• How To Decorate Your Christmas Tree According To Science

    Dec 12, 2015

    So you’ve bought your Christmas tree (or got it down from the loft) and now comes the best part - the decorating.

    Now you could just sling all the decorations on in some kind of haphazard fashion, and there’s plenty of fun to be had doing that, but we thought we’d try and come up with some kind of scientific way of decorating your tree to ensure it looks as good as it possibly can.

    Note: We’re going to use a 7ft Woodland Pine Tree (shown below) as the basis for everything as that’s one of our best sellers so is obviously quite popular.

    woodland-120cm

    Where to position your Christmas tree

    Where you position your tree is incredibly important. You can’t just put it anywhere; careful thought has to go into its exact position. Here are a few things to consider…

    • Heat - if you have a real tree then you’ll want to avoid direct sources of heat as the tree can dry out. With any kind of tree you’ll want to keep it away from radiators so the tree doesn’t stop the heat warming the house.
    • Light - Similarly, you won’t want your tree blocking light sources, whether lamps or windows.
    • View - Obviously you don’t want your Christmas tree hidden away so position it somewhere easily viewable from as many angles and doorways as possible.

    Time for a little feng shui. Whether it’s a real science depends on who you talk to, but, according to feng shui experts, where you place your tree can have a real difference on the ‘energy’ in your house. Apparently Xmas trees belong in the Wood feng shui element and therefore should be placed in one of the following places:

    • East (health & family)
    • Southeast (money & abundance)
    • South (fame & reputation)

    Make of that what you will.

    Where you put your Christmas tree can even have an impact on your Wi-Fi signal, according to British regulator Ofcom. WI-Fi routers receive data through the phone line before emitting the signal out through radio waves and can be affected by other devices that emit radio waves, including the fairy lights many put on the their tree.

    Ofcom recommend that the router be placed at least three metres away from such devices to reduce the chance of interference.

    Decoration density

    There’s a fine line between under- and over-decorating your Christmas tree. One way it looks like you couldn’t be bothered and the other way looks like you like Christmas just a little too much.

    Related: Check out our great range of Christmas decorations

    So what is the right amount of Christmas decorations for your tree? We’re going to do our best to come up with a way to work it out using GCSE maths.

    Using the formula πrl (where ‘r’ is the radius of the base and ‘l’ is the length of the slanted side of the tree) we can find the surface area of the decoratable part of our 7ft tree, which works out as roughly 46 square feet, give or take a little.

    To give you a good mix of decoration, tinsel, lights and greenery from the tree, we’d estimate that you should have 2 decorations for every square foot of tree, which would work out as a total of 92 decorations for this particular tree. Obviously this would change for the dimensions of each tree, but our formula to work it all out would be:

    2(πrl)

    Obviously you’ll need to weight the number of ornaments towards the lower section of the tree so they don’t look squashed at the top.

    When it comes to lights, we’d say that you shouldn’t skimp on them, and we’d agree with experts who say you should have a strand of 100 lights for every vertical foot of tree, so we’d need 700 lights in total for our tree. If you have a real tree then the heat from the lights can make the tree’s pine smell come out stronger.

    Related: See our full range of Christmas lights

    Not everyone likes tinsel but if you want to put some on your tree then we’d look at how long your lights are and half it.

    Colour schemes

    Choosing the right colour scheme for your tree is another important consideration. Obviously red and green are most closely associated with Christmas, and the reason these two colours work so well together is because they’re complementary. They appear on opposite sides of the colour wheel and appear bright when placed together.

    christmas_globe

    The same can be said for yellow and purple, and it’s not uncommon to see decorations and ribbons in coloured with gold and dark purples.

    The reason silver is often used is that, as it’s technically a shade of grey, it’s a neutral colour and therefore goes with pretty much anything.

    It might not have been the most scientific, but we hope we've given you some good tips. Of course it’s all up to personal preference at the end of the day. The most important thing is to have fun!

  • Christmas Tree World celebrates the best festive markets and experiences in the UK

    Nov 11, 2015

    Are you looking to discover a day out filled with the finest mulled wine and delicious festive treats? Or perhaps you’re on the hunt to find a unique, hand crafted gift for somebody special? If the answer is yes to the above then you have come to the right place.

