We have a ritual each year that revolves around decorating the Christmas Tree.

It’s a simple ritual that takes up an evening. If the wood burner isn’t already alight it is lit. A saucepan is placed on it and mulled wine (we have our own special recipe) begins to warm in the background releasing a wonderful aroma into the room.

Christmas music is put on to provide a soundtrack for the evening and the boxes of decorations are brought out of storage.

There’s a warm glow that settles over the affair as unpacking each decoration brings back a memory of when and where they were bought and some are memories of those who gave them to us. It’s hard to pick favourites, there are items from our childhood, in more recent years golden decorated hearts from Fortnum and Mason, straw decorations from Munich, ornaments from Kathe Wohlfahrt bought on a visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, glass decorations from Vienna or ones from Salzburg or a market at Warwick Castle or… don’t ask me to pick a favourite but there is real pleasure just in unwrapping them let alone putting them on the tree.

Do you put your ‘topper’ on your tree first or last of all?

Do you have a Christmas Tree ritual? I hope you do and if you don’t, perhaps this challenge is perfect for you. Enjoy decorating the tree and develop your ritual.

How to decorate your tree!

Before you get started please do think about safety. If you have a real tree and water is a consideration, consider where electrics will be and how you will top up/water the tree. If you have candles around please be thoughtful about placement.

  1. Think about the theme for your decor (it is ok to just do things randomly), is it about colour, about the type of decorations?
  2. Check your lights work (before you put them on the tree)
  3. Lay out your decorations – do you have too many/not enough?
  4. Do you have tinsel/garlands?
  5. Ensure your tree is secure and stable
  6. Lights go on first. (Decide if lights are going right to the top (I tend to start from the highest point and work down when layering, others suggest the other way))
  7. Tinsel next
  8. Ornaments last of all (do think about pets if you have chocolate ornaments, chocolate is toxic to dogs (consider visitor’s pets))
  9. Top the tree (some people prefer to do this earlier on)
  10. Stand back, admire and enjoy the moment!

Here’s some wonderful inspiration for tree decorating:

Elle Decor – 80 Christmas Tree Ideas That Will Outshine the Presents

Country Living – 90 Festive Christmas Tree Ideas to Try This Year

How to decorate a Christmas tree like a House & Garden editor

Fortnum and Mason – Christmas Home Decorations

Kathe Wohlfahrt – Christmas decorations

BBC Food Mulled Wine Recipe

BBC Food Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Delicious Magazine – Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Delicious Magazine – Hot eggnog

Do let us know how you get on, share with us on social media (you’ll find links on the right hand side of this page or at the bottom on mobile). We’d love to hear from you, to see some pictures and by all means share ideas for next year. We already have a growing list we couldn’t fit into this challenge.

Please continue to follow our Advent Challenge here


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