• The Evolution of Christmas Songs

    Dec 12, 2017

    There are lots of components that go into making Christmas what it is. Tons of food, cheesy films, awkward office parties, increasingly elaborate TV adverts, redecorating the Christmas tree when the kids have gone to bed - and, of course, Christmas songs.

    Christmas just isn't the same without the radio, offices, shops and restaurants pumping out all your favourite festive hits, but just how have these songs changed over the years?

    We've dug into the yuletide archives (looked on the internet) and researched how Christmas number ones have changed over the years, starting in 1970 and going right up to the present day. The following infographic looks at various aspects of the Christmas songs that have topped the charts, including common themes, the key it's written in, length, and more...

    Evolution of Christmas songs infographic

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    The Evolution of Christmas Songs

    Ever wondered how Christmas songs have evolved over the last 47 years? How has the lyrical content evolved? Have the songs got quicker or slower? Have the songs got longer or shorter? Do the songs actually reflect changes in society? Christmas Tree World take a look at all this and more...

    Word frequency

    1970-1989

    • Christmas - 79
    • Time - 57
    • Love - 47
    • Know - 34
    • World - 30
    • Just - 26
    • Day - 23
    • Lord - 22
    • Want - 22
    • Ernie - 21

    Other frequent words: Merry (14), Born (14), Sing (11)

    1990-2016

    • Love - 67
    • Know - 59
    • Baby - 33
    • Day - 32
    • World - 30
    • Hallelujah - 29
    • Never - 27
    • Time - 27
    • Told - 26
    • Gonna - 26

    Other frequent words: F*ck (16 - thanks Rage Against The Machine), Born (15), Sing (14)

    35% of Christmas number 1s between 1970-1989 were 'Christmas songs'.

    7% of Christmas number 1s between 1990-2016 were 'Christmas songs' - including another version of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'.

    Song Keys

    Number of Christmas songs per song key

    1970-1989

    • A - 2
    • B - 0
    • C - 7
    • D - 1
    • E - 3
    • F - 1
    • G - 2

    1990-2016

    • A - 2
    • B - 0
    • C - 3
    • D - 7
    • E - 7
    • F - 1
    • G - 7

    No Christmas Number 1 in the last 47 years on the key of B.

    C Major was the most popular key from 1970-1989 - Schubert described the characteristics of that key as ‘innocence, simplicity, naïvety, children's talk’.

    G Major was the most popular key from 1990-2016 - Schubert described the characteristics of that key as ‘rustic, idyllic and lyrical’.

    Average song speed/length

    1970-1989

    Average song speed - 96bpm

    Average song length - 03:45

    1990-2016

    Average song speed - 85bpm

    Average song length - 04:08

    Facts

    Paul Joyce, who wrote ‘Can We Fix it’, won an Ivor Novello award for the song in 2001

    Christmas Number 1s from 1970 - 1989 were shorter, quicker and lighter in lyrical content

    Christmas Number 1s from 1990 - 2016 are longer, slower and more frequently written in a minor key

    48% of Christmas Number 1s in the last 26 years have been covers

    What's your favourite Christmas song?

  • This Is How Much Santa Eats On Xmas Eve [Infographic]

    Nov 11, 2017

    Santa Claus has a pretty busy time ahead. Delivering presents to millions and millions of children around the world (well, those on the 'nice' list anyway) is no easy feat, so it's important he's well fed and keeps hydrated.

    So it's a good job many of us like to leave out a little something for St Nick to keep him fuelled on his journey. Christmas Tree World conducted some research on how much we leave out for Santa in different parts of the UK, and the results are very interesting indeed!

    While Santa is popping some presents under our Christmas trees, he munches his way through an incredible amount of mince pies, cookies and chocolates, and glugs plenty of milk, sherry and whiskey. Have a look at the infographic below and see the stomach-popping amount that Santa scoffs on Christmas Eve, as well as some fascinating info about what gets left out in other countries around the world, too.

    How much Santa eats on Christmas Eve infographic

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    Santa's Xmas Eve Supper

    To help fuel Santa on his whirlwind trip around the globe on Christmas Eve delivery presents, it's customary to leave out a bite to eat and something to wet his whistle. But just how much does St Nick consume on his yuletide travels here in the UK?

