Christmas: the tree, the jumper and the awful wrapping

Ok, small confession first. I put my tree up in mid November. I know, I know, I can feel some of you wincing… but, this isn’t usual behaviour, I was just really excited this time because it’s a new tree (and the first B and I have owned together). And I have zero restraint with new things – clothes, food, giant festive trees… if it’s new I must wear it, eat it, decorate it, right away. I will admit, it did feel a bit wrong and I had a bit of an internal crisis about whether or not I was ruining Christmas… but then I got a grip and up it stayed. Which is good because putting decorations on a 7ft tree took about an hour and doing that twice in one year really would ruin Christmas. Yes, an hour – it’s a really stressful activity for a perfectionist. Unless you can live with similar baubles next to each other and an unequal spread of decorations throughout a tree. And don’t even get me started on tree-light dispersion (and just how long that part took).

Anyway, another Christmas tradition that’s started in recent years (perhaps just in the UK?) is Christmas Jumper Day. One Friday a year around mid December we’re encouraged to wear a festive jumper to work etc. I love it because it means I have an excuse to buy a ridiculous piece of knitwear each year. And even better than that, this day is in aid of Save the Children so by buying and wearing said knitwear it helps to spread the word. (Which reminds me, do donate if you feel so inclined.) This year, however, I think I outdid myself with my jumper. I thought I had it nailed last time with pom-pom snow, but this year… I’ve got dogs in santa hats. If I could design a Christmas jumper, this would be it. Incidentally, my dream is to one day receive a puppy for Christmas with a big ribbon bow around its neck, a bit like in Lady and the Tramp … but how on earth do you hide a puppy before giving it to someone as a present? I haven’t got that part of the fantasy worked out yet.

And one last word on Christmas… for all my ardent perfectionism I am literally the worst present-wrapper ever. And it kills me. I try so, so hard but I can’t cut in a straight line and every time I fold the ends into triangles, they’re misshapen, wonky and usually have jagged edges from where I’ve cut the paper horrendously. So, unlike all those other bloggers who have beautifully wrapped gifts that look like something out of a shop window, mine look like the dogs on my jumper wrapped them. So these days I just hope that people will think it’s, er, quirky and, er, love me for it. And that they’ll know I really did try… but unfortunately the more I try, the worse it looks. So while I’m wrapping a real present in the photos below (blogger multitasking at its finest), there’s no way I’m showing you the details. Although if you look closely, you will see a corner where it started to go wrong…

ASOS dog Christmas jumper
CiCi Marie and a Christmas tree
Christmas jumper and blackwatch check trousers


CiCi Marie at Christmas




Nope, that’s not wrapping to be proud of. If anyone’s interested, the jumper is from ASOS and the trousers are from Collectif – more to come on the latter another day, perhaps, as they have the most amazing high waist. And yes, this is my living room and the beautiful tiles in the above photo belong to the fireplace. When I’ve got things a bit more finished in here I’ll show you it properly!


  1. Laura
    December 13, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    My wrapping is horrendous, it used to be quite good, not sure where it all went wrong! I always get my wrapping paper from M&S, it has a grid on the back so cutting straight lines is easy which helps a bit!

    • December 13, 2014 / 11:44 pm

      My expensive Paperchase paper did not have that. I've been robbed!!

  2. December 14, 2014 / 2:40 am

    No wincing on this end, quite the opposite actually – lots of festive cheering. I pretty much look at any time from Nov. 1st to December 24th as fair game to put out one's holiday decor and indeed have fallen all along that spectrum myself over the years. This one it's going to be a lot closer to the 24th, I tell yah. Between various colds, flues, an ear infection that's heading into it's sixth week, flare-ups, and being rather busy most days, I haven't had a chance to get much up at all. I'll probably do a "decor lite" version this coming week and then try to go whole hog again next year. As with so many things in life, I tell myself that something beats nothing, very much including on the seasonal decoration front.

    Super cute Christmas outfit post, dear gal! That sweater/jumper is squeal-inducingly adorable! 🙂

    Big hugs & the very merriest of holiday season wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:18 pm

      Oh gosh, hope you recover soon!! And thanks for your lovely comment, as ever 🙂 x

  3. December 14, 2014 / 4:45 am

    Aw it must be exciting to own your first Christmas tree with your someone special. You look so cozy siting by the tree and the lighting makes you look so good. Loving your cozy gear also 🙂 Anyway, happy holidays!
    Olivia | Her Name Was

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:18 pm

      It definitely is 🙂 thanks for the lighting comment – we messed around with that for ages and it was the first time I used extra lights, so I was really worried it was going to look bad! 🙂

  4. December 14, 2014 / 4:52 am

    I'd much prefer to have my tree up too early, rather than super late like it is at the moment! And yes, I take an hour to decorate a tree too… That light/ornament ratio has be juuuusttt right! Perfectionists unite. 😀

    However, I also commiserate on the present wrapping trials ~ I try sooo hard, but every year present wrapping defeats me.. Even square, "easy" to wrap presents turn out looking like puff blobs! 🙁 My sister is present wrapping artist though, so obviously I missed out on the genetics!

