Advent Thought For The Day: 8

December 8th: Deck The Halls

This weekend many of us will be putting up our Christmas tree. Those that could not bear to wait took advantage of December 1st falling on a Saturday and had theirs up and decorated last weekend. I confess to being one of them. My excuse is that it’s an artificial tree and I have been away all week, so I haven’t really had an opportunity to enjoy it yet. All in all I will have six Christmas trees at The Watch House this year, so I have to start somewhere.

December 8th is early enough to put up a real Christmas tree. If I had a choice I would wait another week, but I have visitors coming next weekend – it’s the all important Strictly final – and I want the house to look and smell super-festive. Even before I got into retail and started buying Christmas decorations for a living I was a Christmas addict. I like my decorations to be plentiful but tasteful, and a little bit quirky too.

Having been in The Netherlands visiting garden centres yesterday, I feel I need to up my game. The Dutch take decorating for Christmas very seriously. They don’t stop with the tree, creating wonderful advent wreaths and table decorations that one just does not see in the UK. The florists shops are to-die-for and much less expensive than at home. This is because much of the plant material is grown locally: the range and quality is superb. Every year I vow to drive a car over to The Netherlands and fill it up with plants, decorations, moss, berries and the endless accoutrements one sees in continental garden centres. I purchased florists’ wire in all sorts of colours with no idea what I would use it for. A glue gun is now top of my Christmas list. With one of these, anything is possible.

I am starting with a simple project which is to decorate three artificial mini trees to decorate my dining table. I purchased all the materials yesterday and carried them back on the plane. They would not fit in the overhead locker on the plane, so they made the journey to London jammed between my legs on a packed flight. Keep an eye on Instagram and you will see how I get on (follow this link to watch on IGTV). I will feature the trees in a post if I find the time.

My main tree, an 8ft Korean Fir (Abies koreana) , arrives at The Watch House this afternoon. I am very excited as it’s the first time I’ve chosen this variety of tree and I hope it will be a success. The tree will be decorated as it has been for the last two years with woodland and countryside creatures, leaves, branches, nuts and berries. I have invested in extra lights and a few new bits and bobs so that I can improve on last year’s display.

Whenever you choose to dress your tree, enjoy it. For me it really is the most wonderful time of the year. TFG.