A month of light

I write this sitting on the sofa, roaring fire at my feet and fairy lights twinkling at me from the tree. The joy I feel at the pre-Christmas Christmas tree is evened out by a grumpy sigh on this side of the big day; my shoulders drop like the needles of my wilting Norway Spruce at the sad and sorry sight of tired old decorations, wrapping paper in recycling bins, and everything reverting to boring old normality.

This afternoon, A said how much he's looking forward to summer and I felt like the White Witch of Narnia telling him how long we would have to wait until the days grow lighter and the air turns warmer. Racking my brain for January, February and March highlights, I found there was little to look forward to in these long months ahead.

And so I made a decision: the tree has to go but the lights and the flowers stay. The Ilex berries, the hyacinth bulbs, a vast vase of eucalyptus - they are here till they drop - alongside fairy lights and candles and, of course, a crackling log fire.

Nine years ago we visited New York City for our wedding anniversary. It was bitterly cold and yet the city was alive; every tree wrapped in lights and every bar, cafe and restaurant lit up so invitingly. Coming home, I couldn't understand why we don't all follow their lead - Paris, too, for that matter - and keep the lights on a bit more during the dark winters. So this month, I'll be doing my bit to keep the home fires burning and a little light in the darkness.


  1. I know how you feel :/ after.the festive cheer. I have fairy lights up all year round in.our bedroom and the.boys also in the kitchen. Candles everywhere need it this time of year. Opps even a lava lamp in the kitchen :)

  2. It is so hard to take down the decorations, but I too find leaving some lights up keeps the winter blues away. I have some fairy lights over my hearth that turned up one Christmas years ago and have never come down. Not to mention a roaring fire - essential for January days!

  3. Completely with you on this - seven years ago I was in New York on our honeymoon, and I agree that the beautiful lights were captivating. I took our tree and decs down yesterday but all the extra fairylights have stayed put. I had planned to take them down tomorrow, but I think I'm going to follow your lead and keep them up a little while longer.

  4. Hello Lottie
    I have just stumbled across your lovely blog ! I couldn't agree with you more about fairy lights, I have always said that fairy lights are for all year, not just for Christmas. They just make you fell happy all year round I reckon.
    I shall certainly be back to visit again in 2014,

  5. Lovely idea. I do that too, lights around the sitting room mirror and in the kitchen too. My Ilex berries have almost had it so then it will be narcissi & hyacinth time. I've decided Jan & Feb are the times to really indulge my love of all things cosy and take the time to enjoy winter. Life is so rushed in Nov & Dec you can almost miss a season leaping into Spring that's eons off yet. So here's to crackling fires, pink cheeks after long walks, casseroles, afternoon films, reading, garden planning etc.

    Treasure the light . Steph x

  6. I agree, the thought of the next couple of cold dark months is not good and it's hard to find anything positive (apart from sledging, snowman building and potentially days off school!) I've left my wreath up on the door. as I love the greenery. As someone said on instagram , it's now a winter wreath rather than a xmas wreath, so it's staying!

  7. Perfect idea - I'm keeping my lights and wreath. And perhaps even my birch branch 'chandelier' over the table. Wishing you lots of twinkling sparkle this January!

  8. Agree. In Sweden (where I am from, with London as my city) i know that there is not a window throughout the year that is not decked out with some sort of light, a small lamp, fairy lights or my favourite, glass bauble with a tea light hanging from the window frame. Having taken down the advent lights, I just exchanged them for another warm glowing light. And i'll be keeping the base of my wreath and adding leaves and branches as the year progesses...thanks for a lovely blog. Lizzie

  9. Yay! It's not just me then that feels this way. I took down the Christmas tree but created a birthday tree as it is T's special day on 6th Jan. So we put some branches in a large vase, draped the fairy lights on them and hung small toy animals from the branches. I've kept up other fairy lights too, indoors and outdoors plus the wreath stays. All makes me feel so much better! Sam x


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