|2018 Pannell family Christmas tree|
For me, Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless our home is decorated in the right way. Tinsel, mistletoe, baubles and fairy lights: all add to the ambience that makes the season. The centrepiece for all of these decorations, naturally, is formed by the tree. But decorating a tree isn’t just a destination; it’s a journey, too. If you want to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit, then drafting them all in to lend a hand is a great way to get started!
For many years when the kids were small, we used to have two trees, as I loved to have a 'perfect' colour coordinated one in the lounge that I had decorated and then we would have a second one in the dining or playroom. This one was super colourful, sling everything on, including homemade decorations tree. As the kids have aged though, I have realised that for me, it is far more important to have everyone involved with the ritual of decorating the tree than it is, for it to look perfect.
Let’s look at a few ways in which we can make the tree-decorating experience special for everyone -
Wearing Christmas Clothes
Any activity will feel that little bit more Christmassy if you’re wearing the right clothes. If you’re gifting Christmas jumpers, then you can save opening them until the big day itself. But there’s nothing stopping you from wearing last year’s jumpers. On the other hand, you might make the experience a little bit cosier by wearing your winter sleepwear. Matching pyjamas or onesies will make the whole family feel like the same cohesive unit!
Cox & Cox provide fancy Christmas decorations that’ll last for years on end, and as I've already said I do love classy decorations. Alternatively, why not make a few decorations yourself. You don’t have to be a creative whizz to do this. Personalised ornaments will make your tree feel more particular to you and your family, and it’ll provide a reminder of everything you’ve achieved in that year. If someone has just started secondary school, secured a promotion, or gotten a full driver’s licence, then you can commemorate it with the right ornament. Repurposed toys, bits of stationery and other such things can be picked up cheaply and customised easily. For the last couple of years, we've made some gorgeous wreath decorations from curtain rings, so they're cheap and effective.
Nowadays, we tend to rely on television to do our Christmas storytelling for us. But a little bit of topical conversation will make the job feel that much more significant. You don’t need to stick to the bible or traditional stories: when parents pass their own memories of Christmas down to their children, they create new memories that’ll be treasured for years to come!
We've had this Advent storybook since the children were very young, so for them now, it is a Christmas tradition to hear the tiny snippet of the nativity story at dinner each day.
Placing the Star
In many households, an argument about who gets to place the star will sometimes break out. You can get around this by setting up a rota so that a different person gets to do it every year, or you can simply resign yourself to the fact that it’s the job of the youngest member of the family!
Create a Christmas Ambiance
For us it has to feel Christmassy as we all decorate the tree, and I know many families create this by playing Christmas music. We, however, tend to put on a good Christmas movie and it's normally something we've seen before as of course we won't be totally focusing on the TV as we are looking at the tree. A Christmas classic like Elf, The Polar Express or Santa Claus, the movie work really well.
Then once your tree is complete, you can all enjoy an indigent hot chocolate with cream and candy cane stirrer whilst you watch a new Christmas movie by the twinkle of your Christmas tree lights!
Have fun, Mich x