The Christmas Tree
I’m always in denial that Christmas is looming, and will bury my head in the sand during most of November, long after they’ve started playing Jingle Bells in the shops and the blockbuster festive adverts start coming out on the TV. This year however I had to be restrained from putting the tree up in August. 2020 has been such a washout I was longing for the comfort of the fairy lights twinkling in the corner.
Normally the first calendar event that lures me out and gets me into the festive spirit has to be the Christmas Decorating Workshop in Harvey Nichols, in Mall of the Emirates. If you’ve never been, get yourself on the mailing list. It’s on a first come basis and seats are limited but you’ll be glad you did. Hosted by Irony Home (who have their own gorgeous shop in Dubai Mall) the workshop last year was given by Rima Dardenne, whose Holiday Decorating business has her jet setting all over the world to oversee the adornment of the most prestigious of hotels.
If you’re a bit of a Martha Stewart like me, you will adore spending a couple of hours watching Rina at work professionally decorating a 9ft spruce, and professionally is the key word here.
I know there’s a tendency to lob on a bit of tinsel and dig out the decorations that little Jane and Johnny made in Grade 4 and hope for the best, I also know that good quality Christmas decorations can be expensive BUT, you use them every year so go for quality over quantity (that means steering clear of the 100 gaudy tin baubles for a pound in the supermarket). Go a bit more up-market and start a slow collection of statement decorations that will transform your tree from an excuse in the corner to focal point you can be proud of. That doesn’t mean you can’t have your sentimental santas on display!
Anything goes colour-wise these days, ( although pastel pink wouldn’t be my first choice, it still looked stunning) and pre lit trees are a godsend, having spent many a frustrating hour detangling meters of the old fashioned ones!
Tips I learned this year
- Ditch the tinsel in favour of ribbon. Not the skinny kind but ribbon about 2-4 inches wide, better still the kind that has fine wired edges so it can be sculpted. Use long strands and gently push it into the branches for a professional look. You can also get long strands of pearls which look amazing and give a luxurious feel.
- Bigger is better. Instead of a million tiny baubles, invest in some dramatic overly large pieces. Oversized bows, Flowers, and almost football sized baubles, strategically placed add drama and fill large areas, so takes less time.
- For a homely look go for warm white lights. Multi Coloured lights might give you a short lived festive buzz but when they start playing jingle bells for the 900th time you’ll be itching to throw it all out of the back door by boxing day whereas the cosy glow from a warm white tree makes you want to cuddle up with a Baileys.
- Go for a coordinating colour palette for your wrapping paper. It costs the same as buying multi coloured snowman and reindeer designs that belong at the back of the cupboard with the tinsel!! No, match your tree and go for anything in say Gold, stripes, stars, plain, flowery doesn’t matter and under the tree the wrapped gifts become an extension of your display. So satisfying!
I took some close ups this year of decoration ideas which cover everything from big butterflies and exotic birds to massive lollipops and sugar cane. To be honest it’s a bit over the top and you can’t actually see the tree itself. It looks a bit more like a pyramid of Christmas decorations have been emptied out onto the floor but hey its only once a year so go to town!
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