Sunday, December 5, 2010

Choosing a Colour Scheme for your Christmas Tree

Last year I started this blog to show you how I create a beautiful Christmas in a beautiful place. I want to do the same this year but there is no need to repeat the tutorials I posted last year. You will find the 'how to' posts in my archives. I'm hoping to have a simple but beautiful Christmas this year - recreating the traditions I have always held dear such as trimming the tree and making my own bon bons but not allowing myself to be distracted by decorating dilemmas and spending money in an attempt to keep up with the trends and have a fashionable Christmas - I've realized I prefer the old fashioned kind of Christmas and that reflects my choices for the colour scheme I chose for my tree this year.

I have a collection of tree decorations in the traditional red, green and gold associated with Christmas. I was so tempted to dispense with the red and go for a more modern look but realized that those decorations now have memories attached. The red bead garlands my twin daughters adorned themselves with when they were two. The cream and gold 'Russ' angels that my girls loved from the moment we saw them on sale in the store. They will come out every year so the traditional colour scheme has to stay - and I've realized that green is the perfect background for red. Think of a field of red poppies, a garden bed of red tulips, the red native flowering shrubs of Australia. All the work of the Master Designer So eye-catching, vibrant and nothing says Christmas to me more than red and green.

Garlands of beads - I have had these in my collection for over 10 years they last so much longer than tinsel and do not drop strands onto the floor!

So the gold and lime green tree I saw in a magazine is staying there - on the pages of a magazine but lime green? I love that idea for my colour scheme and green is my favourite colour - why not red and green with a twist of lime green? Be inspired by the images you see and love but use them and work them into what you already have to suit your home and lifestyle. Urns of apples at the door? Lovely but 1. I don't intend to buy urns to do this and 2. I might as well put up a sign saying 'Welcome possums and any other bush wildlife especially rats - and attracting rats means attracting snakes! I think I will not try this at my home!

Each year I add to my collection just one or two decorations and with the thought of lime green and Granny Smith apples in my head but knowing I would not hang real apples on the tree in our humid climate I opted for the baubles - two sets of lime green from Target on sale at $3 a box. Total cost of updating the tree for this year $6! And having just added the lime green baubles to the tree this morning I really think it has given the tree a 'lift', sets off the red and coordinates with the gold too!

So thinking of updating your tree decorations? Don't abandon the whole of your collection - replace ragged tinsel, shabby or broken decorations by all means but is there something you can add to your collection - an extra colour? Some handmade decorations? Would gingerbread stars or paper icicles give your tree a homemade rustic touch and occupy the children over the holidays? Don't be wasteful, spend money wisely and don't be in too much of a rush to keep up with the trends - an ultra modern black Christmas tree with its silver decorations might look good on the page of that design magazine in its minimalist setting but look totally ridiculous in the corner of your living room with the presents sent by nana underneath wrapped in santa paper! Think of how everything goes together and ask yourself is this going to work with everything else? Will it suit my home? Even if it is just one tree decoration you are considering purchasing, ask yourself these same questions - that dollar saved is after all a dollar saved!

And don't forget to recycle decorations from previous seasons. These Christmas cones were created from old Christmas cards last year for a unique handmade advent calendar. This year the cones have been hung on the tree and I intend to fill some of them with little surprise gifts - bags of homemade popcorn are just one thought. The one in this picture holds a spice bag - you pop the spice bag into a pot of simmering hot water on the stove and fill your home with the traditional smells of Christmas - spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. A neat little gift idea too and so simple to create.

The Christmas cones also make neat little containers for wrapped baked biscuits and sweet treats such as truffles - a lovely little gift for a friend. I like to make biscotti for the cones - they are the perfect fit for the narrow cones.

I'm making more of these this year. I love to make truffles and biscotti at Christmas and of course gingerbread. Traditions extend to the kitchen - there is something about Christmas and traditions isn't there? It's how I intend to keep my Christmas simple and uncomplicated - a new recipe here and there but some traditions cannot be replaced - the children are already asking 'When are we going to make gingerbread? - we always make gingerbread at Christmas!'

It is also why my twin girls insisted on putting up the tree on their birthday the first day of Christmas. How exciting it is for them that they realize that the arrival of their birthday marks the start of the preparation of our home for Christmas when we celebrate the birthday of a Saviour.

What colour scheme do you have for your home? What are the traditions of your family Christmas and how do you update/modify them without going to great expense or being a slave to fashion and trends?

With Love and joy and a twist of lime green,



  1. Once again a beautiful real post on a family Christmas. Yes, I too was swayed by the trends for this Christmas after all the magazine shots & flyers in the mail. But once realizing I could buy the ham, make a pavlova(our kids love a Pavlova)for the cost of making over the tree and still take the kids out to lunch on the beach on our holiday & even put some of the money towards putting a gift under the K-mart wishing Tree(something we do every year)all for the cost of the baubles in my trolley, I promptly decided NO, I would use what I already had & loved.
    Funny girls that we think the same.
    Plus lets face it the kids care not for the trends, but for the time worn ornaments that pop up every christmas, a handmade star made by the teenager in Kindy being a firm favourite.
    A peg angel by son no2 another.
    Love & hugs to you & yours, Niki x

  2. It Is so true to keep it simple!
    My Daughter too wanted us to put the tree up on her bIRthday,I made it the 2nd of Dec in the past as I wanted it to be Her day....Little did I realise for her that makes 'her' Birthdays so special.
    Must say I try and buy a Special Ornie every year and just today at The newsagent of all places they had Christmas Themed Aussie animals They were so well crafted and gorgeous! Wanted 2 of the 3 on the spot! But at $19 I will hope at least one is there for me at the time I have bought all the pressies and have $$$ Free!

  3. I like your cone ideas.
    I bought some new baubles last year to replace some broken ones- our tree was looking bare by buying them after Christmas at 1/2 price. I like the lime green and red too so I am using ordinary green items I already had with red baubles I already had to update my look.

  4. Your tree colors are great! I have just put knitted white garland on this year. Usually I do a more Victorian theme but I am keeping it simple this year:-)

  5. Hi Ann
    I, like you, prefer the traditional colours - we also have a traditional Christmas celebration (right down to the roast turkey, which let's face it really is silly in the middle of a hot summers day, but we still love it!)
    Baking - we always do lots of baking - I have some recipes that were traditions in my home growing up & now we make them each year - it's neat actually because so do my sisters, so we've been talking about our fruit soaking & who's made their chocolate balls already etc.

    I think it's wonderful that your girls had their birthday on Dec 1st - a special date to decorate (although we actually decorate the first weekend in Dec so that Dave can join in, however this year he was working & the kids were eager so we just did it). I love pulling out the ornaments with their memories - some from our first years of marriage, some from when the children were babies etc. I do throw as they break & try to get something new every so often.
    Hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations!
    Have a wonderful time

  6. Your tree is just magical Ann!!

    I've never had a colour co-ordinated Christmas tree, as I always add one or two new decorations each year. I've got many home made decorations and even still have some the children made at kindy!!! They're all so special.
    So our tree is a mish mash, but I love it!

    Advent is my favourite time of year, the expectation and anticipation of the Nativity is such a wondrous thing.

    Shane x


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