My Christmas Tree

When London begins to sparkle with stunning decorations appearing, the festive season has officially begun! Christmas has always been precious celebration for me, a time to reconnect with loved ones and family.   Preparation is crucial to its smooth running, and my desktop is taken over by checklists. By October our tree is ordered, ensuring a healthy, fat tree between 8-10 feet long.  Our tree usually arrives on the last Friday in November and after it is set up, watered and sprayed, I wait another 36 hours for it to drop.  

Bringing the Christmas decorations down from the attic above my son’s bedroom is a family affair, some of them are actually older that our children, but I won’t let anyone near the actual decorations.   

A few years ago, I met the Mayfair Christmas tree guru, a young lady sought after by the major Bond Street boutiques for her brilliant tree decorating skills. After taking her advice, we invested into our current design and repeat every year – perhaps it’s time to change but not just yet. 

Let me share some tips for decorating a spectacular tree: start with the largest baubles at the base aiming to create foundation for each side. Layer and build your way up slowly, gradually using smaller baubles as you rise up the tree. Take a step back regularly and check for balance from all angles. If you have clear glass baubles, save them for the top, closest to the star so they can reflect light, sparkle and create depth.

I tie a pair of baubles at the end of each branch,  and then choose stars. The last stage is hanging snowflakes and filling any holes with branches of red berries. Red robins on a clip perch on each branch.  We have a big red star made from red sequins (?) for the top. Decorating the tree on the first Sunday in December is a very pleasurable ritual and I usually celebrate with a few glasses of champagne, so my last top tip for successful tree decorating is this: place the big star at the top of the 8 foot tree at the start…not after champagne! The end result is spectacular, enjoyed by everyone and creates a special atmosphere. After the twelve days of Christmas all the decorations are taken down which is much more work than putting them up!