My Favourite Christmas Decorations I’ve Found For Sale This Year
Exploring the shops the past few weeks on the hunt for bridesmaid shoes I’ve really been enjoying seeing all the Christmas decorations going up everywhere and all over the shops. Don’t worry, my usual Bumper Christmas Gift Guide and my guide to the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount codes are still to come (you can find my round up of the best advent calendars here!), but this year I decided I’d try something a little different and also put together a guide to my favourite Christmas decorations this year. I’ve included baubles, tinsel, Christmas lights, festive candles, wreathes, ribbons, wrapping paper and Christmas crackers – I hope this helps take some of the stress out of the build up to Christmas! (Remember, you can also find all my Christmas recipes here!)
Our Christmas tree at home is steeped in tradition. Each year my Mum and I pick out new ornaments (or I get given a pair I’ve been after for a while – thanks for this years pair of mini hanging mugs, Emma Bridgewater!) either in the lead up to Christmas or on our travels – our two carved wooden angels playing musical instruments came from a family trip to St. Petersburg for example – and each year our collection of Victorian toys, golden glass bells, angels and gold frosted pine cones (some of them made by school aged Rachel) continues to grow.
We’re quite particular about the decorations that go on our tree – for example we don’t really add new baubles – the ones we do have are the remaining, unbroken ones my parents got from Woolworths (remember them!) when they were first together – most of our decorations are very traditional, or are birds and animals. This popcorn ornament, and this pufferfish bauble would be totally out of place, but if they’d suit your tree I think they’re awesome! The bottom three decorations here come from Paperchase – they’re worth a shout as they have 3 for 2 on all full sized ornaments.
Feather Flower Tree Decoration | Hamish Fox Tree Decoration | Amber Beaded Mushroom Tree Decoration | Amber Mushroom Trio Decoration | Squirrel Tree Decoration | 4 Clip On Woodland Bird Decorations | Clip On Pheasant Decoration
Woodland creatures and golden birds are a big theme for our tree (we have a whole flock who usually live in the top branches!) and I think if we’d not already sourced this years decorations we’d be picking out a pair of these Amber Beaded Mushroom Tree Decorations.
It is no secret that I hate regular tinsel. I may have liked it when I was younger, but by the time I hit twenty it became one of the few Christmas decorations I categorically banished from our house. My exception is cute little elegant strands of mini tinsel which I think embellish the tree, rather than drown it – John Lewis has it in all three main tones this year.
Red Glittered Palm Tree Wreath | Emerald Pine Cone Wreath | Amber Autumn Berry Wreath | Amber Bauble Wreath | Jormaepourri Amber Orange Ring | Deco Red Berry Wreath | Brussels Sprout Wreath | Floral Wreath
When I was little I tried to gather holly and ivy from the woods and make my own Christmas wreath each year, but they were never up to much. I’ve finally accepted my future lies in the shop brought variety for the front door, and while big fresh floral ones do look beautiful, I’m never going to pay that sort of money on my door, so a great quality shop brought one seems the best solution. Personally if we did not already have one, by top pick would be this Deco Red Berry Wreath.
Excitingly, the two rooms we spend the most time in – the kitchen / breakfast room and the living room will be finished at my parents house that they are currently renovating this Christmas, and my Mum and I are so excited to decorate both with our favourite home decorations from the old house (I’m looking at you, standing furry owls) and some new additions. In London the cat will probably put paid to most of my decorating efforts, but I will be adding a Pre-lit Mini Christmas Tree that she can’t (I hope!) do too much damage to to the proceedings.
Speaking of small spaces where you don’t have much scope for decorating, Christmas lights are a godsend. I think these Star Fairy Lights are so adorable – and not just for Christmas! – and I can personally attest to the brilliance of LED Light Wire (even though my main use for it is not for decorating, but for Christmas food photography!)
If you have fireplaces or big windows that are not dressed in curtains or with a visible curtain pole in your home (our old home had both, and so does my London flat) garlands may be the way to go. As long as you don’t have an open fire or candles up there that may make them catch fire they look beautiful strung across the fireplace (place a big ornament in the middle to break things up a bit) or twisted around the curtain pole. In the front hallway at the old house where we had the tree we had two tiny little pins that were not visible from the ground high up in the wall over the two windows we hung great red winter rose garlands between every year – it looked beautiful.
Any candle I think is perfect at Christmas because I think golden, flickering light always makes things seem more festive, but in an age where potpourri is not really a thing anymore (thank god!) they can make your home smell of Christmas too. I’ll never shut up about The White Company’s ‘Winter’ being the perfect, actually affordable Christmas scent – we always switch out our bathroom diffusers to the Winter one come December 1st.
Is it just in our house that Christmas is also the time for fun candle and tealight holders? My favourite this year is this Midwinter Forest Tealight Holder (to fill up with The White Company Winter tealights, obviously) but I think a pair of Gold Pyramid Lanterns would be a great investment if you can frame a doorway or fireplace with them (something we also used to do at the old house!) For a table setting, I also think a couple of pillar candles on different height glass pillar candle holders (you can get taller ones here) would be so elegant, and so beautiful.
Wrapping Paper, Gift Tags, Tissue Paper & Ribbon
My mother and I have a thing about our gift wrap and ribbon. I don’t know when it quite started – our tree has always had beautifully wrapped gifts under it as my mother used to sit in her mother’s gift shop every Christmas wrapping presents for clueless men on Christmas Eve – but the last few years it has become a real tradition for us to pick out beautiful Christmas paper with matching ribbons and labels to use as a family, and this almost always comes from Cox & Cox. We’ve had their Starry Foiled Copper Ribbon, their Copper Merry Christmas Ribbon and their Fabulous Wired Christmas Ribbon in the past and they’re all wonderfully classy. New this year I also really like this Gold Fleck Ribbon – John Lewis are also selling a green version, and a red version.
I think the paper we order most often is this Double Sided Copper & Blue Wrapping Paper as it is really nice and thick, and really is great on both sides, not like some of those double sided papers that are just a bit crap inside.
Either if you’re the type of person who likes to perfectly match their gift tags to their ribbons and wrapping paper, or if you don’t like to splash too much on wrapping paper and you like to focus on the presents (my boyfriend got an extra birthday present this year in return for all his gifts being wrapped in an old copy of Waitrose Weekend as that extra gift cost the same as gift wrap), a good gift tag can really bring the whole thing together. What we do (and what I recommend) is to get some that match your paper like these Cox & Cox Gold and Navy Merry Christmas Gift Tags, and some that will match lots of different gift wrapping, to put on bottle bags etc. like these red ones.
My personal gift wrapping hero is pretty patterned tissue paper. I don’t have my mothers ninja like skill where she can wrap practically any shaped gift perfectly, so if something does not have nice shape edges and corners for me to fold paper around, I fall back on tissue paper, usually gathered together like a gift basket, decorated with a beautifully tied ribbon bow on top (wire ribbon like this Fabulous Wired Copper Ribbon is perfect for this!)
Is it just me, or are Christmas crackers such a let down. They’re a bit flimsy and rubbish, and the insides are really crap compared to how much they cost. Here I’ve included two different types of cracker: these beautifully elegant crackers that will look super stylish on your table (or which have Paddington Bear on, which is always a massive win), or that actually have some fun insides. We had the racing elves version of the santa crackers one year which was great fun to play with dessert!