Now, I like most people am a lover of all things Christmas. Now that doesn’t mean you will see me putting the tree up in November or anything. Personally I think that’s a bit crazy…… surely those who do are bored of Christmas by Christmas right? and neither do I watch all the Christmas movies until we’re reasonably into December. I think there’s all too much danger of peeking too soon and I definitely do not want to fall into that pitfall.
When I was a kid, my Mum and Dad used to do the Christmas decorations the weekend before the big day. Now as a kid, I thought that they were a bit mean as all my friends had their trees up ages before we did. However, they did so for very good reason. You see a Christmas tradition in my childhood home was that it was always decorated with fresh foliage. We’re talking proper Holly and Ivy and Mistletoe here and of course, a real tree too. We would make a family day out of it to go deep into the countryside into the hedgerows and woodlands and collect and forage all of the foliage that we needed with which to decorate our home. I look back on these times now with very fond and happy memories. In fact as I’m writing this, I’m remembering and it was that one day out as a family, that one tradition that really signalled the start of Christmas to me as a child.
My Mum would decorate our tree with silver and gold baubles tied on with red satin ribbon and my dad would arrange the Holly and the Ivy in great swathes around furniture decorated with twinkly warm white fairy lights.
When it comes to having my own Christmas Traditions and decorations in my own home with my own children, I guess I’ve decided to do things a little bit differently.
Now I don’t put my tree up in November and nor do I leave it until the weekend before Christmas, but I think we’ve struck a happy medium in this regard. I do believe that to put the decorations up too early is not good for the little ones as they get too over excited and Christmas then seems so long away for them.
In our house, I have a tree set up in the bay window in the lounge which I decorate in multi rainbow colours having a particular love of the vintage and vintage inspired glass decorations. I decorate the tree with the children in mind. Its bright and colourful and full of dancing reindeers and smiling Santa’s along with the all important “Baby’s First Christmas” baubles and not forgetting the very special decorations that the children have made themselves, such as Beau’s ginger bread man, which is my absolute personal favourite.
Last year we made the brave move of going from a real tree to an artificial one. I’ve never had an artificial tree before and I’ve got to say, I was never a fan. I just felt that they looked just that….. artificial. That was until I discovered Balsam Hill trees. These are the most realistic artificial trees that you can buy. People are so shocked when I tell them that my tree is in fact an artificial one. Now they don’t come cheap, however, with the cost of real trees ever rising, I believe that this is an investment piece that will last many years, but will have paid for itself in just a few.
We also have a garland over the fireplace and one at the top of each built in cupboard. The garlands are decorated with warm white lights, a large jolly Santa head in the centre, miniature rainbow baubles and real candy canes! and on either end of the mantelpiece garland is a large nutcracker.
We also have a large garland weaving its way down the staircase, again decorated with miniature rainbow coloured baubles, warm white lights and real candy canes.
For the boys room, I let them go wild (if you don’t think I’ve gone wild enough already with my decorations). My husband tells me that kids love the all tackiness of Christmas and that I should let them have this one room to decorate themselves. So that’s what I do! it’s festooned with paper chains, foil garlands and hangings, parachuting snowmen and Santa’s and even the windows are decorated with jelly stick on Christmas themed paraphernalia. Now, I’m a bit of an OCD freak and its not all neat and symmetrical in the slightest and I cant pretend that this doesn’t bother me, but I can shut the door and if it makes the boys happy, and it really does, then it makes me happy too. Its pure Christmas magic for them.
On the outside of or house, we have warm white lights following the shape of the house stretching all the way across to the garage. It is beautiful even if I do say so myself! Last year we had a Griswold’s Family Christmas moment where we were all dragged outside and made to stand in the dark, making drum roll noises when the great bit switch on was made….hahahaha
This year, we also have the lights across the porch which isn’t shown in this picture however.
Further, we have net lights in the hedges.
I also decorate my two bay trees that stand on my door step. I plant the base with either white cyclamen or pansies and then wrap the stems with red ribbon and a bow. I also use warm white solar lights in them.
Another thing, I always like to do is to make a wreath for the front door. Now this is not as difficult as it sounds. I’m going to let you into a little life hack here. I buy myself a cheap wreath from a supermarket and then I jazz it up with additional foliage, flowers, herbs and lights. The result is always quite impressive.
For the dining room table, I tend to change the theme of this from year to year. I have been known to make a floral table centrepiece using florists oasis with candles and flowers and I have also used an artificial wreath with candles in the centre. Last year, I purchased a tartan table cloth and the feel was all very traditional, but this year, I plan on going with metallics. I’ve already got the wine and champagne flutes, I just need the copper coloured cutlery!
This year, I also plan on having a second more “grown up” Christmas tree in the dining room. I plan to decorate this in metallic colours to tie in with the table décor.
I’ve already gone out and brought a few pieces for this tree and I’ve to say that Next came up trumps for me. They had a lovely selection of just what I was looking for and all at very reasonable prices. These are all from http://www.next.co.uk