5 Stages of Decorating the Christmas Tree

Each year we get a real tree for Christmas. I love it, the smell, the ‘full’ look and the fact that I don’t have to spend 30-40 minutes separating the fake branches. It does mean we wait a little later into December to get it so that the tree hasn’t lost all of its needles by Christmas day. When it comes to decorating it we usually wait for the girls to go to bed and then it is left up to me. Any by ‘left up to me’ I mean hubby helps unravel the lights and then stays out of may way because I can get a little crazy. I go full on ‘Monica Gellar’ with the decorating, everything has to be perfect. If money were no object I would hire a professional to come in and decorate it for me, but since I don’t live in Mayfair I shall crack on and do the thing myself! This year, however, much to my dismay Pinky is going to have to be included in the decorating process, she is so excited I don’t have the heart to exclude her, and besides, what harm could it do? Well only time will really tell but I’m hoping because I am expecting it I will be mentally prepared to deal with the inevitable emotional trauma my OCD is about to endure! In an attempt to ‘cope’ I have broken down the whole day into sections so I can take each one at a time.

Stage 1: Pick the Tree

  • Remember we don’t live in a mansion and put back the 9ft tree.
  • Accept that 6ft will probably still need trimming down, perhaps 5ft would be better?
  • Get the 6ft tree anyway which causes Hubby to become disgruntled; he knows he will be trimming it down.
  • Pay the staff and try and avoid the girls seeing all the sparkly decorations on sale, we have enough already!
  • Try and get the tree in the car, one day we will remember to put the seats down in advance.

Stage 2: Putting the Tree Up

  • Find the stand.
  • Hope that all the feet and bolts are intact from last year (there is always one missing!)
  • Start to unwrap the tree.
  • STOP!!! The tree is easier to put up if it is still wrapped.
  • Get hubby to hold the tree up so I can judge if it is straight or not.
  • Start tightening up the bolts.
  • Remember checking if it was straight was irrelevant because now the bolts have moved the whole damn thing anyway!
  • Readjust gently so it is actually straight.
  • Allow the blood flow to return to your arms and hands for a moment.

Stage 3: The Lights

  • Get the lights out of their box.
  • Allow Hubby to exclaim loudly that we both ensured last year they were ‘put away in a nice tidy manner so how on earth are they in such a f****ng tangled mess now?’
  • Assure him there is no such thing as a Christmas Light Imp that lives in the loft whos sole purpose is tangling the lights to upset p@*s him off.
  • Plug the lights in *fingers crossed.
  • Bugger! How do they not work!
  • Off to local supermarket for cheapest set we can find (this might be why they don’t work after a year).
  • Rush home to take lights out of the box. How do they pack them in so nicely? Take note of packing knowing full well I will never be able to recreate it… But I will try!
  • Plug in lights.
  • YES! They work, thank f@*k goodness for that.
  • Start putting lights onto the tree. Bottom to top/top to bottom, which is best?
  • Spend the next half an hour trying to make the lights look evenly spread and not all clumped at the bottom. Why are there so many there?

Stage 4: The Decorations

  • Get the biggest box of decorations known to man down from the loft (what in the name of Christmas is in here anyway?)
  • Forget it is nowhere near as heavy as it looks and nearly launch it through the roof as I pick it up.
  • Look inside and mourn the day I had to throw out my expensive glass ornaments once the children came along.
  • Quickly get over myself when I remember how much it annoys Hubby that I put a Tinkerbell fairy on top of the tree and chuckle cackle loudly.
  • Try and gently persuade a three year old that you can’t put all of the baubles on one
  • Nor can you put all of the gold ones together.
  • Or all of the red ones together.
  • No, Santa cannot sit on the reindeer decoration.
  • No, Mummy isn’t cross.
  • Yes, Mummy does like wine.
  • Fine! Put Tinkerbell on the tree!
  • Oh look at how late it is…. Time for bed!
  • Strip the tree of all decorations.
  • Pour second, ok, third glass of wine.
  • Start again.

Stage 5: The Finished Product

  • Look at how pretty it is.
  • Reward myself with a large Gin.

Thank you Hubby for staying out of the way, I think it saves our marriage every year 😉



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  1. Is that an actual train track going around your tree? Wide eyed awe and an “ooooooh” Your tree looks spectacular! I do love a real tree, but the last time we got one it got a bit traumatic. The needles all fell off on around the 23rd – just when all of the garden centres have sold out! I mean are you supposed to water them? I just couldn’t handle the pressure of checking for tree longevity each morning! That being said I am well known for killing all plant-life and so it’s probably wise that I’m not trusted with a real one anyway. I am very jealous of how wonderful yours looks though and I applied many of your rules to my artificial tree preparation too. Thanks for linking with #DreamTeam. xx