    Here at Christmas Tree World we have scoured the towns and cities across the UK for the very best Christmas experiences, whether it's a Dickensian or Bavarian themed market or an exhilarating ice rink, our guide will help you to find a festive experience for everyone to enjoy.

    Click the image below to view the guide:

    the-ultimate-christmas-event-directory-christmas-tree-world

    Our guide to 2015’s best Christmas events will provide you with a handy map, market address and opening times to ensure that you have everything you need to discover one of our handpicked Christmas markets.

    Help others to join in on the festive fun by sharing the guide through your social media platforms and celebrate the truly fantastic Christmas markets and experiences that the UK has to offer.

    Which location hosts your favourite Christmas Market?

    Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @xmastreeworld and of course, don't forget to check out our huge range of Christmas trees, Christmas tree lights, and decorations.

  • Why The Japanese Made Eating KFC a Christmas Tradition

    Nov 11, 2015

    People in the UK celebrate Christmas (generally) by eating turkey. Whilst elsewhere carp is eaten by Austrians, ham in Finland, fried eel in Southern Italy, codfish in Portugal, and those in Sicily devour a selection of 12 different fish during their festivities.

    Perhaps not all of these are surprising (apart from maybe the eel), but Japan has just outdone the majority of the world with their odd Christmas dinner quirk.

    Rather than enjoying a slap-up Sunday-style dinner full of vegetables, warm potatoes and eaten with a knife and fork, those who celebrate Christmas in Japan treat themselves to a full Christmas dinner of... KFC.

    The origins of the KFC Christmas story is one worth telling to anyone who will listen - in 1974 KFC were just finding their feet selling their western fried chicken to the lighter-eating Asian market and had a few KFCs dotted about Japan's hot spots. Many people didn't look to KFC during Christmas time and, although KFC marketers would love you to believe it was their incredible brains which created this new Japanese tradition, it was in fact started by a few passionate chicken lovers who began something called the "Christmas Chicken" campaign, which would see Christmas tradition changed forever more...

    Discouraged by the fact that it was Christmas and there was nowhere in Japan to find decent turkey on the big day (Christmas isn't generally celebrated in Japan as only 5% of the population are Christian), they decided to start their own campaign which would see chicken thrust to the forefront of the nation's mouths.

    KFC of course saw this as absolute gold during one of their quieter months in one of their less profitable countries, and decided to go ahead with the followers' campaign and make it a big thing for every Christmas following.

    Nowadays, KFC offer Japanese patrons a full Christmas dinner complete with wine, champagne, cake and of course, chicken. Chicken Fever has definitely caught on since and every year there are lines out the door with people reserving tables and pre-ordering their Christmas fare from the Kentucky chain.

    When you think about it, it really isn't that strange... after all, Santa Claus was originally green but when Coca-Cola launched a massive Christmas campaign in 1931 which saw Santa changed to red, it just stuck! Now our present-day Santa is red - and would we have it any other way?!

    While you're hear, don't forget to check out our amazing range of Christmas trees, Christmas tree lights, and decorations.

  • The Best Festive Food & Drink On The High Street

    Nov 11, 2015

    We love good festive food and drink, whether this be fanciful spiced fruit, or just plain old turkey wrapped in more turkey stuffed with cranberry sauce – whatever the dish we are more than happy to oblige.

    So where can you find the best festive fare in your town? Check out our list of some of the best places to grab those delectable treats you waited all year for…

    Costa Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate

    Yep this does taste as indulgent as it sounds… smooth and buttery like a gooey brownie and just plain glorious to savour…

    Gregg’s Festive Bakes

    As synonymous with Christmas as the Coca-Cola Christmas truck, Gregg’s festive bakes have always been a winner with every busy-bee with a penchant for gloriously speedy pasties and the like.

    Gregg’s Christmas Muffins

    But whilst their festive bakes may take front of stage, Gregg’s Christmas Muffins are not to be scoffed at, just scoffed… A spiced mincemeat muffin with custard filling and topped with Christmassy icing – yum!

