Last weekend we spent a lovely day decorating the house for the holiday season; the whole family gets stuck in with this annual task, and to be honest we usually go a bit over the top. That’s part of the fun though – what other time of year allows you to be so shamelessly sparkly?
I’ve always loved putting up the decorations; as a child I remember pestering my parents every year to let me do it as early as possible. To me, decorating the house feels like the home equivalent of getting dressed-up for a party; everything is spruced-up and looking it’s best in anticipation of fun times ahead. The glitter overload definitely has something to do with the appeal too.
My absolute favourite part of decorating the house has to be the Christmas tree, because it’s the focal point of our family Christmas. It takes pride of place in our living room, it’s where Father Christmas leaves our presents on Christmas morning, and I absolutely love a quiet moment in the evening spent enjoying a glass of wine and its twinkly glow.
We decorated our beautiful new Treetopia tree last weekend. We’ve always had a traditional green tree in the past, but I really felt like a change this year, so we’ve gone for a pure white design with simple white lights. We chose the six foot pre-lit Wiley White design, which currently retails for £118.
The 6′ Wiley tree comes in a really small box for it’s finished size, which will be great when it comes to storing it in the loft. It has three sections which are quick and easy to assemble; you just spread out the branches on each stem, connect the wires on each section together, plug it in, and you’re ready to go. It’s lovely quality, with dense branches, plenty of lights and a very stable base. I particularly love the fact that it’s pre-lit, which saves a lot of time and avoids the headache of getting the lights evenly spaced throughout the tree.
Once our new tree was up, we found the perfect spot for it in the corner of the lounge. It’s a slim design, so fits neatly into the room without being too overpowering. Once it was in place it was time for the fun bit: decorating!
Pre-kids, my christmas tree was all about carefully placed, co-ordinating decorations – can you tell I’m a bit of a control freak? – but I’m not allowed to get away with that any more. Kids just don’t take things that seriously, and I actually really love the fact that they’ve forced me not to as well. Once I accepted the chaos, I discovered that decorating the tree with them is lots more fun than doing it my way – which is kind of the whole point, isn’t it?
The children have produced quite an impressive array of homemade decorations over the years, and these always take pride of place on the tree. They make our tree very much ‘our’ tree; full of family memories and unique creations. I always get a bit teary when all those treasures come out of the box, and the kids love to hear my stories of how and when they made them. My mum’s Christmas tree still sports a cardboard star that I made at school over 30 years ago, and I know our own homemade treasures will always be on our tree too.
Now that our tree is up, we’re all looking forward to those special Christmas mornings that it has set the scene for.
The main event is obviously Christmas morning itself. With young kids, it’s all about crack of dawn excitement; I’m definitely not a morning person, but on this one day every year I’m as keen as they are to jump out of bed and race downstairs to check out what’s waiting for us under the Christmas tree.
Once the grown-ups are armed with a cup of tea, it’s time for the unwrapping frenzy to start. The kids love being responsible for handing out the presents, and once we each have our little pile, we’re off. The beautiful shining tree in the background is as much a part of the tradition as the presents themselves, and I can’t imagine a Christmas morning without it.
While Christmas morning is obviously the main event, I do have a soft spot for those other mornings that happen after the full-on excitement of Christmas day. With the whole family off school and work it’s a rare chance to spend some lazy time together, with late breakfasts, watching films in pyjamas, and probably sneaking a chocolate or two from the family haul. I think Christmas can so easily become just another list of jobs to tick off, so those laid-back mornings are really precious to me. Being able to go with the flow, enjoying each other’s company and our festive home, is one of my favourite parts of Christmas. Now that the decorations are up, those special mornings feel that little bit closer. I can’t wait!
What are your favourite things about Christmas mornings?
Treetopia provided the 6′ pre-lit Wiley White tree for review purposes, all opinions and comments are honest and genuine.