Life&Style writer Sorrel Smith encourages us to get crafty with our Christmas decorations this year, outlining her top tips for style and sustainability
While everyone prepares for the highlight of what has been a very tough year, there is no better time than now to remind ourselves of how lucky we are and make the most of this joyous occasion. The festive season is popularly celebrated by its traditional decorative pine trees, Christmas stockings and, of course, a visit from the beloved fat man in a red and white suit that climbs down our fireplace. Christmas rituals are what make it so special, which is why it is so important to put a new spin on traditional décor and style to try and make your festive household stand out above the rest.
We have all been jealous of that one house down our street that draws in a bustling crowd of neighbours and passers-by to gaze upon their magnificent winter wonderland inspired scenery of lit-up reindeers, snowmen and an inflatable Santa Claus stuffed in their chimney. However, this of course comes with a price, that being the stealthy price of the electricity bill which would cost the average family the food on their table. So, for a more affordable take, you could place an array of multicoloured baubles, decorations and maybe some battery powered fairy lights and place them on a bush or a tree outside. It may not attract the same amount of attention, but I’m sure when Mrs Jones pops over with the yearly family Christmas card, she’ll give you a compliment.
For a more personalised twist, you could try making some homemade baubles such as ones with photos slotted inside or try using superglue and some glitter to write out names or Christmas phrases. These craft materials can all be purchased on websites like Etsy.com and Ebay.com to create some individuality to your outdoor décor. Nothing says Christmas like a chaotic craft project, a glitter and glue infested kitchen and an exasperated mother. Wreaths are a popular outdoor decoration as well and can also add to your craft project, especially with the rise of Christmas craft TV shows such as ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas,’ there is really nothing holding you back from grabbing some leaves and branches and producing something truly festive.
Real tree vs Plastic tree
Nothing beats the scent of classic fresh pine from a real Christmas tree, however, with the increase of global warming and carbon footprint, I would really promote buying a plastic tree from your local shop and treating yourself to a pine scented candle or air freshener for a couple of quid. Many Christmas trees are grown and imported from Scandinavia, so if a real tree is a must-have in your household, I would suggest making sure it is locally grown and maybe avoid the ones from the supermarkets. A recent creation is pine scented ornaments, so you can decorate your plastic tree and still generate some festive, nostalgic smells without the guilt of contributing to carbon emissions. If you would like to avoid buying plastics as well, there are many commonplace items you could use to create a Christmas feature; for example, you could try a pile of books covered artistically with tinsel and fairy lights or decorating a wooden stepladder for a more rustic feel.
In a post-Zuckerberg world, it has never been more critical to capture the perfect, aesthetically pleasing, Christmas image to be the envy of all your friends and family and rack up the likes on your social media page. If you want an aesthetically pleasing festive look this Christmas, then there is nothing more important than the colour scheme. The idea of mixing your traditional gold, silver and red ornaments all on one tree should be the visual equivalent of nails on a chalk board. Celebrities and influencers are very successful at creating magnificent Christmas scenery for their Instagram pages, most likely because they are able to afford personal decorators. Despite this, they can still be great inspiration for the everyday household. Good examples of these are youtubers like Zoella, she films her Christmas décor during ‘Vlogmas’ each year where she gives details into her decorating and colour scheme ideas such as her most recent video named ‘Making the house feel as festive as possible.’ This year she focused on a white and silver theme, which is very fitting considering the lack of snow we have seen in recent years, her colour choices replace the tragic loss of a white Christmas.
When selecting colour schemes, it is best to focus on no more than three colours, any more may be considered overcrowding and could make your tree or room feel busy. Make sure that the colours complement each other, this will give you the freedom to be more diverse with your style choice, such as when choosing bold red, you should stick to similarly bold colours such as green or white. If choosing a more unique style like light or pastel colours it is best to focus on softer colours such as rose gold or pastel pink. Pinterest is also an excellent place for research, and often shows the different festive trends throughout the eras.
Christmas tree decorations
Popular fashion and interior design brands have all taken part in producing the most desirable Christmas decorations, capitalising on them being one of the most purchased items during the season. The designer brand, Prada has recently released some designer geometric baubles in a set of four for £235, similarly, Versace released a porcelain, Barocco holiday ornament for £84. More affordable and unique trends such as knitted ornaments have become popular in recent years and are available at places like Anthropology.com and WhiteStuff.com, which will add a cosy atmosphere to your Christmas tree and a home-made feel to your decor. For a more personalised feel you could try origami decorations, taking inspiration from the many good websites with useful instructions like 25 Easy Origami Christmas Ornaments Perfect For Your Tree, which is also a fun activity to do with your family during the Christmas period.
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