    • 1.5m glasses of sherry
    • 1.4m glasses of whiskey
    • 884K glasses of mulled wine
    • 1.3m cans of beer
    • 2.6m cookies
    • 3.5m glasses of milk
    • 4.7m mince pies
    • 1.1m chocolates
    • 4.1m carrots for the reindeer

    Other things people leave out include, sandwiches, Coca-Cola, vodka, port, Baileys, rum, and fruit juice.

    In total, Santa would consume a stomach-popping 2 billion calories.

    He would need to burn 5 million calories a day to drop that weight for next Christmas. That's the equivalent of running 17,789,395 miles or 555,918 deadlifts.

    Santa will also consume 6 million units of alcohol. The alcohol wouldn't leave his system for about 685 years, but as he tops it up every year, he's probably permanently drunk!

    Santa's trip around the UK

    • Wales are the stingiest - 62% leave nothing for Santa.
    • Northern Ireland are the most generous - 68% leave something out.
    • London least likely to leave out carrots for the reindeer (12%), but leave out the largest selection of treats for Santa.
    • Santa must love the North East - 47% leave out an alcoholic beverage.

    Santa's Trip Around The World

    So now we know what gets left out for Santa here in the UK, but what happens in the rest of the world?

    • France - Biscuits are left out for Pere Noel
    • Italy - Le Befana, a friendly witch, is gifted a glass of wine and sometimes sausage and broccoli
    • Sweden - A bowl of porridge is left for Jultomten
    • Australia - Santa gets left a nice cold beer
    • Ireland - Santa must love going to Ireland where many leave him a pint of Guinness
    • Germany - Children must earn their presents from Weihnachtsmann by performing a song or poem.
    • Chile - Viejo Pascuero is given a pan de pascua, a spongy cake flavoured with rum and filled with dried fruit and nuts.

    What will you be leaving out for Santa this year?

  • Best Fibre Optic Trees for Bay Windows

    Oct 10, 2017

    At Christmas Tree World, we have grand trees, tiny trees and everything in-between. For those who like to draw attention to their stunning Christmas decorations without seeming "too much",  a fibre optic tree is ideal.

    Beautiful, ambient and eye-catching, fibre optics looks fantastic when positioned front and centre, and nothing greets visitors better than a Christmas tree gleaming coquettishly from a window.

    If you haven't yet decided where to place your first tree, we have the answers. Take a look below at our favourite fibre optic Christmas trees for bay windows.

    The Gold Flower Fibre Optic Tree

    Like a tiny ray of dewy sunshine peeking through the darkness, our Gold Flower Fibre Optic Xmas Tree casts a gorgeous glow through bay windows.

    Inviting and simple in design, the Gold Flower tree comes with 80 golden tinsel tips, emitting a warm white ember-esque radiance which lovingly welcomes in guests. Long-lasting LEDs come ready-fitted to this tree, so you needn't worry about buying replacement bulbs in a hurry.

    An ideal choice for big, barren bay windows which demand a festive feel.

    SHOP GOLD FLOWER FIBRE OPTIC XMAS TREES.

    The White Blue Ripple Effect Tree

    For a calming feel to your space, add a White Blue Ripple Effect Christmas Tree. Startlingly brilliant, this fibre optic tree is very much a tree which demands all the accolades. The beautiful bright blue fibres elegantly ripple up and down the tree, mesmerising guests and relatives during the festive season.

    Pop in your front bay window to show off your Christmassy flair, or add to back bay windows and watch the garden bask in a gorgeously relaxing blue haze.

    SHOP WHITE BLUE RIPPLE FIBRE OPTIC CHRISTMAS TREES.

    The Red & Blue Colour Burst Fibre Optic Tree

    Add a splash of colour to bay windows this Christmas 2017 with the Red & Blue Burst Artificial Xmas Tree. Casting a rainbow hue from your front window, this fibre optic tree is illuminated through acrylic stars perched at the end of realistic branches.

    While this tree transitions from red, to blue, and every colour in-between, you needn't worry about noise; like many of our fibre-optics, this tree has no moving parts, which means no noise.

    SHOP RED BLUE COLOUR BURST FIBRE OPTIC CHRISTMAS TREES.

    Our fibre optic Christmas trees comes in sizes from 3ft up to 8ft. If you like the look of the fibre optic Christmas trees above, browse our newest in the range: the LED Bellisimo, Red & Blue LuminescenceAndromeda and Multicolour Aurora.

    Image credit

  • Best Small Artificial Christmas Trees For Xmas 2017

    Sep 9, 2017

    Christmas is the best time of the year.

    There. We said it.

