Christmas, it seems, has arrived at the Palace of Bundance.
How do I know? Well, the house is throbbing with lights and anywhere there was a previously clear (ish) surface is now full of festive things. There is an even greater chance of finding what you’re looking for. Every plug socket has another string of lights or otherwise flashing decoration and Santa is finding himself pestered by increasingly outlandish demands.
|As you can see, this year’s theme is subtle and understated|
The decoration boxes hauled down from the loft were far fuller than I had thought possible and I’m left wondering if I didn’t have two houses to make jolly last year. Surely I’d hadn’t forgotten something like that. It’s a mystery what we did with all the stuff.
The only other mystery is the whereabouts of the roof of the stable in the nativity scene. We hunted high and low but, in the end, will just have to hope for good weather in our little corner of Bethlehem.
Actually it’s lovely and sparkly and I’m refusing to get grumpy about any of it. (At least not yet, though I know that before the turkey-flavoured burps have subsided I’ll be itching to banish it all again.)
The weather is almost obliging too and it’s seasonally chilly with a tantalising promise of snow.
I’ve worked quite hard over the past few years to reduce our bills (saving energy and reducing the carbon footprint as a welcome byproduct). And many of the energy saving measures have become habit – including looking at ways to turn non-essential things off.
So having a house so brightly lit it’s visible from the International Space Station (or the other side of the golf course, maybe) flies in the face of all that’s frugal and green. However, keeping it turned off is far too humbuggy even for me and, besides, without the twinkles it’ll just look like the tired old tat it is.
The lights, then, must stay on. Old-style filament lights are more expensive to run because they use less power than LED ones – approximately £20-£30 for the season compared to around £5. So that’s a good place to start, with not feeling quite so grinchy.
Otherwise there are lots of sources of energy saving tips to be had on the net. My favourite tips (and the ones I follow) are:
- Shut the curtains & use draft excluders
- Use a cold wash or eco setting
- Make dinner in the slow cooker (often less effort too)
- Only do full loads in the washer or dishwasher (is there another kind?)
- Don’t wash things so often (twinkly lights hide the stains)
Meanwhile, here’s a hygiene tip I hadn’t heard before, but which makes sense as the season of goodwill to men often coincides with the season of snotters and puke. Close the lid when you flush as it helps the germs to go down the drain, not all over the bathroom. Who knew?