Jingle, our elf visitor, played it lo-key after his busy weekend and was found sitting at the top of our newly trimmed Christmas tree this morning. So instead of writing about Jingle today, I'm hijacking this post to talk about Christmas trees!
My 6 reasons include
In this post I discuss the following topics:
The search for the perfect tree is one of our favourite family outings. We all get dressed up in our Christmas jumpers, wellie boots and Santa hats and head off to our local tree lot. We scour the lot for the tree we think deserves the pride of place in our lounge for this year's Christmas celebrations. We take lots of photos before, during and after the whole excursion and the children love running around between the trees. Our local lot also has a few farm animals which the children enjoy visiting and petting. It is never a rushed affair and sometimes it can take an age to decide (or sometimes we see it straight away) on the perfect one. But who cares, right? We're together and making memories and that is the whole point.
Let's face it. A lovely, full, lush, green tree decorated with trinkets and baubles that are sparkly and pretty and that have significance to your family is just plain beautiful. I always set up the tree in the same way. Place it in the stand, cut the wrapping and leave it to “flop” into it's position before I trim off any branches that are messing with the symmetry ;). Then it is the placing of the lights, any bead strings ( I loathe tinsel) and finally the ornaments, skirt and star.
A beautiful tree provides a focal point for all Christmas festivities. We pose in front of ours for our annual Christmas photos, it provides a backdrop to our Christmas eve concert, and of course is the place where Santa leaves his gifts. I love to switch off all the lounge lights , switch on the tree lights and sit on the sofa staring at it twinkling in the dark.
Our tree is topped with a star. We've had many different ones through the years but when they have broken or lost their sparkle, we've always replaced it with another star. Some people use and angel, but we like the star as it is a symbol of the star over Bethlehem. The placing of the star is a shared honour. Each child gets a turn for that year. This year was my youngest boy's turn as it is the first time he can really remember and appreciate doing it. Before that was the middle boy and before that my eldest. She is looking forward to it being her turn again next year. We all gather round the tree to watch the star being placed and it's a sweet family moment.
I'm a fan of Christmas lights. We have quite a few strings of lights up during December. Although I like lots of lights, I don't like flashing lights or coloured lights. They must be warm white fairy lights. I have had to compromise on this since the arrival of the children as they LOVE the colours. So for the last 2 years we have had one string of coloured lights on the tree with 2 more strings of white lights. I also decorate the windows with lights and the stair bannister.
Our tree usually goes up on the first of December and marks the start of advent. Sometimes, that day is a work/school day and just does not work, so we pick the weekend nearest it. Sadly this year, we were doing renovations to our home, so I had to wait until the 7th!!! I'm already feeling robbed. Might have to keep it up longer to compensate.
Because candles were used to light trees , a skirt was often placed on the floor below the tree to collect wax drippings and also any needles that fell. Even though we have electric lights, we still use a lovely red faux velvet skirt to hide the
ugly tree stand and to finish off the overall look of our tree. The skirt often ends up being our cat's favourite place to snooze during December and it also makes a pretty place to put the gifts.
It's the time of year we have indoor trees all decorated and lit up to help us celebrate the season. But what about outside? In the village where I live, there are a few people who add lights or baubles to outdoor trees and it looks rather lovely.
I had also heard though that some people also decorate their outdoor trees with food that birds and other wildlife will enjoy, such as garlands made from unsalted popcorn or cranberries, orange halves, and seed-covered suet cakes.
This idea really intrigued me and I decided it would be a weekend project for the kids and I to have a go at. After a quick discussion, we thought we'd add the following things to our tree. It's visible from our kitchen window and it's right next to our front driveway, so we are looking forward to spotting our little visitors easily in the days to come.
So this festive season, once you've spent time together decorating your special Christmas tree, why not check out your garden for a tree that could do with a little seasonal and edible decor. Making the decor for this tree means more fun times with the children and the wildlife will truly appreciate it.