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Decorating the Christmas Tree and Our Yearly Christmas Traditions

Christmas Tree World Ultra Mountain Pine Tree

This is the first time in four years that our house has felt finished enough to properly decorate for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, the house is FAR from finished and half of it is still very much in chaos, but we have more semi-finished rooms than we've ever had. And those rooms actually feel kinda homely - not something I've experienced for a very long time!

Needless to say, decorating the house for Christmas this year felt quite different from the years before. Cue the Christmas tree of 2016:

christmas tree made from bricks

Nice huh? 

When I was younger, one of my friends always had two trees in her house. One beautifully decorative tree styled on a theme to perfection. The other, a mish-mash of decorations from either their travels or homemade from school projects. I LOVED this idea of having one more sentimental tree filled with year-on-year memories and one more decorative tree and I remember thinking "I'm going to do this when I'm older".

And so, some many years on - I'm doing it! Two trees, two styles.

The 'decorative stylish tree' as I'm naming it, will be silver themed with hints of gold and it will live in our half-finished, but soon-to-be-beautiful Living Room. The other will be a tree filled with our yearly-purchased decorations and those we've accumulated from European markets (which we try and visit every year!) and this tree will live in the dining room.

So, in the spirit of getting into the Christmassy season, I thought I'd share our festive-filled tree-decorating day with you! And so begins the Christmas-tree unwrapping...

Christmas tree world review

This is the first year we've had an artificial tree and whilst I do love a real tree, I wanted to have a bit of variety in my life. Our tree is from Christmas Tree World and is the Ultra Mountain Pine 6ft tree. It's absolutely nothing like the artificial trees as I remember as a kid (you know, the ones that Freemans or Littlewood would give away free when you spend so much...). It actually looks realistic, bushy and high quality in how its made - a definite rival to any real tree.

how to install an artificial christmas tree
Realistic artificial christmas tree

It was really easy to set up with just three separate pieces slotting together and then to make the tree look as realistic as possible, you have to spend a good amount of time fluffing the branches out. It took me a few goes until I figured out exactly how I wanted it, but once I'd gotten the hang of it, it slowly and surely started to come together.

how to make an artificial christmas tree look real
Christmas tree world
fake christmas tree with realistic needles

You can see in the photo above how realistic the needles on the tree look. There are over 1500 individual branch tips with an amazing attention to detail. The artificial trees I grew up with had branches that looked more like tinsel than that of a tree, so I'm very pleased to say, this one is so FAR from that reality. Of course with an artificial tree, you can also guarantee it's evenly shaped and there are no large areas of sparseness - which is hard to find with a real tree!

The decorations we have for this tree are almost all hand-me-downs (ie unwanted) from Grant's mum which we've used to use to 'pad out' our trees over the years, but since we now have quite a collection of individual decorations, it made sense to use these hand-me-downs on its own tree.

how to hang fairy lights on christmas tree
decorating the christmas tree

All the baubles are either silver, gold or white and then we have a couple of snowflakes and stars to add a bit of variety too. I'm not going to lie - I do feel like it needs *more* to it, but hey, I guess that's what the January sales are for, right?!

white christmas tree decorations
white and silver christmas tree

And voila! That's our living room tree for this year. I'm loving having a tree in this room and I think this will actually be the tree we leave presents under (should we have any!). It's also lovely to have a tree that glistens in the background whilst we watch all those traditional Christmas movies - Miracle on 34th street deffo my fave.

Our second tree may be far less decorative, but it's the one that holds our yearly tradition of buying a new tree decoration every year and labelling it with the year we bought it. The idea started in 2010 when we were rather poor and buying a number of decorations for a tree was out the question for us. We decided we'd buy one each and every year we'd do the same and add more and more to the pile over a longer period of time.

This year will be our eighth Christmas living together, so we now have 16 individual decorations and a few from our travels to European Christmas markets too. Oh and a few that were gifts as well. None of them matches a theme, but they were each picked by at least an hour scrutinising every decoration in the shop and they're each uniquely beautiful and different to the next.

christmas tree with unique decorations
labelling the year on christmas decorations

I love unpacking these decorations every year and remembering all our previous Christmas's and the trips we took to buy them. In case you're interested, here are this years two new additions:

owl christmas tree decoration
fairy christmas tree decoration

This tree might not make it into an interiors magazine, but I love it all the same. It has character and feels very personal. If we had kids, I would definitely encourage some homemade decorations to be added to its stock as well.

I also love the tree-topper of this tree - although Grant hates him, can't think why?!

reindeer christmas tree topper
christmas tree with yearly bought decorations

So that's our two trees this Christmas! We don't have too many other decorations around the home yet - I do intend on buying a few more things in time, but for me, the tree is the main event anyway and I'm chuffed to be able to have two this year. With the countdown till Christmas fully underway, I guess I better start buying a few gifts eh?!

What's your favourite Christmas tree style?

*The artificial tree that features in this post was sent to me by Christmas Tree World. Thanks for supporting this blog!

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