Christmas Special

Christmas Special

The other day I was talking to my Mum about Christmas and I mentioned how I was looking forward to getting the decorations down from the loft and setting up the tree. "Already done!", said Mum.

Bearing in mind this was mid-November I was surprised at this eagerness to get festive so early, but as there is a new baby in the family the temptation to setup a straw lined manger in front of the hearth was too great to resist.

"Have you done your twig yet?", I asked. The answer was two Twigs had been done.

Double-twiggage for 2015. This is where Mum takes a nicely shaped bit of branch, sprays it silver or gold, secures it in a weighted plant pot and then decorates it with all sorts of super hand-made decorations. We have pine cones, dried fruit slices, hand-tied bows and painted pegs - this is real old school stuff and looks fantastic. There is no limit to what you suspend from your twig; just root around and see what you can find. If you can sew or knit you have a head start, but you can also cut things out, twist wire, add tinsel or even bake little objects. In no time at all you will create a family tradition for virtually no cost.

But what if you want a real tree this year instead of the well used imitation that's in the loft? What if you plan to get one with roots and then plant it out after the season ends?
We have all had trees that end up virtually naked by Twelfth Night, and those pine needles seem to get everywhere, don't they? Have you ever tried to plant one out - they rarely seem to survive.

Well here's why - Christmas Trees do not like being moved about too much. If you get a real tree your best bet is to leave it outside as long as you possibly can before bringing it in. Once inside, put it in a cool place, not next to a fire or radiator. Make sure you give it plenty of water (please make sure it is in a suitable pot first though!). Then, as soon as the festivities are over, put it outside again. Let it stand in its pot for a while - until at least March when the soil starts to warm up - again making sure it does not dry out.
Then you can remove from the pot and plant it out with some good compost. This way the tree has a good chance of survival - until you dig it up again next time.
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