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How Do Your Decorate Your Christmas Tree?

Christmas tree in a cottage setting

I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they decorate their Christmas tree.

How do you decorate yours?  Is it mainly for your children and covered in Disney characters? Is it multi-coloured or colour themed? Do you traditionally string popcorn or walnut rings? But perhaps the bigger question is – just who is allowed to touch the tree in your house?

We always had two trees at home when I was growing up – one in our TV room; a silver tree with turquoise and silver decorations (well this was the eighties). At the time it was massively stylish and I used to love gazing at all the beautiful ornaments my mother had found to hang.

However, the main Christmas tree was at the back of the house in our living room, perfectly positioned so you could see it immediately from the front door as you entered the house. This was always the traditional real Christmas tree with red, green and gold decorations. Absolutely no tinsel allowed but strings of gold and red beads were delicately strung amidst wooden decorations brought back from Berlin and Russia, or wherever my Father had visited with work that year!

But there were, usually at the back, and hidden from main view the odd little decoration which had been on the tree for as long as myself and my two older sisters could remember.  Something we had made at school or picked up somewhere that wasn't quite as beautiful but meant alot to us nevertheless.

My mother, as a designer, was super particular about her tree and it was a long time before we were allowed full rein to decorate it. I remember feeling so proud and such responsibility the first time I was allowed to actually touch the main tree!

Because of this, I always thought that when I had children I would let them decorate our tree however they wanted, but it turns out this is not the case . . .

Just as we did when I was a child, we now get two trees.

The main tree in our living room is fairly traditional, red, green and gold but also with a lot of glass baubles from my annual Christmas trip to Liberty’s. Most of the decorations have been picked up on our travels through the years – a wooden house from Amsterdam, a glass angel from a holiday to Perth, Scotland, a hand made fairy from an art shop in Battersea when we lived in London etc  I love unwrapping these decorations from their boxes every December, it is like greeting old friends as memories of where we bought each one arise and fill the house. I do let the children ‘help me’ decorate but this is most definitely not their tree but mine!

A smaller tree sits in our snug which I class as the ‘children’s tree’. I fell in love with some knitted decorations from The White Company a few years ago – Father Christmas, reindeer, polar bears etc These now grace our tree along with some lights, little silver bells with tiny red ribbons and an angel my best friend knitted for me which is a very treasured gift. But as the festive season rolls along different baubles appear on this tree, created and painted by my two little beans – and whilst I treasure absolutely every single one of them, it does take all my willpower not to shuffle them to the back!

What are the tree rules in your home? Because believe me, you will have them!