To my readers of this blog and to my clients of 2012, thank you for your support this year. I’m so thankful for the wonderful people who have chosen me to help them with their homes and who have supported my business. Most of all, I’m thankful for my family and their health and happiness, which is the greatest blessing I can ask for. To my readers, your emails and comments mean so much to me and I look forward to a New Year full of new challenges, new projects and, I hope, a new house to decorate and share with you all!
I’ll be taking some time off but will be back in January sometime…
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and New Year full of joy and happiness.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of real trees at Christmas, mainly because I grew up with real trees and so that Christmas tree smell has always been an intrinsic part of the anticipation and magic for me. I guess I’m also a bit of a traditionalist and a romantic in most things and like to pretend at Christmas that my real tree was cut in the woods and carried through the snow to my home (haha! – in reality we swelter every Christmas).
My husband, on the other hand, is not a romantic and for years has tried to convince me to switch to the more convenient plastic tree. Because of course, real trees are prickly to deal with and messy. Our pine trees in Australia shed a lot of needles and if you put your tree up in early December, chances are it won’t be as green and perky by the time Christmas Day rolls around. So when UK company Balsam Hill contacted me to let me know they are expanding into Australia and offered to send me a tree to try, I decided it was a good time to go artificial, at least for this year.
I had actually visited the Balsam Hill website a few years ago, when we were thinking about buying an artificial tree but I was disappointed in the tinsel-armed choices available at Myer and DJ’s. The Balsam Hill trees have been used on Ellen and Oprah and are said to be so real-looking that it is hard to tell the difference between them and a real tree! The tree they sent me is the ‘BH Fraser Fir’. I have to say, setting up the tree was A LOT faster and less scratchy than setting up a real tree. Here it is right out of the box and plugged in (the lights are attached to the tree, though you can buy the trees without lights):
We’d already wrapped our presents in gold paper so I decided to stick to decorations in white, gold and silver this year. One of things I usually hate about plastic trees is the big empty gaps between branches – this is only beautiful in real trees – but big gaps are not an issue with this little guy. The branches are actually quite full and soft, and very easy to hang ornaments on compared with our usual long-needled real tree.
Here’s a look at the branches up close without the lights on:
And with the lights:
My verdict? I would most definitely use this tree again, though if I were purchasing I’d buy a much taller size (mine is the 137cm). I do miss the smell of a real tree but I’m told that I can buy it in a bottle (Ralph Lauren’s ‘Holiday’ room scent is supposed to be good). I have to admit that given how busy the past few weeks have been, it has been a relief this year to have this very easy option. And I think it looks great! Balsam Hill have now launched the Australian version of their website, which includes sizes and pricing in Australian dollars.
How is your Holiday decorating going? I love seeing other people’s trees!