Have a home-made, traditional Christmas

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‘Tis coming up to the season to be jolly and – all too often – the season to shop for sometimes costly Christmas wreaths, giftwrap and other festive decorations.

But it seems that, increasingly, people are making a move away from the mass-produced marketing of Christmas, instead choosing to dust off their own long-forgotten crafts skills and make their own pretty, seasonal treasures.

And, across the county, there are plenty of courses which have been lined up to help people conjure up their own home-made Christmases.

At Kelmarsh Hall, in-house florist, Louise Wesley, is all set to lead workshops to teach people how to make their own festive door wreaths (December 10 and 11, cost £95 for non RHS members).

Louise said: “People are getting very into this ‘make do and mend’ motto. We put the emphasis on it being a fun day, but people do go home with something they have made.

“We really bring it back to basics. They will have a copper ring and, by the time they leave the room, they will have a seasonally-decorated door wreath. People have the choice of making a traditional wreath with oranges and cinnamon sticks or be contemporary, where people might stick to one colour.”

Kelmarsh will also be running Christmas table decoration courses with Quercus Flowers on December 12 or 13 (£40 for non RHS). Call 01604 686543 to book either course. Wreath making demos can be seen at the Christmas at Kelmarsh Fair on November 30 and December 1.

Across the county, at Bay Tree Cottage, in Farthingstone, (near Towcester), there is a huge array of festive workshops planned. These range from making Christmas decorations from willow and rush (tomorrow, £95) to making Christmas candles (Wednesday, £75) and creating a Victorian Christmas (Thursday, November 28, £75).

Other courses include stained-glass decoration making (Friday, November 29, £95) and a class on making festive gift tags, wrap and bows (Tuesday, December 3 or Saturday, December 14, £35).

Owner Jenny Dicks said: “In the Victorian Christmas course we will be making traditional decorations such as kissing balls; they hung up a bunch of mistletoe and people would take a berry from the kissing ball in return for a kiss. We will be doing a range of Christmas decorations using ivy and ribbons; all these things are coming back into popularity.” To book, see www.btcworkshops.co.uk