    We love it because absolutely anybody can get stuck in; whether you like to go big with the brightest lights and most garish Christmas jumpers, or prefer the humble warmth of togetherness during the winter months, we know the feeling.

    To get you in the mood for the Christmas season, why not look at our range of small artificial Christmas trees? Ideal for table-top decorations and to sit in the nooks of small rooms, our 3ft Christmas trees and 4ft artificial trees prove it’s the little things in life that really do make all the difference.

    Here are our favourite small artificial trees for Christmas 2017.

    3ft Woodland Pine

    Woodland Pine Artificial Christmas Tree

    Our Woodland Pine range is one for those who simply adore the outdoors.

    Christmas Tree World customers love this range for its realistic pine trees; with its perfect mix of PE & PVC branch tips and two-tone green colour, our Woodlands demand your guests’ attention.

    Boasting an impressive 382 branches and at 63cm diameter, our 3ft Woodland Pine might be small, but they sure are full of heart.

    Shop Woodland Pine Artificial Christmas Trees.

    4ft Snowy Scots Pine

    Snowy Scots Pine Artificial Christmas Tree
    If you can’t think of anything more gorgeous than a beautiful snowy day, then look no further than our 4ft Snowy Scots Pine trees.

    A thin blanket of snow rests atop our Snowy Scots, providing a fetching ambient glow from the moonlight. Not only do they look realistic from afar, they’re also fantastic up-close; expect your guests to marvel at this tree’s delicate branch tips – all 298 of them!

    Bushy and full of character, our 4ft Snowy Scots is 68cm in diameter and combines PE/PVC branches with large bottle brush tips. Traditional with an extra hint of opulence – divine!

    Shop Snowy Artificial Christmas Trees.

    4ft Arbor Grande

    Arbor_Grande Artificial Christmas Tree

    Our 4ft Arbor Grande artificial Christmas tree is grand in name, and – despite being just 4ft tall – is certainly grand in nature.

    This is one of our most realistic Arbors, with 447 branch tips and 72cm in diameter.

    Elegant and with a gorgeous subtle look, it really is impossible to spot the difference between this and a real tree. Add some multifunctioning LED lights and see how much warmth your small Christmas tree brings to chilly evenings.

    Shop Arbor Artificial Christmas Trees.

     

    Don’t forget, many of our trees come in multiple sizes, ranging from 3ft up to a whopping 20ft. Browse all our artificial Christmas trees and show us how you’ve styled yours on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

  • Red Wine Hot Chocolate Recipe (for the grown-ups!)

    Oct 10, 2016

    Touted as the “Ultimate Winter Beverage for 2016”, you can be the first of a very merry crowd when you try this lovely Red Wine Hot Chocolate recipe.

    Perfect for when you’ve tucked the kids in bed and it’s time for a very festive wind-down. Like a massive cuddle in a mug, this red wine hot chocolate is the perfect medley of wholesome Christmas vibes and Friday night relaxation, wrapped into one.

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    • 500ml milk (or soya)
    • 240ml red wine
    • 60g dark chocolate curls
    • Whipped cream (optional)

    Method

    1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk and chocolate until fully melted and thick (resist licking the spoon!)
    2. Pour in the best bit (the red wine) and mix on a simmer until combined.
    3. Pour out into mugs or glasses and top with whipped squirty cream or extra chocolate curls. Delicious!
  • White Hot Chocolate Recipe (for the kids!)

    Oct 10, 2016

     

    Nothing quite says Christmas like a steaming mug of hot cocoa and some snuggly slippers.

     

    Whilst we can’t supply snuggly slippers for you lovely lot, we do have something else up our sleeve – a white hot chocolate recipe, perfect for making with the kids on chilling winter nights!

     

    We love this twist on the traditional milk chocolate version, not only because white chocolate is super delicious, but also because even if it’s not snowing outside, you’ve got your White Christmas in a cup! Yum yum!

    Ingredients (serves 2)

     

    • 150g white chocolate
    • 250ml almond milk
    • 250ml full-fat milk (or soya)
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • A squirt of whipped cream, a few tiny marshmallows, or colourful  sprinkles (for decoration)

     

    Method

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milks and chocolate until completely melted.
    2. On a low heat, whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon until fully combined.
    3. Pour into warm mugs (if you’re feeling festive) or into large glasses (if you’re feeling super sophisticated).
    4. Sprinkle your chosen decoration on top and sip up! (Be careful not to burn your mouth if it’s piping hot!)
  • Here's How To Have a Stress-Free Christmas 2016

    Jan 1, 2016

    Christmas already seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? We’re all back to work and the days of eating loads, drinking before lunchtime, watching too much TV and then eating some more seem like a distant memory.

