Top Christmas tree suggestions

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Not set up your Christmas tree yet? Well, it’s about time! (And these tips will help you on your way.)

When buying and decorating the Christmas tree, there seem to be dozens of things to remember. What sort of tree should you buy? How should you decorate it? Should you do it alone or as a family? If you’re feeling at a loss, we’ve got you covered with our top suggestions on how to buy and decorate your tree.

Safety first

Trees are a safety hazard, there’s no way around it. The dry wood or plastic coupled with warm lights has resulted in many a ruinedChristmas throughout the years. The solution? Test the lights before you set them up; don’t use them if they seem dodgy. Before buying the tree, pick off a few needles to see if it’s still fresh, and water the tree regularly. And, preferably, never leave the illuminated tree unattended – especially not overnight.

Plastic tree or real tree?

You may feel tears running down your cheeks at the prospect of a fake Christmas tree. But times have changed; nowadays it’s entirely possible to buy a fake tree which looks just – or nearly – as good. The trick is to spend some time bending the twigs to look as real as possible and to decorate it properly – and not to buy one which is too cheap. There are definite advantages. First, a real tree needn’t be chopped down for your living room. Second, you’ll be able to use it several years in a row. That’s not to say that traditional trees don’t have their place of course – just don’t rule either option out.

Decorate the tree as a family

You may think that too many cooks spoil the broth – which is true. But a Christmas tree is never a finished product, and it’s an item that the whole family is meant to enjoy. So why not turn it into a family activity by getting everyone to participate? You can discuss your plans together, select items based on the individual tastes, and that way come up with a decoration strategy which will make everyone happy – not to mention it’s fun and rewarding.

Keep it simple

Over the years, most families gather a host of Christmas decorations. That doesn’t mean you should use all of them at once, however – or the poor tree may look overbearing. You’re not trying to win a contest of ‘how much can I stack on the tree?’, after all, but trying to make it look good and fitting to the Christmas spirit. Keeping it simple can go a long way and usually looks more pleasant to the eye than too much.

O let us adorn him

In the world of Christmas decorations, there seems to be a great divide between traditionalists and trend-enthusiasts. If you and your family are the former, you may already have your trusted Christmas array and won’t need any help on this front. On the other hand, trendy decorations are a great opportunity to create a unique and fresh look for your tree. Whether you want to stick with classic ‘Christmassy’ colours of green, red and gold, mix in natural materials like straw or felt or even go with 2018’s trend of rainbow Christmas trees, you will have plenty of choice. Just bear in mind that it should reflect your family’s unique personality.