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:20 pm

      Exactly, perfectionism is just a way to make things look pretty, I say! I don't understand why some people can just wrap amazingly and others of us are doomed to failure… mind you none of my family are that great so I think we're all missing the wrapping gene there!

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:20 pm

      It's so warm and so soft – despite the fact it's obviously amazing because it has dogs in a snow scene on it, it's actually my most comfy jumper so I want to wear it all the time regardless!

  5. December 14, 2014 / 10:20 am

    I'm actually pleased this year that so many people are getting in to the spirit of Christmas, and going to town with their decorations, so I have no problem at all with you putting up your tree in November! At least you HAVE a tree up, and your living room looks cosy and festive and very clean, which is the opposite to how ours is looking with its bare plaster walls and section of floor missing. (We have a LOT to finish before Christmas). I do like the new trousers, they're fab and look so comfy and cosy, I do have my eye on the black ones but haven't taken the plunge yet, maybe if they go on sale.

    I think your wrapping efforts look pretty good from here!


    • December 15, 2014 / 1:22 pm

      I wish I had more decorations than just the tree actually, but putting it up early will have to do for my efforts this year 😉 ugh your living room sounds stressful, hope you get it all sorted in time! Collectif quite often put these trousers in sale when they reduce their winter stock, so definitely keep an eye out! And glad I fooled you on my wrapping, I was mostly hiding the bad bits 😉 x

  6. December 14, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    The tree looks amazing, and I'm exactly the same with the wrapping – no matter how careful I am, it always just ends up an absolute mess! I'm loving the Collectif trousers, too – I've just been eyeing the pencil skirt in this same print!

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:23 pm

      It's like rolling your r's – you can either do it or you can't (I've decided)! Collectif's entire range at the moment I would literally buy every item of if I could. Such lovely things. There's a cardigan with dangling cherries on it… dangling cherries!

  7. December 15, 2014 / 12:56 am

    Haha, you just described me decorating my tree! And everyone wearing Christmas jumpers sounds pretty amazing! You look adorable in yours and I want those plaid pants!

  8. December 15, 2014 / 10:03 am

    My tree has been up since mid November too. And I did it last year as well. NO SHAME! I hear you on the wrapping thing… I LOVE wrapping but they always end up wonky. But I always make sure that at least the top is flat and smooth and then the bottom can be wonky 😛
    love your sweater! supercute.

    • December 15, 2014 / 1:24 pm

      Phew, I'm not the only one! True, if you can get at least one side right that's the side you can present to someone as you hand the present over…

  9. December 15, 2014 / 7:51 pm

    I meant to get a tree, I really did, but with time and money and all that, I never got around to it. I'm living vicariously through all the lucky pretty-tree-and-nice-house having people!
    I love your festive jumper. We've started doing the ugly sweater thing here in the US, and it's getting a little hard core for my tastes. I think I prefer the more subdued version you guys have.

    • December 16, 2014 / 1:18 pm

      Well, if it helps, my tree is plastic and from a local hardware store… so I don't think you can say I went to a lot of effort to get it 😉 I'm glad to hear the ugly sweater thing is in the US too – and am struggling to picture how it can be more hard core than dogs in snow… but I'm guessing you mean actually ugly!

  10. December 15, 2014 / 8:42 pm

    Your tree looks beautiful! Adore the Christmas jumper, so incredibly cute. I can't believe how close we are too Christmas! x

  11. December 16, 2014 / 9:02 am

    I feel you with the present wrapping. I try and I understand the process but mine never turn out that pretty. There's always a weird looking side!
    Also those trousers you're wearing look super adorable! I love them with the leopard shoes. Such a fun mix of pattern.

    Jamie |

    • December 16, 2014 / 1:19 pm

      I think you're the only that spotted the leopard print shoes with the checks… my boyfriend, who was taking the pictures, asked when I was going to change them so he could start taking the photos… I had to patiently explain that it was a deliberate choice and I've never seen such a fast backtrack in my life, ha!

  12. December 16, 2014 / 4:32 pm

    You absolutely make me want to wear pants, that's how lovely this outfit is! I think if I had the perfect pair of plaid trousers I might just work them into the rotation. If I had the chance I'd have my tree up early too. But we always get a fresh one so I wouldn't be able to sneak it by my husband, haha!

    • December 18, 2014 / 1:24 pm

      I think I'm technically cheating by having a plastic tree 😉

  13. December 18, 2014 / 12:51 pm

    This blogpost has made me feel Christmassy (and at the same time, panicky! because i haven't started my christmas shopping yet…..argh….) but you look adorable in the xmas jumper! I love your hair style here, please do a tutorial! 🙂

    • December 18, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      I am so useless at tutorials!! And actually this haristyle turns out different every time… I'm thinking I might find a way to do more hair posts next year, I've just got to work out how… x

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