Holidays/ Home & Garden

Yvestown Christmas Past

Today I like to take you on a journey through my Christmas past as much has changed but yet nothing drastically.

I love Christmas, I truly do. It’s been fed by my parents and it will always stay there in that warm place in my tummy. It’s the whole December month which starts with my birthday on the 6th, the cold, the darkness, the festive food, supermarkets and shops and all the pretty decorations people make the effort for on walks or drives. I love it!!!

So let’s start in 2007.

It was our last home in The Netherlands before we moved to Belgium. We had to renovate it from scratch and in 2007 the renovations were completely done. I bought the fake tree as the ceilings were high and the rooms very small. I didn’t want too much needle mess in the house and there was no room for a table to put a tree up, so in came the fake tree. The one thing I like about fake trees is that you decorate them so symmetrical and beautiful. I already was in possession of the vintage Polish Christmas ornaments I won on eBay – remember those good old times when eBay was super hot? I was also really into pink, a colour I still love but use more sensible now.

2008 and 2009 I didn’t decorate for Christmas as we were moving into our Belgium home and the house was in shambles.

I moved the fake tree to the new house and as the dining room was the first room to be renovated in 2010 it also became or Christmas room, and that remained throughout the years. You can see that the ceiling of this room is even higher and the dining room was so much bigger as to the previous dining room and living room combined, so the tree looked a bit lost.

2010 was also the year that Cath Kidston still made pretty Christmas patterns, gift wrapping and matching aprons. I started doodling on the old battered kitchen doors and my friend Ingrid gifted me a box of even more vintage ornaments. It was our first proper Christmas in the new house.

2011 is my all time favourite Christmas, not because it was the prettiest but because I really found my decorating niche. I found a way to raise a real tree by putting it up on a table to add more height and volume to our massive rooms. The walls were finally painted and wallpapered the way I like it and it seemed that my Christmas decorations started to go with my year-through decorations. I really started to value that not all things have to be symmetrical to be perfect. This tree is by far not perfect in shape but it makes me so happy.

Look how beautiful those ornaments are. Over time people gave me new pastel coloured ornaments but they look tacky and cheap against the age and time of the Polish ones. I believe that’s how decorating works anyway, it needs to evolve and grow. It’s needs a bit of chipped paint here and there and coffee mug stains, it basically needs a story.

In 2012 I found time between renovating the house to do some crafting again. I started experimenting with dyeing bottle brush trees and I made my own Christmas crackers out of bits of wallpapers that were left.

It was also the year that I tied a Christmas tree on the roof of a Jaguar and that I started to hang paper garlands in the room to add even more of a vintage touch. I can’t remember but it feels that the living room was still not renovated in 2012.

But in 2013 it sure was as we moved a very big family Christmas dinner to the living room. Once again I made my own crackers and I started to use blue and green dye for my bottle brush trees. I just went for the colours in the Cath Kidston wallpaper above the fireplace.

This was probably the last year I put a tree in the living room. Two trees is a bit of a competition for me, I found out that I rather have one good tree in one room and smaller decorations in the other rooms of the house. Therefore I always need a dining room, good to know that our new house has a dining room with a adjoining living room.

So 2014 takes us back to the dining room and the pink paper garlands made room for gold paper garlands. The tree is nice and slim again and I started to dress down a bit. The bright pinks and red started to be replaced by pastel and more greyish pinks and reds and I used more greenery.

I made mini wreaths out of thyme and started to fill empty vases with little snowy landscapes. I used linens to dress the table and started to use more candle light – oh my I’m so getting older!

Bo and I also pulled this crazy thing of hosting a winter fair in our front garden. Although it was freezing cold, it was so warm and snugly to be with all my friends again. Bo even installed a sound system under the tents and made a fire so that we could all huddle and sing along. It was a good cold day, I might never do it again!!

In 2015 the love for our previous home died and with that Christmas died a little bit too. We were not getting where we wanted with the house and we were both quite lost. We couldn’t see ourselves living on a busy street in a massive old house surrounded by apartment buildings. We were in desperate need of something else, something to grow old and comfortable in. Talk came about selling the house, or maybe turning it into a shop, or … we couldn’t figure it out. So a few months after Christmas we sold it and we are now very much looking forward to Christmas 2017 in our new clock shaped farmhouse.

Isn’t it interesting to see how sober everything is? My mood really reflected my Christmas decorations. I remember that it took two trees last year before I was merely satisfied. It just wasn’t there … Christmas had left the building.

I did however get to make this window decal and the good news is that I sell them again this year. Go to my Etsy shop, there are still a few left.

That was a journey through my Christmas past as a blogger.  I hope you enjoyed it. There are so many wonderful more Christmas memories … ah I could write a book, maybe one day I will and call it my masterpiece. I’m decorating the temp house and will soon share the result. December is always an extremely busy month of the year for me. Tomorrow it will be my birthday, I have a meeting on the 7th, dinner dates with friends this weekend, next week I’ll be in London again for our annual Christmas shopping trip and then it’s Christmas.

You can always follow me on Instagram for more Christmas cheer. Thanks for being with me through all these Christmases xxx

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  • Maike - Kook Gewoon
    05/12/2016 at 15:15

    Hi yvonne, zag vandaag bij de Bruna in een van de bladen je prachtige kersthuis. Wat fijn dat er in 2017 weer zoveel moois op jullie pad komt waar je inspiratie uit kunt halen. Alvast een fijne verjaardag morgen en een kerstige feestmaand!! groetjes maike

    • yvestown
      05/12/2016 at 15:44

      Hey Maike, wat fijn dat ik jouw (voor mij nieuwe) website heb gevonden. Ik zie dat wij dezelfde theme gebruiken. Jij ook een zalige december maand. Ik hoop dat wij elkaar in 2017 weer eens in het vlees zien 😉

  • Jeska
    05/12/2016 at 15:33

    So many years of festive beauty! Love the decal – just snapped one up! xxx

    • yvestown
      05/12/2016 at 15:37

      Yay. Thanks Jeska xxx

  • Bart De Roeck
    05/12/2016 at 17:40

    Altijd weer een feest bij jou! Love!!

  • Sabrina
    05/12/2016 at 18:40

    I’ve been following your blog for so many years now and I remember all those Christmas pictures. Thank you for sharing your home throughout the years!

  • Jane
    05/12/2016 at 21:54

    Happy Birthday wishes to you.

  • Daan
    05/12/2016 at 21:57

    Lllllllooooooove it!!!

  • Jeannet | FlowerHat
    06/12/2016 at 11:22

    Wat een mooi overzicht! Ik volg je blog al lang en bewonder je foto’s.

  • Jeanette Renting
    06/12/2016 at 11:59

    Gefeliciteerd!!!!

  • Rena
    07/12/2016 at 22:44

    Happy New Year in Life, dear Yvonne!
    You are such an inspiration with your truthful, honnest and uniquely designed posts. I have to say that 2011 was the year I loved most with your table tree! And I still adore your letter cushions! Be {very} happy, xoxo Renaha

  • Ellen
    07/12/2016 at 22:53

    Beter laat dan nooit:
    Van Harte en Hieperdepiep!

    Prachtige plaatjes, Yvonne!

  • Petra Matthew
    10/12/2016 at 08:13

    Wat een gezellige post en zo herkenbaar.

  • SofDeLyon
    10/12/2016 at 11:49

    That is true Yvonne you are such an inspiration ! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us 🎄🌲❤️