The countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway, but for many of us, one of the most crucial elements is still to come - buying a Christmas tree.
In fact, many of us won't be buying ours until Saturday 8th December, also known as 'Bring Your Christmas Tree Home Day'. In fact, research from Dobbies Garden Centre has revealed it's the year's busiest shopping day for buying a Christmas tree.
Once we have brought our Christmas tree home, it can only mean one thing - the countdown to the big day is officially here!
To give you a helping hand, Dobbies has partnered with expert stylist and designer Lee Jackson - aka, Mr Christmas - to provide you with the tips you need to get your tree looking its best this season...
1. The first hurdle
To start off, you need to choose the right tree for you. There are, obviously, a few factors to consider here. The height is important, but the width is another dimension that people often overlook. Get around this by taking a length of string to measure the space you want to fill - you can then take this with you to assess the size of trees you're looking at in store.
2. There's no place like home
When you get the tree home, place it in the spot you want it to be and then trim the plastic netting. Avoid any temptation to do this outside prior to bringing it in - the journey indoors can damage the tree (hello, doorways!). You should then thoroughly check the base.
Normally, the tree is dressed from the angle we view it at, and while decorations may not weigh much, it's amazing how much they can end up dragging a tree down to the floor. Get around this by attaching the top of the tree to the ceiling if it seems to wobble.
3. Let it snow
If you're planning to add some spray snow, the time is now. Don't do it after the decorations (and especially the lights!) have been put on – the spray can end up clogging the twinkle. You should also let the snow dry for 30 minutes before proceeding.
4. Cover up
You should hide the tree's base. There is likely to be a period of a few weeks before any gifts are added, so hiding the base is essential. A handy accessory to use for this will be a tweed throw which can be draped over the base, a stack of rustic logs, a hessian sack decorated with a large bow, a large log basket or even empty, wrapped parcels. They can also be used to hide wires or plugs.
5. Make a shape
Don't worry about clipping wayward branches - in fact, if you do have any bald spots, you can clip a branch or two from the back and then tie them to the trunk with some twine or floristry wire. Faux foliage (ie - ivy or, sprigs of eucalyptus) can be used to beef up the shape too.