Decorating our Christmas Tree | The Christmas Forest Review

This year I have felt more excited about Christmas than ever before! I think it is because it is the first Christmas in our own home, so it feels really special. We're able to do things exactly the way we want, decorate how we want and put things wherever we please. 

When Ian and I first moved in together back in 2011, we bought an artificial Christmas tree. We had the same tree and the same decorations every Christmas since then, with a few extra decorations made by the children added over the years, until Christmas 2017.

Last year, however, we realised that our beloved tree was getting rather knackered and probably wouldn’t survive another Christmas, especially with five children! I read this article about the environmental impact of an artificial tree versus a real tree and decided that in future we would get a real tree. This is another good read if you need some help deciding whether to go for a real Christmas tree or a plastic one.

Even after deciding that we wanted to have a real Christmas tree, making the decision on what tree to get and from where was an ever bigger minefield! I was scratching my head after searching online and on Facebook for reviews, when an email popped in from The Christmas Forest about their real trees. After reading more about them I realised that they ticked all the boxes, and more!

The Christmas Forest is an independent, family-run business that was founded in 1998. They have ten stores as well as an online service so trees can be collected from them in London or delivered next day to your door.

The environmental impact was the big factor in us deciding to choose real trees and The Christmas Forest’s trees come from sustainable farms where a new tree is planted to replace every tree that is cut down. They also source their trees as locally as possible to reduce the number of tree miles and they are freshly cut so that they will stay looking fresh for longer. Once Christmas is over, the trunk of our tree will go into the chicken run for them to perch on, the branches will be dried out to use as kindling in our log burner and the needles will go into the composter.

But as well as all this, they have an ongoing partnership with Tree Aid so for every tree that is bought from them, another is planted in the drylands of Africa, helping to provide a livelihood to some of the poorest communities in the world. They have helped to grow 232,275 trees in the last 12 years through this which is amazing! 

The Christmas Forest sell two types of tree: their Nordmann Fir have non-drop needles so are perfect for indoors while their Norway Spruce trees are deep green with a fresh smell. The trees are available in a variety of sizes from a cute 3ft to whopping 12ft! 

Our Christmas tree is a 6ft Nordmann Fir. It arrived, along with a stand, by courier and was delivered into my hallway. I could barely contain my excitement when it arrived but had been suffering with the winter vomiting bug so had to wait until the following day to actually get it up and ready! 

Despite the size of the tree it wasn’t as heavy as I expected, so I was able to cut the bottom, position and fix it in the stand and move it into place all by myself. If you watch my Instagram stories you might have already seen what it looked like when it was unwrapped. It looked so perfect it almost didn’t look real! The shape, colour and scent are just incredible and the tree has the most perfectly balanced, blousy, bushy branches. 

I spent a good few hours that day decorating the tree; it took so long partly because I had to stop and start with the children needing me or running off with my baubles, which didn’t come with the strings already attached! But mostly because I wanted the decorations to be just right. 

I wanted a traditional, kind of old-fashioned look and I think I’ve achieved that. I used a mixture of wood, glass and metal decorations along with 400 warm white lights. With a tree this beautiful though I could have just thrown any old decorations on it and it would have looked amazing, I’m sure! 

I’m so, so happy with our Christmas tree! Putting it up has really kicked off the festivities for our family and we are all so excited for next week! 

Have you put your Christmas tree up yet? Is yours real or fake? How do you decorate yours? Let me know! 

With thanks to The Christmas Forest for sending us a tree and stand for this review.

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