Christmas trees. Real or artificial?

Image credit: Christmas tree

I just love the smell of a real tree & I love going to buy one.

The humming and hawing about which one to buy as if I actually know what I’m looking for.

I go to our local farm & look at them in the outside yard. Usually in the dark.

And so I always end up with one which looked a fine size in the yard but always seems to have grown by about 4 feet in height & width by the time in reaches my sitting room.

Then there’s much moving of furniture & pricking of fingers and ‘trimming’ of the back to get the bugger in the room.

I love the total drop variety.

The glorious old fashioned Spruce. They look so beautiful & fluffy but I know that by January 6th (more of that later) one gentle brush up against the beast & all the needles will drop to the floor leaving a dead but still lethally spikey carcass behind.

When to put up the tree?

I grew up with the clear narrative that there are 12 days of Christmas not 64! So our tree always goes up (and often is bought – which can be quite nerve wracking) on Christmas Eve & is then dragged out trailing its spikes on the 6th January.

My view on decorating a tree is that more, is just well, more and therefore to be embraced.

Christmas Eve sees me & my boys with the 3 enormous boxes of decorations & me with a bottle of fizz (water or champagne depending on budget & current fad) chucking everything at the poor thing.

I go for the spruce as its fluffiness makes up for a multitude of decorating sins.

We have my family’s 70s’ & before glass balls, horrors that the children made when very small, tinsel (oh yes!) and the glorious & very tasteful annual Christmas tree decoration my sister always supplies from Selfridges or Fortnum & Mason.

We chuck on as many lights as possible.

All white –  I’ve never really recovered from the many-coloured Cinderella carriage lights of my childhood melting from age and over-use  – and as many ornaments as the tree can hold.

We always tuck in the odd present between the branches and some sweets.

And amazingly, even though it may look to an outsider that there’s been nor rhyme reason or skill attached to the decorating it always, always looks just bloody great!

So that’s my Christmas tree joy, but what, I wonder is yours?

Do you also love the living tree that the whole family lugs home from the garden centre on the first day of advent and which fills the house with scent? Or do you rely on an artificial one you get out of the loft every year and thank the lord you don’t have to hoover up around every ten minutes?

Do you do the tasteful designer thing with real red ribbons and battery-operated candles or paper doves and frosted princesses?

Fairy Christmas tree

Image credit: Fairy tree

Or the quirky thing with edible ornaments made of cookies and jelly babies and candy canes.

Candy cane Christmas tree

Image credit: Candy cane tree

Or hygge-style with cozily-dressed knitted dollies in muted colours.

Hygge Christmas decorations

Image credit: Hygge Christmas

I have a friend who spends half a day twiddling each of the bulbs in her ancient set of lights before they’ll work.  I get that (oh for my Cinderella carriage lights).  She remembers her dad doing it when she was a child and for her that’s part of the joy of the tree decorating ritual.  She also has a fairy that looks like it may be transitioning to or from Action Man, but again, it’s always been the tree topper and she sees no reason to change that.  Who am I to argue?

But here are a couple I would like to argue with.

Donald Trump once designed a tree made entirely of golden bullion bars.

Donald Trump Christmas tree

Image Credit: Donald Trump Christmas tree

And Calvin Klein seems to think a brutal edifice of steel and fluorescent lights balanced on a hamster cage speaks to the Spirit of Christmas.

Calvin Klein Christmas tree

Image Credit: Calvin Klein Christmas tree

But however you decorate your tree and celebrate your Winter Festival, we all wish you love, peace and good cheer this Christmas. 

Do send us your pictures, we’d love to see them. 

Oh, and if anyone knows where I can find Cinderella carriage lights….

Victoria x

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