Christmas under the African Sky

December 23, 2017

Two days till Christmas and I am feeling like a kid again.  I see the real magic of Christmas in the eyes of my kids, the pure unadulterated excitement and the belief that all things are in fact possible.   It’s time to ignite some of that magic into your heart and into your home.  Love more, bless more and stress less – HAKUNA MATATA –  no worries for the rest of your days …. mom mode singing.  If you have left the shopping to the last minute and haven’t decided what’s on the menu it’s okay – make something, bake something – shop less it seriously won’t be worth the queues.  I promise you its going to be okay, there will be enough to eat, and no one really likes socks for Christmas anyway.  So, in the spirit of Africa I decided to swing some Madiba magic with a hint of Afro Circus into my festive Christmas décor.  It’s summer here, and well red and white just won’t do -  time to whip out all your pretty things and have fun. We’re taking things out doors to enjoy some African skies check out my garden y’all…

  

I figured out ages ago no point having pretty things in your cabinet for special occasions – they may never arrive and I am pretty sure the queen of England is never coming to visit with me – so, I whip out my fancy tea set I inherited from my gran all the time.  Things break, it’s okay and not as often as you think – two kids later and a house full of “ooh touch me” breakables and I can honestly say  I have only lost one fancy dish and a tea cup – don’t tell my granny.  I like my nik naks and bits and bobs – I am a rebel inside and out – so no matchy-matchy for me.  I read somewhere, probably on Instagram ‘Use things and not people’ – but you knew that already so the point  I am trying to relay is, I’m well read!

 Sometimes, rainbow like our nation can be a colour scheme too.  I had heaps of scraps of African print fabric lying around so we made some brown skinned angels and those annoying buntings which I stayed up late sewing – they aren’t neat but just add a little something-something and I like that.  Serious, my house always looks like we are about to erupt into song and dance – but I like it that way plus we always ‘P-A-R-T-Y’ ready.  So, making Christmas a little extra-extra is most interesting. 

 Deets on my African Christmas set up:

 

Right here goes, my table cloth is in fact my bed throw – yes you could use anything that would be easy enough to wash – so scrap fabric – a shawl or even a sari – be creative and be free and use your stuff.

 

Crockery,  glassware and cutlery – I just mixed up the only 2 sets of fancy dinner plates I own and used my dessert plates from the one and only fancy tea set I own – Royal Dalton – ooh la la – from my gran off course.  My dinner plates are in the “Blue willow style” some vintage finds and some from my aunty in Canada that my gran scored on my behalf – they are not a full set – 3 brown plates and 3 blue. Hardly any of the patterns match and that’s why they work.  My glasses – gold rimmed crystal  - a wedding gift from my mum.  Ten years down the line they’re going strong just like my marriage – right? Cutlery, they are a good set I use every day from Newbridge Silverware in Ireland – they were pricey in my opinion but I am glad I get to enjoy them every day – value for money after all.

Flowers: Roses and a huge bunch of indigenous fynbos including Proteas.  I love that the Fynbos is water wise and dries beautifully so we  will still have these for ages to come.  I used my ‘potjies pot‘ as  a base for the arrangement – it’s the perfect height and could be moved to the floor to make space for the food and still look super chic and add to the décor on or off the table – and it’s definitely not breakable.  I just threw in some feathers and fake birds I had to give some texture – you could use some beads or even some jewellery/accessories you have lying around. 

Flowers: Roses and a huge bunch of indigenous fynbos including Proteas.  I love that the Fynbos is water wise and dries beautifully so we  will still have these for ages to come.  I used my ‘potjies pot‘ as  a base for the arrangement – it’s the perfect height and could be moved to the floor to make space for the food and still look super chic and add to the décor on or off the table – and it’s definitely not breakable.  I just threw in some feathers and fake birds I had to give some texture – you could use some beads or even some jewellery/accessories you have lying around. 

 

Favours – Some kids size enamel cups – we transplanted some succulents we have growing in the garden.  Free, water wise and hard to kill- what could be a better gift plus they were planted with love, I swear.   We also threw in some hand carved stone elephants my daughter has been collecting for years – how generous of her.  The little guy insisted on contributing some model cars – they add to the quirk, so score.

 

Napkins – just cut up some of the African fabric into rough napkin sizes – literally tore the fabric because I like the effect of the rough edge and its quicker than cutting with safety scissors because I keep losing mine.  I slotted in some serviettes too because I don’t like the extra washing and it wastes water. Finished off with some crocheted napkin rings.

 

Outdoor Christmas tree is made from scrap wood and has lasted us 3 Christmass already – it’s a permanent fixture under our patio – the kids went wild using the Brown Girl angels we made – some crochet squares I had lying around and even my business cards – finally they have a real purpose!  And the buntings – I sewed those babies if you can cut a triangle you can make them – if you can sew – staples and string work’s too! 

And of some random reason I threw in my chicken painting there too – figured I have feathers and little birds why not chickens – plus we Africans like our chicken – Turkeys just aren’t the same.   There’s some hot sauce too – I definitely know I will be using it – Nando’s sauce was finished so my hand bag friendly Tabasco does the trick.

 

Right I have things to do, a little guy who is having pooping issues right this moment plus the sun is shining so me and my kids are off on a mission to find some magic.  Good thing I have the table ready to go – no let’s hope the foods will do it justice – because I can guarantee my amazing friends and family will not disappoint. 

 

Go Wild  and Nkosi Sikelel

Big Love Laani Raani

Photo credit:  Yasmin Hankel 

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