Price Points: Artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees

Well, it’s December so we’re now officially allowed to talk about Christmas. It’s time to think about advent calendars, putting up decorations and getting the Christmas tree. Don’t get me wrong, I love real pine trees at Christmas but artificial Christmas trees also have their merits.

I love the scent that you get from a pine tree; however, artificial trees don’t drop their needles. If you have a real tree, you’ll still be vacuuming them out of the carpet in April!). We tried, on more than one occasion, to buy a live tree with root-ball intact so that we can reuse it year after year.  The longest we’ve managed is 3 Christmases – we ever so slowly murdered the poor thing!

Don’t try and hide the fact that it’s artificial – embrace the fake tree by choosing one that’s hot pink, white, or – like the one pictured above – ombre. We love our metallic copper-coloured one, it really shines in the firelight… and once 12th Night has passed, we can store it away in the loft until the following year.

Saying that, some of the artificial trees available today are good imposters. Both the little tabletop one from NOTHS and the 12ft giant could have you fooled – especially once their covered (tastefully, of course 😉 ) in lights & decorations.

  1. Mini artificial Christmas tree by Marquis & Dawe: £16, Notonthehighstreet
  2. 6ft ombre-effect tree: £100, Next
  3. 11¾ft green Louise fir luxury premium PE Christmas tree: £699.99, Christmas Trees and Lights

Price Points: Christmas mixed wine cases

Christmas mixed wine cases | H is for Home

It’s been snowing for much of the day today – winter is coming, and so is Christmas. At the beginning of each December we start stockpiling food and drink to be consumed during Christmas week. This year, we plan on ordering a couple of Christmas mixed wine cases (or three). We enjoy red, white, rosé and sparkling wines – any kind of wine really! 🙂

Our local supermarket has quite a good range of wines on offer, but we like to try new things at this time of year. These days, ordering wine online is just so easy to do. There are lots of places where you can buy mixed wine cases, i.e. 12 bottles of red, white and sometimes rosé or sparkling – often from various countries and continents. The good thing about this option is that generally, you get bottles of wine that you probably wouldn’t have chosen yourself – an opportunity for surprising and delectable discoveries!

Whenever we come across a bottle of wine that we really love, we record it on the free Delectable app. – just take a photo of the label and it usually recognises the wine. It gives you other people’s reviews and ratings… and works on beers and spirits as well.

  1. The Winter Wonderland 12 x 75cl bottles: £71.88, Majestic Wine
  2. Christmas Entertaining dozen mixed case: £108.00, Tesco
  3. Hugh Johnson’s Christmas Collection: £119.88, Sunday Times Wine Club

Use your senses to get your home prepared for Christmas

Use your senses to get your home prepared for Christmas | H is for Home

September starts tomorrow, so there’s only three months to go before that holiday season rolls around again. We’ve prepared a guide which can help you use your five senses to get your home prepared for Christmas.

Sight

A string of fairy lights behind a jade plant in a white ceramic pot

Hang a wreath on your front door, it’s welcoming to holiday visitors and sets the Christmas mood before you even enter the house. Introduce fairy lights, tea lights and candles throughout your home – the magical twinkle lifts your mood every time you enter a room. And not forgetting a Yuletide centrepiece; it often takes the form of a traditional Christmas tree which everyone loves, but perhaps experiment with tree branches to hang those brightly coloured baubles. Silver birch is readily available and the white, textured bark works really well.

Smell

True Grace cinnamon & clove scented candle from House of Fraser

Certain fragrances just conjure up that Christmas feeling; pine, spiced oranges, frankincense and myrrh. Introduce smells into your rooms by using candles, room infusers, pot-pourri etc. Soap, bath oils and bubble bath for those long soaks and treasured moments of holiday relaxation. If you have a real fire, keep some nice logs or foraged pine cones beside it – throw one on the flames from time to time to fill the room with a gorgeous woody aroma.

Sound

Crossley portable record player

Dust off those vintage Christmas 45s! If you don’t have a record player, do what we did and get Spotify. There are thousands of Christmas tunes and ready-made Christmas play-lists. All you need is an online device – smart phone, tablet, computer, even your TV – that you can hook up to speakers.

Taste

Making Christmas gingerbread figures

What’s Christmas without food and drink? Gingerbread, mulled wine, minced pies, Christmas cake, eggnog and all the roast fayre. It’s a time for treating yourself – perhaps over indulging a little! Put a hamper on your pressie list… or buy yourself one. They’re often filled with seasonal items you don’t see during the rest of the year. Alternatively, find yourself a nice basket and add small luxury items that you see in the weeks & months leading up to Christmas. You can then dip into the basket of special treats over the holidays (providing you’ve not been cheating and raiding it beforehand!). There’s nothing better to make the day seem a bit special!

Touch

Pile of blankets

It’s always cold at Christmas – unless you live in the tropics or southern hemisphere. Stock up on woolly blankets, fluffy sheepskin rugs, and fleecy cushions. We love a crisp, chilly Christmas or Boxing Day walk with the dog, but nothing beats snuggling up indoors in front of the wood-burner with a mug of hot chocolate afterwards!

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Etsy List: Christmas foodie gifts

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Christmas foodie gifts Etsy List curated by H is for Home

One of the real pleasures of Christmas is the foodstuffs that are once a year treats or distinctive to the season. Sometimes you pop them into your own festive shopping basket, and other times (even better) you’re given gifts that make your mouth water. Chocolates, cakes, relishes and the like… we’re getting excited! Here are a few favourite Christmas foodie gifts we found on Etsy.

Christmas foodie gifts
Curated by H is for Home

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