    1. Yep it is a train, it is pretty cool if not a total faff to put on *cue Hubbys job. I think you are meant to water them but I’m not sure. I usually remember to add water a couple of days later and thats it, I don’t remember again. Also missed this from my stages so it isn’t looking good for this year either! I think I might start championing the couldkillacactus hashtag 😉

  2. It looks awesome! I’m used to a fake tree because my father is allergic- I tried a real tree during the first year of my marriage but I killed it weeks out from Christmas so we’ve never done one again. I decided that trying to arrange the branches of a fake tree is too annoying each year so I decided to buy a fake tree in a planter. It has berries, pinecones, lights and even some fake snow! The best part is, because it’s in a decorative planter I just move it into the corner of my guest bedroom when it’s not Christmas time. Then when someone comes to visit I plug it in and they have a beautiful lighted tree for ambience. So the only thing I really have to do for Christmas is slap a few ornaments on it 😉

  3. Wow you have an actual TRAIN going round your tree???? Amazing!

    This post is brilliant! Really made me chuckle. We’re hoping to get our tree up tonight (a fake one, I’m afraid) and I’m really looking forward to it (fingers crossed our lights work…) #SharingTheBlogLove

  4. I do love the smell of a real Christmas tree but the pine needles annoy the f**k out of me. I usually decorate ours because I@m a little OCD about it too but this year I popped to a friends and got a little tipsy lol so my husband had to do the honours and actually he did a pretty good job. I was impressed. I love the train track by the way.


    1. Oh the needles are the worst. I usually try and hoover them twice a day towards the end, otherwise they only get stuck in my foot! I think Hubby would probably do a good job too, he has spent so many years listening to my ‘ethos’ on the matter 😉 X

  5. Haha you did make me laugh. I think you’ve summed up every household tree drama up and down the land. My hubby went in a right huff when he couldn’t find his new lights from last year. Domestic ensued when he then blamed me for the garage being an effing mess. Haha.

    When we got I tree…sorry correction, when I got our tree, I was a tad over enthusiastic. Our living room is full of baby crap (bouncer, gym, rocky chair) and toddler crap (kitchen, pushchair…) so when I got it home my hubby took one look and said I had to take it back. The tree man said it’s the first time a woman went back with a rejected tree. Mostly the men get it wrong! We now have the smallest one EVER!

    I’m sooooo jealous of your train track!! Your tree looks amazing!! Xx

  6. Hehe yes, every word! Except we don’t have a Tinkerbell fairy and that is definitely what is missing from my life! And that train is amazing- I saw it in our garden centre the other week but I don’t think it would last 5 minutes with my two around! #sharingthebloglove

  7. Ooh, I do love a real tree, but shamefully we’ve not bought one for the last 3 years. You can’t beat the smell though – it’s amazing! And you have an actual train going around it, that’s just fantastic! I let Max help for the first time this year – I thought he was doing really well at first, but then the next day he did the typical toddler thing of rearranging so that all of the red baubles were hung on one branch (unfortunately it’s the branch of our fake tree that has broken – it was already hanging down near the ground and now it’s weighed down even more by about 10 baubles!) Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. see I have to tell the hubby that he cant put all the gold, red, green etc together! grr! this year I booked two days off work, alone – and decorated in peace and quiet hehe! perfect! your tree looks fab 🙂 #KCACOLS

  9. I go back and forth with having a real tree and a fake one! I can’t believe you have an actual train on your tree, that is so cool. We have one that runs around the bottom. Both my girls helped this year and I was trying not to be that crazy person, but I think I may have failed. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  10. I think it’s the same routine for us all! My daughter is still to young to really get immersed in it all yet but i’m sure once she is i’ll be doing some re-arranging once she has gone to bed!! #GlobalBlogging

  11. I too had to let my two kids for the first time ‘help’ with the decorating. The Christmas control freak that I am struggled internally, but they were so excited. A little ‘tweaking’ after the kids bedtime made me feel much better! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

  12. I LOVE and want that train! I would add another step, picking up all ornaments stolen by anyone under the age of three and teh slow shuffle of ornaments up to the top of 2/3 of the tree where tiny hands cannot reach. haha! great post! #GlobalBlogging

  13. Crikey you guys are genius. Train track?? Amazing. Love it that everyone has the same panic about the lights working and yes they do their own thing and de-tangle themselves during storage for 12 months!! Oh can’t wait to see you at the end of January!!! Then we can compare takign the tree down experiences!!! ha ha #coolmumclub

  14. Love the train going round. I;m the same (but with a fake day), prefer to do it myself. N did ‘help’, but I did inform him where things needed to go. I call it training. #sharingthebloglove

  15. Your tree is impressive! My son would LOVE the train going around it! He wanted one from B&M to go around the bottom but it was nearly 30quid and i knew id spend all my time telling him to get off it so refused to give in! I’m like you and go all Monica on the tree. No two baubles of the same colour etc next to each other and all that! This year I let L help but he got bored easily and left me to it. bonus! #KCACOLS

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