{10/12/2012}   The psychology of decorating Christmas trees

My completely unresearched conclusion about how people decorate their homes for Christmas (based in part on photos of people’s trees on Facebook and those I see) is that it must reflect your personality to a greater extent than I’d previously thought about.  I fear I may put a flattering spin on my own Christmas decorations and what they might mean about me, but I do find it fascinating as everyone very much has their own style.

I have a fairly small real tree (sometimes I have a bigger tree – a reflection this year on living up three flights of stairs!) and having a real tree (potted not chopped) is, for me, the most important thing about all Christmas decorating.  If I were to only have one Christmas decoration, it would be a bare pine tree, despite the fact that the carrying of it always results in rashes on my arms where the needles spike me!  Though this year, I managed to delegate the tree carrying!

I have either multi-coloured or white lights on my tree and I have a very varied selection of baubles, a lot of which have either been given to me or I’ve bought overseas.  I don’t have tinsel on my tree, though it is occasionally draped around shelves to add a bit of Christmassy sparkle!  I could easily go overboard on the fairy lights though.  This year, there is a new set on my tree (a rather unfortunate purchase as they have a Blackpool illuminations setting, as my friend N pointed out, whereby there is an almost strobe effect from frantic flashing and I don’t seem to have a non-fade setting.  I like the lights to be merely on, no fading/flickering/flashing), a few white ones over a largely empty surface, some snowflakes lights hanging down, a load of multi-coloured ones in my hallway and the odd ten-string battery pack of lights for both bedrooms.  And there might be some mistletoe hanging above a particular doorway, though I did that last year, the berries dropped and I squished them into the carpet and there are still stains on the carpet!  I might hang a bit of holly instead but the spikey leaves always annoy me.  Ho hum.

There are some people I know who decorate their trees to a colour scheme, eg silver.  The people I know who do that, their trees look lovely and far more organised than my tree, but I’ve always thought that their decoration choice has suited their personalities, or at least aspects of them.  I used to have a tradition of hand delivering cards to friends around a certain radius of where my mum lives, usually en route to mum’s for Christmas.  I absolutely loved doing that as I could easily get through more than three mince pies and mugs of tea and would get to see everyone’s decorations.  I like the tradition of visiting people over Christmas as, after all, part of the reason we put up decoration, surely, s is to have them up for friends and family to see and appreciate.

There are people who don’t decorate and those who essentially wrap the exterior and interior of their homes in lights and decorations. Neither extreme is how my home will ever be decorated but I fully appreciate that Christmas is probably the only time of year that I embrace and accept tat and “made in China” and I love seeing Christmas decorations up.


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