Sunday Tittle Tattle: Christmas Comes (Really Really) Early

very early christmas

I’ve had a very odd week in which I’ve found myself plunged, rather prematurely, into a state of Christmas excitement. It started with the delivery of a pre-lit Christmas tree from Next (I can highly recommend one of these if you hate pine needles dropping everywhere and also can’t be bothered with the rigmarole of detangling your string of fairy lights every year!) and it ended with me deciding to be incredibly organised and write a festive shopping list.

It’s possible (but I don’t want to jinx things, so stay calm) that we may be in a new house by Christmas. I haven’t really spoken about our house-hunting progress, even though I promised to keep you updated. I suppose that I have been reluctant to write about it for a few different reasons, but the biggest one is that it has been a stressful enough process without adding an audience into the mix to witness our mental unravelling!

I thought that it would be relatively easy to find our dream home, seeing as though we had already sold our last one and were ready to pounce, but things have been a bit bumpy. Once I know that our future home is secured, I’ll do a proper post, but until then I’m sort of skimming over the issue. I only mention it at all because having the Christmas tree delivered made me think about how nice it would be to have moved and be settled in at our new place, to be able to retrieve the decorations from storage and dig out my Nigella Christmas cookbook and all of the bits and pieces that make me feel jolly and bright..

noel neon sign from next


The Christmas tree was dropped off because I was shooting a gift guide for FeelUnique and wanted to have something gorgeous and sparkly in the background. Next also very kindly sent the amazing neon Noel sign, above, which looks great in pictures and makes an unusual and very modern addition to my decorations collection. For some reason, each time I switch it on I feel as though I’m in a very trendy art gallery. Christmas-meets-Hoxton’s-White-Cube.

christmas gift guide

So yes, I recorded a Christmas Gift Guide (filmed as part of my new FeelUnique ambassador’s role – coming soon!) and then we packed our pop-up holiday scene away because a) we have no room to move around as it is, let alone with a big tree in the living room and b) it’s far, far too early to be decorating for Christmas.

And I thought that would be it for a while, but then I found myself on the train to London, heading to Claridges to celebrate my friend Tanya’s latest book launch, a book all about – you’ve guessed it! – Christmas.

tanya burr christmas

Tanya Burr is probably the most Christmassy person I know. She throws the sort of Christmas party that I always thought Christmas parties would be like when I grew up  – candles flickering in the windows, a gorgeous wreath on the front door, carefully thought-out festive cocktails… She throws the sort of Christmas party I would dream of throwing if I could ever get it together to actually throw a Christmas party. The reality of my Christmas party would probably involve a lot of wine, a lot of crying, an M&S pre-packed cheeseboard selection (with free knife, which would be handy as I don’t own a cheese knife anymore) and sending Mr AMR multiple times to Tesco to panic-buy napkins, wine glasses (we are now down to seven) and hand soap for the downstairs loo.

tanya burr christmas

Anyway, a leisurely and highly enjoyable browse through Tan’s new book gives me hope that I might one day be able to pull together a festive gathering of some sort. (Perhaps in the new house!) Everything’s covered – the baked camembert, the cake, the decorations, even some quick and easy makeup looks.

tanya burr christmas

As usual (this is Tanya’s third book) it’s beautifully presented, with lovely photos and a clean, pretty style that makes you want to tear the pages out and stick them on the fridge as inspiration. (Don’t. I’m funny about tearing pages out of books! Though not about turning the corners down to mark your page. I personally think that’s acceptable, but it drives my Mum mad. Different horses, etc..)

You can find Tanya’s Christmas on Amazon here* – it’s £8 for the hardback version. You can also find on Amazon, before I forget, David Sedaris’ newest book, Theft By Finding*. I mentioned this a while back and was aiming to put up a review the same week, but I haven’t read it yet. Sorry – I think that my reading recommendations are going to be very thin on the ground this year, because I haven’t really read much at all. It has probably been my most meagre year, in fact.

So there, a Christmassy week. Oh – I almost forgot! – on my way to London, I tried to plug my earphones into my new iPhone 8 and there was no headphone socket! So I had to plug them into my laptop instead. (I’m not big on listening to music, as you’re about to realise, but the man across the aisle had his on so loudly that I could hear the tick-tick-ticker-ticker-tick-tick rattling of it, which is something that drives me absolutely insane, so rather than give myself high blood pressure I thought I’d drown it out.) When I opened my laptop iTunes, I had ONE ALBUM available to play. (The others were in the clouds, apparently.) Guess what it was? Guess what the last album I listened to was?

Now That’s What I Call Christmas! 

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. Tricia Hill
    October 22, 2017 / 8:19 am

    For next time on a noisy train, get some Flare Audio Isolate ear plugs. They work brilliantly to cut out annoying noise and I don’t travel without them. They saved my sanity on a Eurostar trip when I was in a carriage with 50 teenagers…

    • October 22, 2017 / 3:42 pm

      Thanks, will look them up! x

  2. Maireaddy
    October 22, 2017 / 8:19 am

    I CANNOT believe you turn down corners. I’m scandalised, I tell you!

