Come on then, hands up, who has got their Christmas tree up by now? Do you have a set date for putting it up or is it something that you just do when the mood takes you?
And what does it look like? Is it tall, small, real or artificial? Is it dressed according to a theme, or is your tree more like a living storybook with random baubles and figures that don’t fit anywhere but just look like a “nice tree”?
Martin Lewis (the Money Saving Expert) did a programme a couple of weeks ago where he was testing various Christmas products and seeing how big brands compared to budget branded mince pies, Christmas puddings etc. He also did a quick survey about Christmas trees where he had the two examples I outlined above. He asked the adults to stand by the tree they preferred and most chose the “themed” one. He then asked the children and they overwhelmingly preferred the other one, the so-called “messy” one. I wonder why that is? I also wonder about in real life, and whether adults dress trees to please themselves, or do they allow children to have what they’d like? I’d be interested in your thoughts.
It made me think about ours – it is most definitely a messy one, but we love it. Personally, I can’t stand tinsel, and I really do not like trees that look too perfect. I’m sure you know what I mean – the ones where the lights are in straight lines, where there are a few strategically placed baubles (matching, of course) and where the tree itself can be any colour you can think of. I always manage to buy one or two new things to put on our tree and we don’t put out everything we’ve collected neither.
Each year it is unique, but it’s most definitely ours and it is seething with family history. There are things from when we were first married, looking a little fragile now, and there are things that the children have chosen or made when they were small. There are things I’ve made myself – my cross stitch phase is there, right alongside my plastic canvas phase items. We do like to have a natural tree (I adore the smell) but for the past few years we have had a fake tree because we can’t justify the expense of a natural one. It has pine cones and berries (also fake) attached to it and it doesn’t really need much more to it other than a few lights and a few dangly decorations and maybe some cinnamon sticks and clove-studded oranges to make it smell nice.
My preference is for all things woodland and evergreen. My house tends to look like a grotto in a fairy dell at Christmas – thankfully the rest of the family like it too. The tree is one thing but the fireplace also gets decorated in the same way. And the hall, and the stairs and if I had my way, the garden would be too!!
I know that my old-fashioned taste is not to everyone’s liking, the same way that other people’s flashing lights and neon blue “icicles” aren’t to mine. I quite like seeing that kind of thing on other people’s houses but not mine, thank you.
We don’t have a set day for putting up the tree really but we do tend to leave it until the weekend before Christmas before we break out the decorations. That’s usually because we are so busy with band and church that we simply don’t have the time, but it has now almost become a tradition in its own right. The house decorations and putting the tree up usually signal the end of band time and the start of family time and it has a real significance to us for that reason.
So what about you? What do you like your tree and house to look like at Christmas? Do you celebrate Christmas at all or do you mark the season in a different way? Are you a “theme freak” or do you prefer a hodgepodge on your tree? Does the decorating have any significance for you, or is it just another one of those Christmas chores to be ticked off the list?
Drop me a line and let me know.
If you have your tree up already why not include a picture? If you post it on your own blog please link back to me so I can see how our houses look round the world.