Christmas House

The atmosphere and smell of Christmas is what stays with us, and for me it is the fragrance of sweet, smokey applewood burning in the fire grate, beeswax candles, oranges and cloves and gingerbread which are so evocative. At our Christmas open house event we try to make it look and feel really special. I buy a 24ft Norwegian spruce for outside and huge bundles of mistletoe to decorate the interior. It sounds extravagant but these natural beauties are not as expensive as you might think. One year, I admit I did go way overboard by hiring a snow machine to generate our own townhouse snow as it rarely snows for real here on the temperate Dorset Coast. And then of course it did that year, at Easter! I also fill the house with bowls of white narcissi bulbs and reindeer moss to sell, handblown teardrop shape glass baubles and Nick’s recent oil on panel paintings. I also sell fragrances I like such as Maja Nije’s Nordic Cedar, and an eclectic mix of other precious things I’d be thrilled to receive at Christmas, including antique silver meat covers, old mirrors with mercury glass, Linzi West’s Dove or Angel painted terracotta pots, Abigail North’s ceramics, Molesworth and Bird Seaweeds, and Brickett Davda mugs in cinnamon, ochre and deep inky blues.