      • Becks
        October 23, 2017 / 9:26 am

        if the book belongs to you , enjoy and make it your own

  3. Jane
    October 22, 2017 / 11:23 am

    Ruth, what was the lovely dress you were wearing to Tanya’s launch at Claridges? It was fab!

    • October 22, 2017 / 3:42 pm

      It was the Zara one from my “what I’m wearing: summer” video!! Not sure whether they still have it. xx

  4. Hannah Chaney
    October 22, 2017 / 11:56 am

    Yesssss Sunday tittle tattle is back!! Love love love ❤️

  5. Jemima
    October 22, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I am looking forward to hearing all about your home adventures! I really hope you will be in for Christmas, as we hope to be in by Christmas too. Ours all unravelled and we ended up offering on another, better house. A bungalow actually! But that will suit my Aussie husband. And it needs a lot of work, but I still can’t wait to get in there. I hope your move goes smoothly. You’ve got me feeling all Christmassy too. I do love Christmas! X

    • October 22, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      It’s just the feeling of being IN, isn’t it?! Hope all goes well xx

  6. October 22, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Turning down corners is a crime! I am there with your mum and I am offended you could even consider this!

    • NIN
      October 23, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      freedom for page corners downers!

  7. Kathi
    October 22, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    Happy EARLY Christmas!!
    How funny…bending the book corner,
    not bending, using book markers,
    only to find the cat pulls the markers
    out (several times), and finding little
    remains of chewed up wet markers.
    Whatever floats your boat…
    Life is short, hold on to your sanity,
    and fold over the corners, or not…
    Who really gives a fig, unless it’s
    borrowed! “Everyone to their own
    taste said the old woman who kissed
    the cow”…. hugs!

  8. October 22, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    I need to get my hands on Tanya’s new book, as a massive Christmas nut, I’m sure I’ll love it!


  9. ABK
    October 22, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    You know, our family’s been in similar home transition status and I’ve been watching your page for ideas about where/what fellow househunters do! So peripheral to beauty but actually more important! Would love it if you shared your brainstorms on real estate here more!

  10. Emily
    October 23, 2017 / 7:28 am

    I swear that houses are like good jobs and nice boyfriends: in abundance when you already have one and rarer than hen’s teeth when you need one! I’m sure you will find the right property. I hope you don’t feel pressured to rush into something. Set your sights on a different holiday. Easter at the new house? You can hide eggs in the front lawn and dress Mr. AMR as the Easter Bunny.

  11. Alison
    October 23, 2017 / 9:44 am

    You have two choices re the headphones for the new iPhone – apparently there is an adaptor thingy you can buy that plugs into the spot the lightening cord goes, then you plug your headphones into that. Or you stump up the £100+ that Apple want to for those Air Pod thingys. The OH bought them and he says the quality beats the crap out of the headphones that usually come gratis with Apple products. And I see I’ve said “thingy” twice. I blame Jane @BBB. She started it with a mascara post where she said “sticky out things”.

    P.S. Angelica looks so sweet next to that tree! Happy house hunting.

  12. Jane
    October 23, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I really need something/someone to help me love Christmas again. I’ve hated it for years and I’m always glad when it’s over for another year. I loved it when I was a child but I find it so overly “pushed” these days I’m sick of it before it’s even started. Any ideas anyone?

    • NIN
      October 23, 2017 / 5:14 pm

      go for summer vacation to thailand!!
      don’t push yourself to love anything. when you ll ask for traditional christmas days, you know where to find them!

  13. NIN
    October 23, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    happy summer christmas, Ruth!!
    we have still, super summery days here (greece).
    i wish you to settle in a beautyfull new house soon, but as you know, home is were heart is, and i believe it’s everywhere pretty cozy and homey for you, being happy and healthy with yourself and your beautyfull family!
    great blog story!! i enjoyed!

  14. Eliza
    October 23, 2017 / 10:28 pm

    Oh I hope little Angelica wasn’t too gutted that you took Santa Claus (the Christmas tree) away…!! O-o

  15. Claire L
    October 24, 2017 / 4:46 am

    We were given notice last Nov to move out of the city flat my parents owned because they wanted to sell it so we moved to a rented flat in a town 20 miles away. It’s a perfectly fine flat but I don’t feel settled because it’s a bit small for our needs and there’s very little storage, we still have about 6 boxes that we can’t empty and more in my fiance’s dad’s cellar. We threw away half our stuff when we moved so it was a big upheaval, one which we haven’t fully recovered from yet. We couldn’t get a mortgage as my fiance had only a temp pensions job and I’m a SAHM with a chronic illness. Now he’s finally been made permanent and my parents will give us enough money for a deposit once we get married next July. I cannot wait until we get our own place and we can put our stamp on the place!

  16. December 11, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    i’d put mine up as soon as hallowen was up if I could

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