I love Winter! The crisp mornings, gardens tinged with beautiful little ice droplets, hedgerows glistening with frozen dew. Putting on winter woollies, thick scarves, gloves and boots prepare me for my favourite time of year……. Christmas!
It may not be everyone’s favourite season, but for me, its about family and friends enjoying the festive season. This year will be a little different, granted, due to Covid 19, but it doesn’t mean to say that we still cannot dress our homes with beautiful festive decorations.
There are so many colour and theme choices available to us – from the simple to the extravagant. I personally love vintage, with a twist of natural and Scandi style. A fresh, Noble Fir is my preferred choice of tree - delicious smell/fragrance, lasting quality, needles don’t drop (unless left without water and placed in front of a fire or radiator!) and generally a great shape.
How magical does a tree look when it has twinkling lights festooned through its fabulous, luscious branches oozing that lovely pine fragrance, enhanced with gorgeous and so personal precious decorations!?
Trivia: Introduced into Britain in 1830, the noble fir - or Abies procera - is a native of the forests of Washington and Oregon, US, where it grows to a great height. Regarded as a decorative species on account of its striking blue-grey foliage and steady growth, it is often used in Europe for making wreaths. In Denmark it's often the preferred species for Christmas trees. (Denmark is thee Trend Capital of Europe)
The joy and excitement of when we go to select our Christmas Tree from our local Woodland Farm is huge! We usually go the first weekend in December – when there are so many trees, so many sizes and shapes!!
A little bit of knowledge to share: Christmas trees are graded according to shape and maturity and I always opt for ‘super’ or ‘premium’ grade to ensure my tree looks full and fresh for the festive period and when it comes to the size, I usually go for a 7ft high tree to stand in my hall., but it does depend on where you envisage your tree to be standing as to which is going to be the better size and shape for your home. Generally, Christmas Trees range from 2ft - 30ft – so unless you’re shopping for a castle or a palace (!), I would recommend choosing a tree between 3ft and 7ft. 3 -4ft if you’re planning to position yours on a surface and 5-7ft if you’ve got a big open corner, or hall, to fill. Don’t forget the tree stand either. The type that hold water are the better option. Once you have taken 3 – 4 cm of the base of the trunk, firmly secure into the stand then immediately fill with water and top up each day. Christmas Trees drink an enormous amount of water every day – up to 2 litres.
Carefully wrapped decorations are taken out of their boxes, unwrapped and hung strategically for colour, type, size and weight. I know, I can hear yourselves saying that this is a little too precise and I realise this is not for everyone, but for me, I just love the visual look of the beautiful decorations that we have collected from all over the world on our travels and see them displayed at their best. The heavy decorations are vintage red glass baubles hand blown from Poland. If I hang them on thin or new branches towards the top of the tree, the weight of them will just pull the branch down. So I always, place heavy and larger decorations on the lower branches.
Our international collection of decorations means that we don’t have a particular colour theme i.e. red & gold, white & silver, purple and pinks etc, so spreading the colour is of importance to me to create a visual feast of excitement and intrigue. Taking pride of place is a Star, that sits on the top tip of the tree, looking down on all our family and guests. Wrapped gifts are then placed under the tree ready to for Santa Claus to collect them.
A little bit of trivia; Did you know that Christmas trees can remove dust and pollen from the air?
An acre of Christmas trees provides the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
Germany in 1531.
The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510.
So much history and tradition behind Christmas Tree’s.
Happy Tree Decorating, Happy Christmas and enjoy the Winter Season and all that it has to offer us ?
By Karen Barnes 21 September 2020