    Cadbury’s Festive Flake Cakes

    Ever since they stopped selling Dream Bars, we’ve been particularly silent on the Cadbury front. That is until these festive flake cakes came to the fore… we are officially once again true believers.

    Aldi’s Mature blue Stilton with Port glaze and fruit topping

    Never underestimate the discount store…  especially when it comes to festive grub

    Thornton’s Snow Dog Chocolate Model

    Bite its ears and feel not an ounce of remorse. No Thornton’s Snow Dog is safe this Christmas…

    Pret A Manger’s Crimble Crumble

    Sweet mincemeat topped with sugary crumble and dusted with ‘sugar snow’, you’ll love this with a milky coffee or simple cup of tea. Not a dunker, but still an amazingly festive accompaniment…

    Pret Manger's Christmas Lunch sandwich

    The king of all sandwiches and your ‘grab on the go’ December 25th imitator. Because Christmas Lunch is way too good to wait for…

    Starbucks Christmas In a Cup Latte

    Apparently this is on the ‘secret menu’ at Starbucks, meaning you have to ask specifically for this special concoction. This festive drinks uses a latte as its foundation, with a shop of cinnamon, white mocha syrup, peppermint syrup and whipped cream. Licking your lips yet?

    While you're here, don't forget to check out our amazing range of Christmas trees, Christmas tree lights and decorations.

  • The Best Christmas Recipe Ever: Sticky Fig Pudding

    Nov 11, 2015

    Okay it may not even be December yet, but the days are getting darker, the clouds are getting greyer, and against the miserable backdrop there is that extraordinary feeling of festivity in the air.

    You might have thought of knocking together a few recipes come Christmas Eve, but everyone knows that’s just asking for a whole host of unnecessary stress come the Big Day.

    So save yourself the hassle and try out this delicious Fig Pudding recipe, straight from the “star bakers” here in our office (yes we are still into the Great British Bake Off like it’s still Summer).

    This clever take on a traditional Christmas Pudding uses no butter and more lovely sticky fruits than any shop-bought variety – give it a go this Christmas.

    Ingredients

    • 200g figs, chopped
    • 200g dates, chopped
    • 100g prunes or apricots, chopped
    • 100ml brandy
    • 100g dark muscovado sugar
    • 50g self-raising wholemeal flour
    • 200g breadcrumbs (the crunchy kind)
    • 2 free range eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 orange, zested and juiced

    Method

    1. Line a large pudding bowl with parchment paper and boil up some water in preparation.
    2. In a saucepan, mix the dried fruits with the brandy and leave to soak over a low heat for around 10 minutes so that the alcohol infuses into the fruit.
    3. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – so that’s the flour, sugar, breadcrumbs, spice, orange zest and cinnamon.
    4. Then add in the wet ingredients – the beaten eggs and orange juice – whipping well so that the flour is combined evenly.
    5. Mix everything together and pour the complete mixture into the prepared pudding bowl, careful not to fill too close to the brim, and cover with tight foil.
    6. In a separate saucepan, add the boiling water and plonk the pudding bowl in so that it covers at least two thirds of it. If you’re worried about how to get it out without burning yourself, opt for a smaller saucepan of boiling water that allows the pudding bowl to rest within it
    7. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer for 4 hours. This may seem like a long time, but all you have to do in the meantime is top up the water every hour or so.
    8. Remove from the pan when cooked, turn out, leave to cool, and serve immediately.

    Merry Christmas!

    If you're still looking for that perfect artificial Christmas tree for December, take a look over on our main site for a whole host of magical Christmas trees and decorations - www.christmastreeworld.co.uk

  • Stay Safe This Christmas with an Artificial Christmas Tree

    Nov 11, 2015

    Whilst real, live Christmas trees are great for bringing true tradition into your home, artificial trees have sky-rocketed in popularity over the years – and it’s no wonder why.

    They’re less messy, can be used for years and years and, perhaps most importantly, are much safer than their real counterpart.

