about Christmas yesterday. There was possibly a glitch yesterday as the notification of her new post was not sent to subscribers. Please go and enjoy Allison’s What I Like (and Dislike) about Christmas and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
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