I read a great article about Margaret Howell in the FT on Saturday. It's an 'At Home' piece featuring her home in Suffolk, but at the end there's a little bit about MH's approach to Christmas. MH is 'looking forward to cooking, seeing friends and family and knitting in front of the television', and she says, 'I've always liked Christmas, the domesticity of it, making my own puddings and mincemeat, being at home and being a Mum'.
It's so far from the impossibly perfect and glittery scenes portrayed in so many magazines and TV programmes that I suddenly recognised it for my own ideal of Christmas. She (apparently) doesn't make a fuss, or worry about food or the house. Instead, she keeps to what she likes about Christmas and what she thinks are the important things, mainly family, friends, some seasonal cooking, and the pleasures of a break at home in winter.
She pretty much sums up our sort of Christmas, although I hadn't quite articulated it as succinctly and as well. We now have the mincemeat in mince pies (above), the family at home, Elf on a loop, and I have a pile of hexagons to stitch. I'd add books and walks and wellies and warm jumpers to the Christmas mix, but otherwise I'm with MH in being a pretty simple soul at this time of year.
(I love her style and aesthetic, but her wonderful clothes made out of classic fabrics such as cotton, tweed, linen and cashmere are way out of my range. However, the tastefully designed shop on Wigmore Street stocks some really good books on design subjects.
This is part two of the April profile.)
Happy Christmas, and here's to the cosy domestic sort.