    Artificial trees on the Christmas Tree World site are all designed to be fully fire-retardant, whereas real trees have a high propensity to catch fire if surrounded by hot electricals such as radiators, lights, etc. However, artificial trees still need to be cared for wisely, so keeping it away from open heat sources like fireplaces or candles is still highly recommended.

    pepvc_flocked_tree_6

    It’s also important to remember that artificial Christmas trees are made by different manufacturers, so the quality of your tree can differ greatly. Because of this, you need to ensure the artificial tree you choose is high quality from a valued retailer and comes with a long warranty (10 years warranty is usually the maximum you’ll find). The trees should also be labelled, certified and identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant in order for you to have a completely safe Christmas. It’s also worthwhile to check that the lights you decorate your tree with have an independent testing label, as well as being fully functional with no broken or loose cords which could cause damages.

    For more on quality Christmas trees, check out www.christmastreeworld.co.uk

  • Ultimate Cheesy Christmas Music Guide

    Dec 12, 2014

    It’s finally December which means it is time to break out the Christmas tunes. We all have our own Christmas music guilty pleasures, whether that is Wham's Last Christmas or Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas. To help inspire your playlist, here is the ultimate Christmas Tree World Christmas music guide, they are sure to get you all in the festive spirit:

    1. White Christmas  - Bing Crosby

    An oldie but a goodie, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas from the 1954 musical film, White Christmas

    2. Walking in the Air - From the film The Snowman

    A childhood classic, Walking in the Air is from the animated 1982 film, The Snowman. Although the song was later released by Aled Jones, Peter Auty was the original voice for the film.

    3. Last Christmas - Wham

    Released in 1984 by the band Wham, this is a must on any Christmas list!

    4. Let it Snow - Dean Martin

    Written by lyricist and Composer duo Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in July 1945, this is a Christmas classic.

    5. I wish it could be Christmas every day - Wizzard

    Glam rock band Wizzard released this song in Christmas 1973, when it reached number four in the UK Single charts.

    6. Fairytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl

    This Christmas classic was released in 1987 and featured on The Pogues' 1988 album If I Should Fall from Grace with God.

    7. Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade

    Christmas number one in 1973, this tune from British rock band, Slade is now certified platinum and sold over 1.21 million copies.

    8. Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney

    Written by the Beatle, Paul McCartney in 1979 and is still a classic today.

    9. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley

    It's the King himself, Elvis performing Blue Christmas with Martina McBride.

    10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Jackson 5

    Released in 1970, the Jackson 5 Christmas hit has sold over 3.5 million copies.

    11. Baby it’s Cold Outside - Dean Martin

    This version was recorded by Dean Martin in 1959.

    12. Do they know it’s Christmas time - Band Aid (1984)

    Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, this Christmas classic has been so popular it has been re-released several times including this year.

    13. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono

    This Christmas standard was released in 1971and was the seventh tune from John Lennon after the Beatles.

    14. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt

    Written in 1953 by Joan Javits  and Philip Springer and performed by Eartha Kitt. This is Christmas tune that has be covered by many artists including Ariana Grande in 2013.

    15. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey

    With over 14 million copies sold and numerous covers, this is one of the best selling Christmas singles of all time. Co-written and performed by Mariah Carey. Christmas would not be complete without one listen, so here it is.

    Let us know if there is any Christmas tunes that you think we have missed? And of course, check out our fantastic range of artificial Christmas trees.

  • Global Guide to Christmas Tree Traditions

    Dec 12, 2014

    We love Christmas trees and all things Christmas but we all celebrate the season in different ways and have our own traditions. so here is a look at some of the different Christmas tree traditions across the globe.

    Australia

    In the UK Christmas is traditionally thought of with snow and wintry weather, in Australia it is the height of summer. Instead of decorating a fir tree, many Australians decorate Christmas Bushes, native plants with little red-flowered leaves.

    Brazil

    In Southern Brazil there is an abundance of Pine trees that are decorated with little pieces of cotton to represent falling snow, whereas in Northern Brazil where there is fewer pine trees available, many homes decorate artificial trees.

    Britain

    The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree in Britain was first made popular by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who brought home a Christmas tree from Germany in 1841. The royal couple were then photographed in the newspaper in front of the Christmas tree in Windsor Castle. Decorating trees then became fashionable and the tradition spread.

