It’s already a few weeks past Christmas by now but with being in Denmark, celebrating New Years with Daniel’s family and most of my days spent by my desk working on the novel, I haven’t taken the time to write this before now. Sometimes it’s more important to live, than worry about being timely relevant.
Last year I wrote a post about the things I got for Christmas and since it seemed to be one of people’s favourite posts, I’ve decided to write one this year, too.
I’m trying to be more minimalist and conscious about the things I buy and wish for these days, so the whole deal about Christmas presents shouldn’t really be my thing. Here is the thing though: I love presents. I love spending November and December looking for the right things to give people and I love receiving something in return. Every Christmas and every birthday, I receive so much thoughtfulness and love through these gifts. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore and yet it still surprises me every year that the people in my life know me so well; that they always find just the right thing for me.
Here are some of the things I got this year:
Homesick by Eshkol Nevo – Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge – My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – How it Works: The Wife (Ladybirds for Grown-Ups)
Christmas isn’t really Christmas without new books! Daniel found Homesick in our local bookshop and thought it sounded like something I would like (it is!). Illyrian Spring has been on my wishlist ever since I read Bridge’s other novel Peking Picnic, which I loved, so I’m glad I’ll finally be able to read it. I put Strout’s book on my wishlist after reading the first few lines in a copy in the bookshop and the last one was a surprise.
Reading about people who are between places and situations…. Well, you can probably guess why I like that sort of thing. It also gives me a chance to sofa-travel through January, which is the worst month of the year for me. This year I’ll be going to Jerusalem/Tel-Aviv, Dubrovnik, New York and… then back to the kitchen, it appears, based on Daniel’s last, ironic choice of book.
Lush “Northern Lights” bathbom giftbox – The Body Shop “Mango” giftbox
Before I moved to England, I’d never heard of Lush and didn’t know what a bathbomb was. Actually, I’d never had a bathtub in my house before. Now, gifts to make luxurious baths with are some of the things I look most forward to every year. The bathbombs were from my parents-in-law and the Mango giftbox from Daniel’s brother and his girlfriend. It’s the kind of thing I don’t buy for myself that often, so it’s really nice to get them from other people.
Handmade linoprints from Modern Botanics – Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
Last year I gave myself two new books for Christmas and I thought I would keep up the tradition.
For a while now I have been keeping an eye on the work of Mirta from Modern Botanics and finally treated myself to these linoprints. I find them so quietly beautiful and love that they are inspired by the little, simple things in life and that they are handmade using sustainable materials. It’s something I believe in, too.
The book was on my wishlist but I didn’t get it, so when I saw it for half price, I decided to give it to myself. I was very excited when I first heard about Fellowes new book project, as I’ve been a big fan of Downton Abbey for years. I used to watch it with my mum before I moved here and tried to imagine what the English were like.
Art prints from VisseVasse – the 52 Lists Project Notebook
Knowing how much I love art and posters and can’t go to a museum without passing through the giftshop to buy postscards, my friend Katrine gave me these prints inspired by places in Denmark. She didn’t know this but I have looked at them many times before when I’ve been home. It really shows how much she knows me, as it wasn’t on my wishlist but was something I wanted. Now every time I look at them in my flat here in England, I will be thinking about home and her, and maybe feel a little less homesick.
My other friend Claudia gave me the notebook. She knew that giving me a day-to-day diary wouldn’t be my thing, as I don’t like the discipline of having to write a daily journal. Instead she gave me this, which is a notebook with a list for every week of the year that focuses on something happy; a list of things I’m looking forward to; my favourite fictional characters; the happiest moments in my life etc. I couldn’t stop leafing through it after she gave it to me, it’s such a beautiful notebook.
The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent – The Muse by Jessie Burton
I was given a giftcard to Waterstones and unashamedly spent all of it in my local bookshop the weekend after. I know people sometimes worry about giving giftcards because they can be seen as impersonal but to me, getting a giftcard to my favourite bookshop is so thoughtful! The Reader was another one from my wishlist and one that I’m excited to read, as it’s about books and storytelling. While I had heard of the Muse, I’d never actually heard what it was about until I read the description on the back in the bookstore. A novel about someone who works in a gallery in London? How did I not know about this before?!
Tropical Wonderland Postcards – Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 – The Night Manager Bluray
I have been struggling a little bit to find editing software for my photography that I can actually afford and which can help me create the digital negatives I use to make cyanotypes, so my parents got me Photoshop Elements to see if it could do the trick. I’m excited to begin using it and see what it can do. It should be good for writing texts on photos, too, so I might begin using that for the blog.
I have two other colouring books and knowing I like to send real letters to my friends, the boyfriend thought I should have these postcards, too. I still haven’t seen the Night Manager, so I’m happy I can tick it off the wishlist. The series was directed by Danish Susanne Bier, which has made some good films like Love Is All You Need, so I hope I’ll like it.
Grey scarf – Ferm Living hanging picture frames
This soft, grey scarf was another present from my parents-in-law and I have already been using it over my shoulders to keep me warm when I’m reading in my favourite chair or writing by the desk in the second bedroom, which is always a bit chilly. The minimalist frame was from my sister and her husband. They are rather expensive, so I was really grateful that they gave it to me, as my sister probably noticed they’ve been on my wishlist for quite a few years now.
Lego Star Wars “Rey’s Speeder”
After a trip to a toyshop in November to buy a birthday present for my nephew, I have been a little obsessed with Lego. So I was really excited when I got this from Daniel because no one else would have thought of buying it for me. I think Lego is one of the best design inventions ever made and being quite a serious person most of the time it’s really nice to let go of things a little bit and just play with something.
So that’s it! Did you have a nice Christmas and did you get some nice things, too? I know I’ve been posting a bit irregularly lately but I hope you don’t mind, while I try to finish the novel before the new season starts at the castle and I have to go back to work.