Before we came to live here we'd always had a real tree - a new one each year which we took to be shredded afterwards. When the children were small fetching the tree and dressing it were important rituals for our family. We never dressed the tree until the 23rd as it is my son's birthday on the 22nd and we always made it a separate celebration
But here we have large open rooms with waxed parquet floors - we need a tree a minimum of 7ft to look right - and the expense of such a huge tree each year, coupled with the difficulty of moving such a tree and pot and the anxiety of keeping it watered without risking damp stains on the floors forced us to have a re-think.
We bought a huge white artificial tree and it looks amazing in here - the first year we had it we won a prize of some special Scottish smoked salmon for 'the best dressed tree' It's not a traditional look, but it's jolly celebratory.
I've been pondering a small potted tree to keep in a pot put on the front porch each festive period - we used to put the bay lollipop by the front door and dress it with glass baubles, but it's in a huge pot now and is too big to move.
I'm keeping my eyes open for something that'll be just right ......................