Sunday, December 1, 2013

Decorating the Christmas Tree

It was such an exciting thing to get our first Christmas tree. As students there was no way that we had the money to waste on such frivolities, and our first Christmas after graduation was spent apart. He was in America and I was in England, living in London but spending Christmas in Hampshire with my parents. The following Christmas we visited my parents and then the next year we actually owned a one bedroom flat in London and bought our very first Christmas tree. Now we own two homes and have a large collection of Christmas decorations, but I can still remember going to Peter Jones on Sloane Square for our first ornaments.

I put up several trees each year but my absolute favorite tree is a metal one that is just decorated with silver bells and the red garland that I bought for our very first Christmas tree. I have a silver bell for every Christmas since we got married and then a second one for each Christmas since our daughter was born and a third one for each Christmas since our son was born. When they are each ready to have their first Christmas in their own home I plan to give them their ornaments and pass the tradition on. My collection includes any kind of silver bell so some are music boxes, some are sleigh bells, some are sterling, and some are silver plate. But they are all engraved with "Christmas" and the year.

Towle Musical Bell

Sterling Bell

As soon as the bell tree is up I'll post a picture on instagram for those of you who want to see it.

We also decorate a real tree in each of our family rooms each year and here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years.

Buy a large, sturdy stand. If your stand is too small or too flimsy your tree will fall over. Last year I bought the swivel tilt stand. It's a load of rubbish. Don't waste your money. Our tree fell over so many times that we threw it away before Christmas.

This is a great stand...

Buy icicle lights on green wire. Several boxes of them. Place your tree in the stand but wait until the next day to put the lights on. This will allow the branches to drop.

If this is your first year decorating for Christmas then take your time picking your theme. You want to pick something that you will love for many years to come and that you can add to over time. I choose silver, crystal and mercury glass as the theme for our main home. Our first Christmas in London I had a budget of about $45 (30 pounds) to spend on ornaments but I chose wisely because we still use them every year. As our children were born I started doing additional trees with their handmade ornaments in each of their rooms. 

For our second home we were in a very different position financially and so I was able to just buy everything I needed at once. I chose a bronze and gold toned theme. I bought boxes and boxes of ornaments, a beautiful chocolate brown tree skirt, two wreathes for the front door and yards and yards of garland for the railing. Add branches, picks etc for the mantles and tables and my town and country minivan was packed to the roof!

Silver, Crystal and Mercury Glass Ornaments

Do you have a Christmas decorating theme or do you collect ornaments to remind you of places that you have visited? Do you buy Christoper Radko ornaments or shop at Target? It doesn't matter what type of decorations you use as long as you and your family love them.


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The musings of a Town and Country friend...