    Some people are even glad of the fact that Christmas is gone for another year (yes, really!), but we’re not, and we think that now is the perfect time to be planning for 2016. With that in mind, here’s why you should be buying your Christmas tree and decorations right now so you can have a stress-free Xmas 2016.

    Get some great Christmas tree deals & offers

    Let’s start with the obvious one - saving money. By buying a Christmas tree and your decorations early, you can take advantage of the great deals and offers in the January sales.

    Related: Real vs Artificial Xmas Trees - Which will save you the most money?

    Christmas is a strain on the purse strings for many of us, so it makes sense to make the most of sales when they crop up, regardless of how far away Christmas actually is. You can then sit back smugly, safe in the knowledge that come the following Christmas, you’ve got your Xmas tree sorted.

    Just take a look at how much you could save in our Christmas tree sale.

    Keep that festive spirit going

    If you’re feeling a little glum about Christmas being so far away, then simply refuse to let it go and cling onto every last drop of festive cheer you can. Buy browsing and buying Christmas decorations now, you can live firmly in denial before the next step of the grieving process kicks in. Just be prepared from odd looks from the postman when you’re dressed in full Xmas getup when your new tree is delivered.

    Take away the hassle & stress for next year

    The buildup to Christmas can be pretty stressful, so it’s best to plan well in advance so you can focus your attention on enjoying yourself and eating everything in sight. This is a pretty important point for big businesses and organisations, such as hotels, that require a substantial amount of planning and actual volume of decorations.

    Related: The Guide to Buying an Artificial Christmas Tree for a Small Space

    You’ll no doubt have plenty of other responsibilities and festivities to organise, so don’t get caught out and risk what you want being out of stock.

    Because you’ve noticed your current Christmas tree is a bit shabby

    If your current Christmas tree is looking a bit past its best then throw it away. No messing. Don’t hope and pray that it’ll be OK in 11 months’ time; just do the sensible thing and sling it out. Or rather, see if you can recycle your artificial Christmas tree by contacting the council to see if they have any collections, or you could try upcycling it by turning branches into wreaths or garlands.

    If your tree is looking a bit grim, then something like the Green Princess pre-lit fir tree (shown below) will fill that Xmas tree-shaped void in your life perfectly.

    If your tree is still looking fabulous, however, then don't just ram it in the loft or it won't be long before it does look past its best. Popping it in a Christmas tree storage bag will keep it look pristine until next year.

    Are you missing that Christmas feeling? Grab yourself a new Xmas tree and keep that festive feeling going just a little bit longer.

  • Our top tips for beating the January blues

    Jan 1, 2016

    After the final chocolate has been eaten and the last bottle of wine has popped its cork, there is nothing but a sense of deflation as the cold, dull month of January rolls around.

    When the Christmas tree and decorations have been taken down and packed away, we’re left with with merely an expanding waistline and a ravished bank account. It’s not surprising that the January blues hit us hard.

    Whilst you may be feeling seemingly underwhelmed and sluggish, the new year is actually a great incentive to turn over a new leaf, make some lifestyle changes and perhaps aim for a new goal.

    Here at Christmas Tree World we have a few ideas to help you to shake the January blues.

    Eat well, be well…

    After a good few weeks of indulging in alcohol and festive food, it’s no surprise that we feel a bit grim and lethargic...perhaps that trusty old belt is no longer needed?

    It all starts with a break from heavy food and drink but forget gruelling weight loss fads; instead be realistic by working on eating a more balanced diet with treats in moderation.

    Get up and move…

    If joining a gym is too expensive, just getting up and walking in the fresh air everyday for at least half an hour will do the trick. Any movement is good movement to help get you back into shape and feeling more energised throughout the day.

    Catching those ZZZs…

    After one too many late nights and your daily routine out of the window, an easy way to start to get back to normal and feel better is to get a good night's rest. Re-establish your sleeping pattern and you’ll immediately feel more awake and ready for the day.

    Save money…

    After treating yourself and your loved ones over the festive period, purse strings probably need to be tightened. Set yourself a realistic amount to save per week and as you see your bank balance rising, you’ll soon feel a little more cheery.

