The nation is divided, no doubt about it, between those who put away their beach wear and start hanging the Christmas decorations (no doubt peeling the sprouts as they go) and those who scrooge about decorations and put them up begrudgingly in the week before Christmas, muttering about it still being “a bit soon” as they do.
I fall firmly into the second category; when your business largely relies on Christmas trade, things tend to be a bit frenetic anyway and the festivities are not always terribly welcome at home. Plus I’ve not been all that cheerful as Xmas recently. But I’ve had a ‘put something Christmassy up on the 14th for the last 9 years or so and since Bene started to find Xmas exciting, we’ve gone the whole hog from about now.
As a side note, oh-my-goodness I had forgotten how excited little ones get about Christmas.
This picture at the top is a better shot that the mid decorating one after I moved it in front of the window. That was silly and makes it look far more ‘gappy’ in the photo than it is.
I don’t know about you, but I have some funny ideas about Christmas decorating – I think it comes from my Nana, one of the 2 houses we tended to alternate between when I was a child. Her decorations were like old friends, always in the same place each year, a comforting, a tiny wire Christmas tree peeping at me from the window half way down the stairs, the same sized, perfectly trimmed potted Christmas tree up on a table in the bay window. And there were always chocolate decorations for us too – it was ALWAYS magical. The thrill of arriving, knowing some of the gifts under the tree were for us, that the car boot was filled with other surprises, the tiny touches around the rest of the utterly familiar house that made Christmas feel so perfect.
We don’t tend to decorate most of the house but I do like my living room to feel festive – Maddy pointed out this week that she anticipates bring her children to my house and the same lights and holly will be on the window ledge. 😆 Everything has a place and a role and I love that, I love the rightness and familiarity of it, it suits me that our tree has decorations from years of trips and gifts and special choosing days, decorations for Freddie and ones the girls made. There are even still some that were in the boxed all in one artificial tree kit the first year we owned a house together. And I’m good with that. Sometimes we have a big tree (one year an over excited tree foraging party bought one so big it felt like Narnia in the living room! Other times we didn’t get one until it was so late we had to just have a tiny table one, other times we’ve accommodate toddlers and crawling babies by having raised one.
Our living room is upstairs and the hub of our decorating and has tended to have our main tree in it, but that tends to leave downstairs a little bare (I’m deeply out of love with my dining room just now) and that’s a shame, because we have our Xmas breakfast there and open gifts from Father Christmas and from the girls (and now boy) to each other.
This year we kindly offered a Christmas tree by Balsam Hill who make a beautiful range of highly realistic artificial trees. Since I have been rushing about like a loon (and now I’m ILL 🙁 ) it fell to Josie to put up the 6 foot tree alone. She did it easily; there are 3 easy to fit together pieces and the bottom screws firm with a simple bolt and then you fluff it up to your heart’s content. She was most impressed it came with gloves for that bit and equally impressed with the sturdy tent bag for storing it.
This meant we got to be a bit arty this year; our upstairs tree has family favourites and downstairs has a bit of frosty druidy blue and silver. I’ve had to go out and buy more since because we didn’t have enough.
I’ve always thought of myself as a real tree only person (it’s my secret inner druid 😉 ) but this one is very realistic but light and stable enough to move about if needs be. The added bonuses are of course that we can use it again next year and no tree died to provide it to us. It also released me from my light string control freakery – I normally have to do them to make a dense real tree LOOK PERFECT but I handed the job to Maddy for this one and next year I might even allow it to have some tinsel. (SHOCK HORROR!)
Check Balsam Hill out for their beautiful range of lit and unlit trees, decorations and more. I’m quite tempted by the snowy one that look like they are in Narnia. I admit I secretly did a bit more fluffing up of ours after I took this photo as Josie hadn’t done quite enough for my taste, but otherwise it was super easy and lovely and effective. It has actually made me look forward to redesigning my dining room so it looks beautiful next year and I can make more of the tree 🙂
I think I’ll have to do a separate post for the upstairs tree, it is giving me a sad look 😉
The post is in collaboration with Balsam Hill Christmas Trees.