Lots of us struggle to get the tree exactly how we want it. You know how it is.... the family trip to buy the perfect tree....Is it wide enough, high enough, full enough, straight enough? The basic expectations are quite high, so lucky the tree that is favoured & finds its way home. And then there are the tree stands to consider, plastic ones with water reservoirs, metal ones with a screw to keep the tree in place in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But I can tell you, after all the years of trial & error, the very best ones cost about €10 & are so simple its almost ridiculous .They have four legs and a screw welded to the centre of the stand, drill a hole in the centre of the base of the tree & screw the whole stand in place. Even if the tree looks crooked when you stand it up, just give it a little push in the right direction. Perfection every time.
Then to dress the tree. Before you start make sure you have everything. Ok, well I might be stating the obvious, but what a pain it is when the lights are missing, or worse still not working. The ribbons or tinsel are old & tired or just cant be found.
So assuming you have everything let us begin.
1. Always start with the lights, lots of them. Start at the top and layer them on the tree set by set , push them into the branches not just on the edge to create depth.
2. Use ribbons, tinsel or feather boas next. I usually make 3 lengths about 1 and a half times the height of the tree. Join the three lengths at one end. Put the joined end on the top of the tree and one at a time twist them around the tree (like a maypole).
3.Next come the large decorations(about 9 items) moons, stars, teddys, flowers. Hearts would be good this year as they are readily available, or whatever you can think of. Decide on a theme and follow it through. One year we found some large clusters of crystals and they looked great. Use your imagination, but think big for impact.
4. Fill in the gaps with an assortment of decorations, mix it up or stick to a theme, anything goes.
5.Save your very special decorations until last and give them prime position on the tree (if you do this first they can often get buried by the others). It is a nice idea to give a special decoration to each other every year. You can write the date on the back and years later it will bring back memories.
6. Last of all, What are you? A fairy or a star family, or maybe even both...whichever it is someone has to climb up & perform the ceremony.
This year we are delighted to recommend the following Irish online stores .They have some of the best decorations we have seen in years. So 10/10 to the following .
April and the bear and Moss cottage have a great range of affordable decorations and lots of copper, which is hot this year.
My favourite from Meadows and Byrne this year are their silver free standing xmas trees. They are great for window cills , mantels or dressers.. For the tree they have 3 d mirrored glass stars. I know I will be helping some clients stock up there this year. If you prefer not to shop online you can call in to shop. Just check the websites below for addresses .
After all that, turn out the main lights, light the fire & soak up the atmosphere.
Just enjoy the festive season everyone.
More tips to follow.
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