My year

Farewell to the Fairy Lights

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Is it me or are fairy lights just not the same any more? As the traditional day of taking down the decorations is upon us, I find myself reminiscing, as I often do at this time of year, about Christmases of my childhood and the fact that the decor just doesn’t seem to be quite the same.

Growing up in the 80’s, a lot of the Christmas bling festooned around our house came from the 70’s, lovingly collected over the years by my mum. A mishmash of stuff which didn’t match, cost next to nothing and created a real atmosphere of joy.  I lack the official terminology, but it consisted of such things as:

  • Tinselly-type hanging garlands and laterns (I seem to recall them being popular in restaurants and corner-shops at the time)
  • Curly, foiling streamer-type things (which, whilst being the consistency of milk bottle tops were lovingly curled and re-curled annually so that, against all odds, they lasted many, many years )
  • Plastic, and admittedly somewhat gaudy Santa tree decorations (which made amazing toys.  I spent hours creating homes for them in the tree branches, somewhat messing with the over-all look of the tree, but that didn’t much matter to 5-year old me)
  • A fabulous cardboard sleigh pinned to our parents’ cork wall tiles (cork, I know, but it was the late seventies), drawn by some now very retro-looking reindeer (this sadly ended up in the bin.  My sister and I are on a life-long quest to track down a similar item for the sake of nostalgia and general feel-goodness.  If you happen to know what it is I’m talking about, and by chance have one lurking in the depths of your loft, do get in touch, you’d be making our inner-children very happy).
  • And, best of all,  the multi-coloured, soft glow of lights, with actual tiny bulbs and mini plastic petal shades (far more worthy of the connotation with fairies than the modern LED versions)

I’ve tried my best to recreate this somewhat eclectic style in our festive decor, but alas something is lacking.  I can get on board to a point with colour-coordinated tree ornaments, scandi-style themes and the wow-factor of 100s of bright white lights wrapped round trees.  But somehow its not quite the same.

So, as I gear up to packing away our decorations for another year, I do wonder what my baby daughter will go on to recall about the Christmases of her childhood, and whether any particular decorations will have such a lasting effect on her memory.

In a bid to keep the nostalgia alive, I started a Retro-Christmas board on my Pinterest account – although I suspect it will be a while before I add to it again now. Feel free to drop by a take a look by clicking here

And, as you pack them away for another year, if you have any memories of decorations from days gone by, I’d love to hear about them.

Photo credit: marbles333 via / CC BY-NC-SA

Delighted to be linking up for the first time with

Super Busy MUm

8 thoughts on “Farewell to the Fairy Lights

    1. I have one string of these lights left and am dreading the day when they finally give up the ghost and stop working. And I know what you mean, the weird tinsel things are definitely an acquired taste!


  1. Yes, I do know what you’re talking about, and do love the nostalgia of remembering those decorations and childhood Christmas. But I also love simple and stylish and also really traditional (ie the evergreen and pine cone stuff), so I really like my current decorations too. I just love Christmas decorations & get really sad when they have to go! #MMWBH


    1. Me too, once those decorations come down I always feel a little sad, they really help get you through those darkest days of winter. I think its all to do with how magical Christmas was for us growing up, something I’m hoping to recreate for my daughter as much as I can. I hope my one remaining string of old-fashioned fairy lights lasts that long!


    1. I know, every year I suggest that maybe we should keep them up but my husband very sensibly points out that then it wouldn’t be quite so special come Christmas. Still tempted though…thanks for hosting such a great linky 🙂


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