I’ve been obsessed with Christmas trees and decorations for as long as I can remember – but I’m not one of those that puts theirs up in November and feels that Christmas should be all year round (you know who you are!).
Christmas is special. And from getting so excited whenever the pink ladders came out and my dad carried our tree down from the loft to unwrapping my mum’s glass baubles and placing them ever so carefully exactly where she told me to (yep – she’s one of those mums!) I have always, always enjoyed the decorating side of things.
Mr O’s family always had a real tree when he was growing up, so as part of our new family tradition we head to Cannock Chase and choose a real tree to bring home.
This year was particularly special for the children (note I say the children – much like sand, I also quite dislike snow!) and I managed not to be the grumpiest Grinch in the forest – until Henry came out from behind a tree covered in mud from digging!
The tree was selected quite quickly this year to my amazement – a 6ft fir just bushy enough to look awesome but not too bushy that we wouldn’t be able to hang anything off it!
And then the decorating fun began!
We bought our first tree from Focus DIY (remember that!), along with the star that we still use every year – long after that artificial bundle of brilliance has gone.
The baubles were bought from B&Q because, well, they just were!
We still use them now, but as the years have gone by (and as the children have come along) our collection of special ornaments has massively increased – so much so that now our tree is pretty much full of personal, individual to us baubles and trinkets that each have a meaning.
Most are from my mum. My wonderful, brilliant mum who buys me a special bauble each year either from a trip we have been on together or one that she has been on with my dad. And so putting them on this year, now that the children can ask questions about where they come from or what they mean, took pretty much a whole afternoon!!
Here’s a glimpse at some of the most special ones…
This is Henry’s. It was on a gift from my parents for his first Christmas. Whenever it comes out I wonder if one day I will give them their baubles – but then I think, nope. They are staying on our tree until the day I pop my clogs…then they can have them!
Father Christmas comes from Villeroy & Boch and was bought for us by Graeme’s Grandma Sylvia. He’s our only ‘traditional’ bauble, and is very special for that reason.
We have eight of these stars scattered around our tree each year. They are from The White Company and were bought for us by Graeme’s Auntie Eileen. She has a knack for finding fantastic gifts – and the fact that you can spritz these with their ‘Winter’ room spray makes them even more special. They make the house smell wonderful.
A personal favourite of mine, this is a Limited Edition Swarovski Christmas bell from 2015 (the year Henry was born). My mum bought it for me. I have to admit, this is the first year I have put it up – simply because I have been too scared to get it out before! The children know not to touch this one!
You can just see Ruby’s 1st Christmas bauble in the background of this shot – she hung this herself this year, it was the first to go on the tree and I love how bright and colourful it is…just like her personality, it really shines through.
Two very different baubles now…a glass hand decorated one from Gisela Graham bought in Liberty London the year that I was pregnant with Ruby and a hand painted bauble from Germany that I love because, when you hang it in front of a light, it looks like the village is all lit up and cosy.
This is my brand new for 2017 bauble! It’s gorgeous isn’t it. Handpainted and all the way from Russia – my mum and dad bought it for me whilst they were on their cruise. Mum said that some of the baubles were so intricate that she couldn’t believe her eyes. I love the way this one twinkles and glistens in the light.
Another of Henry’s baubles – his first Christmas one, bought for him by Graeme’s parents. I love that it has his name, birth weight (shudder!) and his date of birth. The snowman’s cheeky face always makes me laugh too!
Another Gisela Graham number – this time from Fortnum & Mason when me and my mum were on one of our trips to London. And a cheeky Santa dangling behind! This one came from our next door neighbours at our old house. They gave us a number of interesting decorations…this one and a cracker are the ones that made it through to the tree!
Another gorgeous Swarovski bauble from my mum. This one is so pretty and my camera doesn’t do it justice – but it shines and shimmers and with the snow outside today it has really made me feel so totally Christmas-sy!
We’ve also got so many of the children’s handmade decorations on the tree this year, which I just love. They were so proud, getting them out of the box and putting them on the tree.
And once it’s decorated…it is Ruby’s job to put the star on top!
With Daddy’s help of course!
Letting go of control of the decorating, and watching the smiles on their faces was 100% worth it.
And the tree looks pretty darn awesome!
Do you have any special ornaments? How do you decorate your tree? I’d love to know.