    For those bargain hunters out there, you can get ahead of the game and take the pressure off next Christmas by checking out the amazing discounts in our Christmas tree sale, with plenty of other discounts available across the site, too.

    Plan something fun for the coming weeks…

    By planning something interesting, you will have something to look forward to in the midst of the January blues. Whether it’s a day out with friends or family or a treat for yourself, plan something into your diary and start counting down those days.

    Take up a new hobby…

    If you’ve always wanted to give something a go, the new year is the perfect time to try it. Whether it’s joining a class or exploring a life long interest, you’re bound to meet like-minded people and feel part of something which has to make you feel a little bit better.

    The January blues certainly don’t last forever and you’ll soon have the spring back in your step...But until then remember that it's only 51 weeks until Christmas!

    How do you battle the January blues? Tweet us @Xmastreeworlduk

  • 12 Bizarre New Year Traditions Around The World

    Dec 12, 2015

    New Year’s Eve is a fairly standard affair in most places in the UK. We tend to get a little merry, watch Jools Holland’s Hootenanny because there’s nothing better on the TV and then maybe have a little sing song of Auld Lang Syne, but that’s usually about it.

    However, there are places around the world that have a whole host of crazy New Year traditions. Here are some of the most bizarre…

    Chile - Eat a spoonful of lentils for each month of the year

    We have absolutely no idea what lentils have to do with New Year, but in Chile they eat 12 spoonfuls of them at midnight for each month of the coming year for a year of work and money. 12! Hopefully they’re cooked and mixed with something and not just dry.

    Colombia - Walk around the block with an empty suitcase for a year of travel

    There’s a tradition of sorts here in the UK that you should walk out the back door and in the front door for some reason, but in Colombia they go a bit further and you need to take a trip right around the block with an empty suitcase if you want a travel-filled year.

    Related - Names For Santa Claus From Around The World

    El Salvador - Crack an egg into a bowl and leave it overnight

    It’s getting weirder! In El Salvador, it’s tradition to crack an egg into a bowl and leave it overnight. Whatever form the egg takes the following day apparently tells your fortune for the year. We imagine many people have 'circular' fortunes, whatever that means.

    Peru - fight your neighbours!

    Whilst this may happen in some parts of the UK at New Year anyway, fighting your neighbours is a tradition in certain parts of Peru at the annual Takanakuy Festival. The fighting (there’s dancing as well apparently) is to settle old differences and start the year with a clean slate.

    Spain - Eat a grape with each bell toll at midnight

    That’s 12 grapes in about 12 seconds. That sounds horrible and actually pretty difficult. If you’ve had a bit to drink then you might see those grapes again pretty soon afterwards.

    Related - The Ultimate Christmas Quiz: How Festive Are You?

    Romania - Talking to your cows

    Whether or not this is done under the influence of alcohol is unclear, but apparently if Romanians succeed in communicating with their cows, it’s a bad omen for the year. There are no doubt some very lucky people in Romania.

    Siberia - Jumping in a frozen lake with a tree

    In Siberia’s Lake Baikal, locals dive to the bottom of the chilly lake to ‘dance’ around a Christmas tree. Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof.

    Japan - Ring bells 108 times

    Whilst ringing bells to signal New Year isn’t that bizarre, the Japanese channel their Buddhist traditions by ringing them an oddly specific 108 times. This is said to bring cleanliness for the coming year.

    Related: Why Do We Decorate Our Christmas Tree? The History of the Bauble

    Finland - Melting metal

    Native Fins are said to melt down tin and pour it into cold water to solidify it again. In a similar way to the eggs in El Salvador, whatever shape the now-solid metal takes is said to symbolise fortunes for the coming year.

    America - Possum dropping

    This isn’t a US-wide tradition, but rather just for the town of Brasstown, North Carolina. Brasstown claims to be the possum capital of the world, and so they lower a possum in a see-through box over a noisy crowd. Why? We have no idea.

    Denmark - Smashing plates

    It may sound like something the Greeks might do, but Danes keep broken or unwanted crockery throughout the year before smashing it on New Year’s Eve. They don’t smash it on the floor, however, but against the front doors of their friends and neighbours.

    South Africa - Furniture throwing

    In the Hilsboro district of Johannesburg, South Africa, locals like to start the new year afresh by lobbing all their old and unwanted items out of the window onto the street. Not such a happy time for those who have to clean it up, however.

    Do you know of any other crazy New Year traditions? Let us know!

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    Dec 12, 2015

     

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