    In Britain, Christmas trees are generally decorated with lights, tinsel and ornaments, while presents are left under the tree.

    Canada

    Due to early German settlers, the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree is now very popular in Canada. Reportedly the first Christmas tree was seen in 1781, German born Baron Friederick von Riedesel who settled in Sorel, Quebec decorated a tree with white candles. As more european settlers arrived in Canada, the tradition spread.

    Finland

    In 1829, Barön Klinckowstrom, a Helsinki nobleman, decorated the inside of his house with 8 Christmas trees; this was one of the earliest records of the Christmas tree in Finland. Nowadays trees are often not brought in the house until noon of Christmas Eve and Christmas ornaments are generally handmade.

    France

    In France, Christmas trees are decorated in much the same way as in Britain.

    Germany

    The tradition of Christmas trees can be traced back to as early as the 15th Century in Germany. It is believed that the first  German Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers. The tree was decorated with fruits, nuts, and treats, which on New Year’s Day  the children  in the village were allowed to eat.

    Greece

    Although most homes now celebrate Christmas by decorating a tree, it is not traditional in Greece. Instead a traditional Christmas celebration is having a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire suspended across the rim.  A wooden cross is wrapper with a sprig of basil and hung from the wire. Each day, a family member will dip the cross in holy water and sprinkle it around the house to ward off evil spirits.

    Greenland

    In Greenland Christmas trees are decorated with ornaments and lights in the same way as celebrated across Europe. Presents are left under the tree for Christmas day.

    Italy

    In Italy, the nativity scene (presepio) is the focus of decorations for Christmas.  Trees are decorated with ornaments and lights that are Nativity themed.

    Another Italian tradition is the Ceppo, this consists of a triangle shaped decoration. The ceppo has three layers. The bottom layer traditionally depicts the nativity scene, the middle layer has fruits and nuts on it and the upper layers are for gifts. The ceppo can be several feet high is heavily decorated with colored paper, gilt pine cones and miniature colored pennants. Small candles are fastened to the tapering sides and a star or angel tops the triangle. The Ceppo is also known as the ‘tree of light’.

    Japan

    Christmas is not widely celebrated in Japan and it is not a national holiday. For those who do celebrate Christmas, trees are traditionally decorated with fans, paper ornaments, wind chimes. One of the most popular Christmas ornaments is the origami swan, which is seen as a symbol of peace.

    Norway

    One of the famous Norwegian Christmas tree traditions is the big Christmas tree that Norway donate each year to the UK as a ‘thank you’ for the help the UK provided Norway in the second World War. The tree is displayed in Trafalgar Square in London each year.

    Another Norwegian tradition is to decorated the Christmas Tree with small paper baskets called 'Julekurver' which are normally heart shaped.

    South Africa

    Being in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is celebrated in the middle of summer. Fir Christmas trees are still popular and usually decorated with tinsel and ornaments.

    Spain

    Similar to Italy, the Nativity is traditionally the focus for Christmas tree decorations.

    Sweden

    In Sweden the timing of the Christmas tree is very important, it must be up on Christmas and stay up until 12 days after Christmas. The tree is decorated with straw ornaments using stars, sunbursts and snowflakes. Straw is used in many Swedish Christmas decorations as a reminder that Jesus was born in a manger.

    USA

    Christmas is huge in America and Christmas trees are decorated in lights, tinsel, ornaments and sometimes strings of popcorn.

    That is just some of the Christmas tree traditions from around the world and if you have any special traditions we would love to hear about them., please let us know in a comment below.

  • Why we’ll be giving a little extra this Christmas

    Dec 12, 2013

    We know that part of the fun of Christmas is all those lovely gifts, tempting food and glittering decorations – even the most charitable of us appreciate the more commercial side of Christmas alongside the truly important meanings.

    Continue reading

  • The History of Christmas Tradition: Magical Solstice, Practical Turkeys & Unusual Boxing Days

    Nov 11, 2013

    We all know how Christmas came to be one of the most wonderful times of the year.

    Continue reading

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