I married a colour blind man so in our house we do Christmas a little differently. Our first Christmas together as husband and wife (and parents) I giddily greeted my mister at the door and with a big ‘Price is right’ sweep of the arm and pronounced ‘TADA, THE TREE IS UP”.
Uhuh, he smiled and kept walking not as thrilled as I had hoped he would be with my Christmas decorating skills. I had tinsel, baubles, lights and cute reindeers…everything was decked out in traditional red and green…woopsie. My mister sees the traditional colours of Christmas as murky greys and browns so no wonder my decorating wasn’t thrilling him…so in our house we do colour and lots of it!
We have a white tree and our decorations are in hot pink, aqua, silver, green and white. When I was little my nana had a Christmas tree decoration for each of her 6 grandkids, they were little bird decorations, mine was red shiny and fluffy. About 10 years ago I was on the gold Coast and stumbled on some hot pink birds which took me right back to being an 8 year old so proud of her special bird on her nans tree…and so began my collection of Christmas birds that feature heavily on our tree.
Every year I’ve been a bit of a scrooge and taken over the decorating of the tree and even when my boys did help out I waited until they were at school and rearranged their work…shameful really but I know I’m not alone in that…am I?
When I was going through chemo I was so freakin sick, I had an infusion the day before Christmas and was in hospital for 2 days prior to that…yeah it was a shitty time. This was the Christmas where I learned to let go, I let the boys do the tree, wrap presents and decorate the house. The nurse came Christmas morning and I taught me how to inject my stomach (yay!) then left and the four of us celebrated love. We had trifle, a few presents and we had love…it was a game changer Christmas and one of our best ever. This year I’m back baby and the boys were happy for me to do the tree so I put together a few tips for you all on tree trimming, cause I’m good like that LOL.
When buying a tree think about scale and proportion, how big is the room that will house the tree? We have a huge white tree in the shed because I totally forgot I live in a small house with regular height ceilings DOH, now we use a smaller tree that doesn’t overwhelm our room.
Try to never buy ornaments that shatter…think kids, pets n oldies, you totally know that no one wants glass dramas on Christmas day.
Throw away your tattered ornaments. We are spoiled for choice these days and you can pick up ornaments cheap. If you are on a budget purchase multipacks to stretch your dollar further. On the flipside if you have a much loved ornament that’s on it’s last legs then take the time to repair it, a little pva glue can work miracles.
If you have toddlers who can’t keep their hands to themselves or a puppy then make some changes and have a tabletop tree. I remember one year we had our tree up on a blanket box to help the boys out, it’s only for one Christmas so let go of your thoughts on how Christmas ‘should’ be and adapt it to suit your stage of life.
Garlands instantly add depth to your tree, as do lights. Speaking of lights when decorating your tree start with the lights, then add feature ornaments finishing with fillers like baubles. Don’t forget to decorate the sides and back of your tree, check all angles.
You don’t need to use every ornament in the box, step back and look at the balance and distribution of your ornaments and stop before it gets droopy under the weight of a thousand ornaments.
Add a tree skirt. We usually have a train and village at the base of our tree but the last couple of years haven’t bothered as it makes the room feel cluttered. This year I’ve draped wadding around the base to look like snow and for the presents to sit on.
Don’t be afraid to mix modern ornaments with your traditional ones. I have a light bulb ornament that my eldest made in kindy that proudly sits on our tree. I also always add 2 photographs, one is a polaroid of both the boys on their first Christmas together (one son is 9 months and the other is 3 and a half),the other is a pic of their last ever Santa photo together. My oldest is 13 in the pic and did it to humour me. They are both treasured memories.
Finally store your ornaments carefully when you take the tree down. Grab some storage boxes from IKEA and take some care with your precious ornaments.
Our tree is up, evenings are filled with flashing hot pink fairy lights and it feels a lot like Christmas. Even though my boys are 16 and 19 once the tree goes up they start to get a little Christmas spirit…it’s about the kids after all.
When do you put up/take down your tree?