My Family & Other Animals

Sunday 2 December 2012

"Give Me An Old Fashioned Christmas..."

So before you call me Mean Mr. Grinch, let me state here and now that I love Christmas. I love the food, the excitement, the colours and the whole wonder of it all, I even love the religious side to it and some of my favourite memories have been those spent at Midnight Mass with loved ones all around me. So it is with a heavy heart I have to turn into one of those moaning Minnie's who bang on about it "all starting too early, in fact it gets earlier every year, if we're not careful they will be starting Christmas in July", you know the sort!
I went to work tonight and saw so many houses already looking like B&Q's lighting department threw up on them. I know that times change but I don't always think they change for the better. More and more we become like the 51st state of the USA and decorating our homes so that they look like you have had a nervous breakdown and any semblance of taste you ever had begins to look as though you are seeing the world through Jackson Pollock's glasses is one change I can live without. Like Halloween (a 'holiday' that used to be celebrated in this country by kids playing knock and run and that was it!!), we seem to adopt anything our American cousins do as long as it involves spending loads of cash!! How long will it be before we adopt Thanksgiving?
When I was a kid (not quite a million years ago) the tree went up a couple of weeks before the big day and the only lights anyone had went on said tree, only the folks living in the 'posh' parts of town had extra lights up and even then it was only maybe one window and they were put up in an original corner-to-corner x-design! My Mother and I used to make long streamers made of brightly coloured gummed paper (I can still taste that disgusting spirit gum today!) and every year she would dust off a battered and bruised brown cardboard box which lived in the cupboard under the stairs and she would hang our sorry collection of equally battered and bruised hanging decorations, year after year after year. Now it seems you have to go bigger and bigger every year, spending more and more money that is we were honest, we could all live without spending. We move further and further away from the true meaning of the holiday that all the real joy has been taken out of it for me.
I was lucky during my twenty three years in the Royal Air Force, I only had to work ONE Christmas day and that was because it was the first year after my divorce and I volunteered because I couldn't bear the thought of spending the day alone in the accommodation block. I have some wonderful memories of my son opening his presents and typically spending hours playing with the packaging that most of them came in! As I grew older and I remarried, Christmas became special to me all over again. My wife has the most wonderful, youthful spirit and Christmas is her favourite time of year, her enthusiasm started rubbing off on me and as long as we were together we were both happy. We started out own traditions; we always watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on Christmas eve and the Walt Disney Beauty and the Beast sequel "An Enchanted Christmas" on Christmas morning. We start the day with Bucks Fizz and we try to buy each other thoughtful, meaningful gifts rather than just throw money at each other.
This year, Jo and I are spending the day with friends, so hopefully we will be making some more great memories and in the meantime I will try to get into the spirit of the season, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!! Christmas should be more than just the one day and then it's over but while things are the way they are, I doubt I will ever buy into it again, the way I used to before. 
On to this week's Kenny K Krafty Krew Challenge (#122) and your challenge is to use Frosty Hues.
As you can see from my card, I have used lots of blues and silver and the image Toy Soldier. The dies are from Spellbinders and Memory Box, the tiny black tree is from Craftime and the plastic flowers were bought at a craft fayre. Papers used were all part of one of those stuff as much as you can into a box deals.
There are some big changes coming to the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog as we are losing some design team members at the end of the year and we will be welcoming some brand new talent and starting the year with a great giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled for the first blog entry of 2013.
That's all from me for a few days, so take care of each other,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
P.S. On World AID's Day (which I know was yesterday but that is when I am writing this - not sure which tense I should be using here!!), I would like to say to anyone still suffering or living with HIV, you are in my prayers.

Entered Into: Addicted To Stamps & More Challenge #5 - Markers
Sweet Stampin' Christmas Challenge #1 - Anything Goes
Crafting For All Seasons Challenge #41 - Use Flowers
Crafts and Me Challenge #113 - Anything Goes + Optional Extra
Creative Moments Challenge #5 - Anything Goes
Fab 'n Funky Challenge #150 - Not A Traditiona; Christmas
Freshly Brewed Challenge #125 - Christmas
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #235 - Christmas Inspired
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge #105 - Anything Goes
Ruby's Rainbow Challenge #43 - Non-Traditiona Christmas Colours


  1. Afternoon grumpy :)
    I adore Christmas and everything about it, but I have to agree decorations are definitely going up far too soon. Mine go up the 2-3 week in December.
    I have fond memories of a Christmas tree that looked as if it was made from loo brushes, clip on glass birds and going to Woolworths every year to buy a few new baubles. I still have some that must be 50 years old.
    Christmas is always busy for me with my family coming here for dinner. I cook, but they do the washing up :)
    Sherry and lemonade help with the cooking and usually by the time I sit down to eat I am stuffed as I keep pinching the sausages in bacon.
    Hope you have a great time at your friends house.
    Onto your card. What a saucy little number. Great image and colouring and love the colours you have used.
    Eileen x

  2. Hi Andy, Great post. I really enjoyed reading it. I am still giggling about Eileens comment above about the loo brushes! I can remember sitting for hours making paper chains. I can still taste the gum on the paper. Them were the days hey! Wonderful card. Thank you so much for playing along with the ATS&M challenge this week. I hope you and Jo have a great time with your friends over the holidays.
    Regards Florence x

  3. A stunning card!

    Thank you for sharing with us at Ruby's Rainbow.

    Hugs Shaz x

  4. Great post, Andy! You had me glued to my screen lol. I love your card! Your image is way to cool and coloured beautifully. Thanks so much for playing along at ATSM! xx

  5. Hey Andy,
    Sorry haven't popped over to your blog recently I had to have a couple of months break but I'm back now and just had to come and see what you've been up to. I love your frosty hues on your card and as always your colouring is fab.
    I hope you are Jo are well sending big hugs to you both.
    p.s I'm with you. I love Christmas because of special memories with family and friends but I just hate how tacky it has all become!

  6. a very hot christmas card! ;-)

    thanks so much for playing along with us at Ruby’s Rainbow Challenges!

    hugs and kisses from germany,
    silvi xoxo

  7. A really lovely card

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas

    Thankyou for joining us at Ruby's Rainbow for our non traditional Christmas Colour challenge

    Ang x

  8. Brilliant creation, thank you for joining us at Creative Moments

    Alex (DT)

  9. A brilliant x-mas card!
    Thank you soo much for taking part in our "Anything Goes" challenge & good luck in the draw…
    Hope to see you again in our new challenge on Wednesday.

    (DT Penny's Paper Crafty Challenges)

  10. This is so fun, I love the image and style of your card. Thank you for joining us at Christmas at Sweet Stampin this month and good luck xx

  11. Love this card! The image is so fun! Thanks for joining us at Christmas at Sweet Stampin with our 'anything goes challenge, hope to see you again soon, hugs xx

  12. WOW this is brilliant, What a great creation. I just popped by to say Hello Im one of the Newbies on Kenny K, Looking forward to working with you, Love Hazelxo

  13. Hi Andy, Another amazing card from you, with a very sassy girly image.

    I hope you and your wife have a wonderful Christmas and a Very Merry New Year, and I look forwards to reading your brillant blog throughout 2013.

  14. amazing cards!
    Merry Christmas!


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