CHRISTMAS TREES REIMAGINED

Why I’m happy to recycle, re-use or rent, and make it absolutely us all over.

Looking back, it’s funny to think how our Christmas trees have changed over the years. In the 70s, many were all tinsel, mis-matched glass colours and strands of lametta. The 80s had Elton John-esque white incarnations in every magazine. 

But ours were never like that. My grandma loved doing things with a twist so she had a six foot frame made out of chicken wire that she would theme differently every year with items she would keep…which also made it better for the planet. 

Maybe that’s why it still matters to me to make ours as imaginative and meaningful as possible. I want it to feel like it truly belongs in our house, to be singing with creativity but also, to help support small businesses and the environment, too. I try to buy heirloom pieces, reuse where I can, and buy from small businesses who use recycled materials. Like this…

Holly Christmas

This year to dress the tree, I’m gathering my collection of bird decorations from all around the house where they usually live (well, they’re far too beautiful to only come out at Christmas!). These feathery friends of mine are all made from different small businesses and so my tree is a love song to the makers.

Decorations don’t just have to dress the tree either. My llama head was an early Christmas present to myself made by the phenomenally talented Josh Gluckstein. He makes all his animal creations from recycled materials and calls himself a ‘cardboard enthusiast’. My llama is made entirely of cardboard paper, wears faux fur and is styled with handmade vegan tassels.

Blue Parrot

I don’t like anyone to feel left out so there are festive hats for every animal in the house. I picked up these hand-knitted parrot jumpers from the Holt Market (I think they are normally meant for teddies!).

Hummingbird

The newest additions to my bird collection this year are from East End Press who handprint these beauties onto recycled paper. I will be finding places to hang them around the house after the tree has gone down.

Oh and speaking of trees and talented small businesses… I recently discovered the London Christmas Tree Rental service. You can rent your very own tree, and return it and they look after it for you until next year. They even encourage you to name it so it becomes part of the household! With seven million firs going into landfill each year, I’ve signed up to be their very first customer for next year.

Decorated cactus

Or actually, why even have a seasonal tree at all? I have a real passion for cacti, and this particular beauty is from PRICK Ldn; London’s first boutique dedicated to our spiky friends and other succulents. I decorate my cactus year-round in all sorts of wonderful ways. It brings no end of cheer to the house. Less ordinary indeed… Granny would be proud!

So whether it’s the tree (or cactus) you buy or the decorations you add, think about the heirloom pieces you could use and then reuse after Christmas or which brilliant small businesses you could support (especially those who use recycled materials). You can find some truly wonderful ones in my Holly loves… a sustainable Christmas collection. Whatever you choose this year, I hope it brings you joy.

 

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