Decorating for Xmas

Xmas is a time of the year when most of us look forward to some time off work and a chance to catch up with friends and relatives.

As is the tradition, we also decorate our homes in the spirit of the festive season. How many of us though simply pull out last years decorations and hang those up? After a few years, doing this can make Xmas seem a tired occasion.

New decorations

Perhaps this year is the year when you should take a chance to upgrade your decorations and throw away the old; well, perhaps excepting a few sentimental ones that have been in the family for many years.

Where as once upon a time, decorating the home for Xmas could prove to be expensive; with the number of ‘pound shops’ that are now on the high street, it is now simple and affordable to have new decorations each year.

For the more creative though, this is a good chance to make some yourself and is also a good opportunity to get the children involved too; after all, Xmas is really about them … isn’t it?

Xmas Tree

Once, it would be the case that last years natural Xmas tree was dug up out of the garden, but the choice of artificial trees now offers the chance to have an attractive tree that doesn’t continually shed it’s needles (if you don’t understand that, ask your gran!).

Whatever you decide though, remember that Xmas is not a time to compete with the neighbours but a time to relax and enjoy your home and the time off work.

O Christmas tree decorations

Christmas tree decorations are made of metal, glass, wax or wood. Popular motifs include spherical baubles, angels, birds, flowers, apples, miniature toy soldiers, and bells. Many of these motifs are symbolic: angels are Christian symbols, while apples are pagan sign of fertility. Some people choose to decorate their tree in a traditional colour scheme of red, green and gold while others go for a fashionable look, with decorations in one colour, contrasted with silver or gold. Some people buy a new set of decorations every year, but others will sentimentally treasure old, faded decorations from one Christmas season to the next.

The pot or stand in which the Christmas tree is stood may be decorated with tinsel and coloured paper, and set on a specially-designed Christmas tree mat. Mats may be simple or highly-decorated, according to taste. 

The Christmas tree, either a freshly-cut tree or an artificial one, looks best with some kind of lighting. In Victorian times, real candles were attached to the tips of the branches and lit on Christmas Day. Nowadays, however, most people choose to use strings of electric fairy lights, available in a wide range of colours and different sizes. These are usually the first item to be put on the tree.

Next, a string or two of silver beads, stars or even painted popcorn may be looped around it. Silver or coloured tinsel is another popular choice. The baubles and other decorations are added next. Foil-wrapped chocolate decorations are a good choice for families with children, although some people prefer to add brightly-striped striped candy canes. Ribbon bows attached to the branches are another option. Finally a fairy doll, angel doll or sparkling star is fixed to the very top of the tree.

The joy of artificial Christmas trees

An artificial Christmas tree is a very popular choice around the holiday season. It’s no longer customary to go choose a tree to chop down in its prime of life once a year; now, it’s more a case of getting a box down from the attic and re-assembling that ever-popular icon of Christmas festivities.

There’s so many perks to having an artificial Christmas tree rather than a real one. Granted, it may not have the gorgeous pine smell that so many people associate with the festive season, but it will save endless vacuuming sessions as there’ll be no pine needles covering your carpet. You won’t have to worry about the tree browning, drooping or dying before the season is up. You won’t have to worry about caring correctly for it. Your artificial tree is yours for life – that is, until you decide to choose a new one.There’s so many more choices in purchasing an artificial Christmas tree these days too; you can choose different colours, shapes and sizes. It’s not unusual to see black or white trees, or even purple or pink. You can buy trees that are already lit with fairylights, or trees pre-loaded with baubles and decorations so you don’t even have to go through the arduous task of decorating it yourself.Artificial Christmas trees are available almost everywhere, and usually you can pick one up as cheap as £5 in some places. There really is a tree available for everyone, thanks to the massive range of choices now available for artificial trees.

Christmas tree

Christmas simply would not be Christmas without the Christmas tree. It is a key part of the festivities, allowing the family to get together to adorn their household tree with ornaments from the decorations box that they keep in the attic or basement. Although plastic trees are gaining ground over the real thing, the fact remains that the tree is an integral element of Christmas celebrations around the world.

It is unclear exactly where the Christmas tree originates. Although its familiar form can be traced back to sixteenth-century Germany, its earlier inspirations are shrouded in obscurity. Various possible origins have been posited by commentators, associating the tree with everything from the Norse pagan myth of the world-tree Yggdrasil to the practices of Martin Luther, who desired to rid Christianity of idolatry – and it is harder to find a pair of theories that stand in sharper opposition!The Christmas tree came into its own in the Victorian era, when a large number of the customs and images that we associate with the Christmas festivities were developed. Families gathered around glowing, richly-decorated trees for Christmastime became a popular subject amongst painters, who created a large number of images depicting this traditional scene – many of which can still be purchased today as reprints on modern Christmas cards.

So, the next time you set up your Christmas tree at the beginning of the festivities, remember that you are continuing a centuries-old tradition – one with a genuine mystery underpinning all of the tinsel and sparkle.

Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is a time when people decorate their houses in lavish style. The holiday season is an opportunity to display some gorgeous ornaments.

The centre of many homes at Christmas time is the tree, and ornaments for the Christmas tree help set the tone for the festive look. Some like to decorate the tree in a traditional manner with a mixture of colours and styles. For others, choosing a colour scheme is the first step to dressing the tree and the house. Whichever approach you take, choose a mixture of baubles and other hanging ornaments, whether in glass or plastic, and blend them with lights that suit the style and colours you want. Don’t forget to top your tree with an angel or a star.No tree is complete without some strands of tinsel, but tinsel also brightens bookshelves and mantelpieces. A swag or line of Christmas cards draped above a fireplace will also look terrific. If you’re expecting a visit from Father Christmas, then a nice set of Xmas stockings can be hung from the mantelpiece ready for his arrival. Santa-themed signs and other Santa Claus ornaments bring some fun to gardens and window displays. You shouldn’t neglect exterior decorations. A door wreath is a welcoming touch, and outdoor Christmas lights brighten the whole house. Those who celebrate Christmas as a religious festival may want to include an indoor or even an outdoor crib amongst their decorations.Christmas dinner is a big part of the day itself, and Christmas ornaments should be part of the table setting. A festive centrepiece will draw the table together and should complement the tree decorations and other ornaments. Tablemats, coasters and napkins with a Christmas theme will almost complete the look. The finishing touch should be some stylish Christmas crackers.