*This is a commissioned post for John Lewis*
There’s no denying that, for me, Christmas is all about the traditions. Those little things that you do year in, year out, which make it feel like Christmas. From the foods that you eat to the sort of things you do on the big day, everyone has their own little quirks and habits which make Christmas Christmas.
Putting up the Christmas tree is a bit of a funny one in our house, one which we’ve never quite created proper traditions around. When Ben was really little we had one year where we didn’t actually bother putting the big tree up – with an 18 month old and a puppy it just didn’t seem worth the hassle, especially as we were away for much of the festive period. Since then we’ve always had two trees – a large artificial one in the playroom and then a smaller artificial one which is usually in the dining room however investing in some new furniture this year I think we might have to rearrange where we put the trees.
I’d love to have a real tree but Dave insists we stick to our artificial one, and of course I totally get that it’s more practical but really there’s nothing like a proper tree is there? Luckily we spend Christmas at my parents’ house in York where I get a real tree fix – their tree is usually around 12ft tall (I’m not even exaggerating) and their living room just comes into it’s own at Christmas with the enormous fireplace and cosy sofas.
When Dave and I first bought our tree (probably over a decade ago now I come to think about!) I themed our tree and bought lots of beautiful silver baubles from the local garden centre. Over the years a lot of these have been broken (who buys glass baubles anyway?) and the silver colour theme has well and truly been sidelined in favour of full on Christmas vomit . . . The big tree in the playroom is now a huge mismatch of colour and sparkle with decorations the children have made and all sorts of baubles and things that we’ve collected over the years.
To balance out the Christmas vomit tree, we have “Mummy’s tree” which is a more co-ordinated Nordic themed tree – I decorate that tree by myself. Yes, I’m *that* person.
Each year Dave and I have a heated debate over tinsel . . I can’t stand the stuff but he loves it, there’s no accounting for taste is there.
Over the years our Christmas decorations have extended beyond the tree and we usually pick up something new each year. Last year I had a proper wreath on the front door for the first time (having discovered the joy of command hooks) and I loved it! This year I’m particularly excited by my new felt wreath from John Lewis which I’d had my eye on for weeks (I’ve also got the matching Christmas tree which I think I might put on my desk!) and I love my new sparkly festive door mat (again, not something Dave is so keen on!)
When it comes to actually decorating the house for Christmas, we tend to do it around the middle of the month depending on how busy we are – I know last year we were so busy we struggled to find time to put it up at all – it always takes so much longer than you think doesn’t it! Dave goes up into the loft to try and find everything – last year I had planned to put everything away in large plastic boxes to make life easier but when I went to get them from the shop they didn’t have any! This year I’m definitely going to sort everything out properly before we put it back in the loft. While Dave is finding all the decorations I stick on a Christmas playlist on Spotify and sort the furniture out to make space for the trees.
Dave puts the tree together, leaving off the biggest branches at the back to try and save space, before adding all the lights (I think we have about three strings of lights on the big tree now – the more twinkles the better!). Once the tree is in place the kids go at it with the decorations whilst I resist the urge to rearrange everything. As such our big tree often features a lot more decorations on the bottom half than the top – but I think that’s fairly normal! As the season goes on and baubles at the bottom are knocked off, they are usually re-positioned a little higher up so it evens out over time!
We have a gorgeous handprint wreath which I made with Ben years ago – I even laminated it to make sure it would last! I never forgave my Mum for throwing out the toilet roll Father Christmas tree topper I had made at primary school – we’ll gloss over the fact I was in my early 20s when she did it!
I flipping love decorating the house for Christmas, but I must admit I’m just as happy to take it all down again and that’s one tradition we do stick to – New Year’s Day (or the day after if we’ve been in York which is usually the case) and I’m done. If I’m honest I wanted it down sooner last year but Dave wouldn’t let me! I do so love getting my house back again – everything always feels so big and clean when the decorations have gone, though I do miss the lights!
Do you have any traditions for decorating the house for Christmas?
*As a thank you for writing this post, John Lewis sent us a selection of their Christmas decorations which I can’t wait to add to our festive home!*