How To Decorate Your Christmas Tree The Instagram Way
The ritual of putting up the Christmas tree is always guaranteed to bring back memories of being small. When I was five, we lived in Somerset in a 60's house with a serving hatch (how handy were they?) and always had a real tree. When he was two, my brother James used to sit at the bottom of the tree for hours talking at length to the Christmas Fairy who sat at the top. It was no surprise to any of my family that he went into a career in sales and now owns an estate agency in Worthing. As we grew up, we moved back to London and my parents bought a fake tree of huge proportions that took about three days and a degree in engineering to put together. My mum used to spend hours decorating to perfection with baubles, tinsel, cotton wool snow and lametta. Lametta was very popular in the seventies, a silver strand of tinsel made with tin and lead that was supposed to look like ice. It was, unfortunately, also popular with our cat Willy who ate it with the result that it literally came out of his backside, forcing my dad to stand on it in order for the cat to run away and the metre long strand to be ejected. So gross.
I met Joe in 1999 and our first tree was tiny with decorations purchased entirely from B&Q. We didn't need a big one as we were never at home for Christmas. This was before children, so it was perfectly feasible to go to alternate family every year for the whole of the festive period and have nothing do with the preparation of Christmas dinner whatsoever. Those were the halcyon days. Days when you could literally sit round the Christmas table for hours with your cracker hat on, eating, drinking, debating and smoking fags with no worries about where your children had gone or even if they were still in the building. You would even reach the coffee and liquor stage and get a second wind, happily realising you could revert back to the Sauvignon Blanc and have a turkey sandwich. Having kids is a wonderful, joyous experience (obvs) but am I the only parent who is looking forward to the lack of responsibility that comes with them being old enough to pour their own squash?
As the years went by, we upgraded and invested in a fake tree so that the cats couldn't wreck it and the kids didn't eat the needles. We had two cats at the time who were half Burmese, half feral, a horrific combo that meant that they were prone to bringing in headless squirrels and leaving them under the Christmas tree. When we moved to York, I decided enough was enough. It was ten years old, had seen better days (and a lot of dead squirrels) and quite frankly looked like shit. So one day, when Joe was at work, I Freecycled it. He only found out last Christmas when he went to get it out the garage and it wasn't there.
So this year, we've got a huge nine foot job in the living room and it's amazeballs. At least, I thought it was amazeballs until I realised that on Instagram, Christmas tree decorating is an Olympic sport with competition so fierce, you'd literally sell a kidney to get the right bauble in the correct position. It's hardcore. Nobody does things by halves. It's a full on, festive rampage and you've got to be in it to win it. So it was only natural that our hashtag, myhomevibe, should get involved in this tree fest and have a themed month, tagged myxmasvibe. With well over a thousand posts, there's more Christmas inspo than you can throw a cat at (no lametta necessary) and they are all bloody amazing.
So what can we do with all this copious festive decor inspiration? Well, for your ease of perusal I have chosen my favourite Instagram trees and even better, I've divided them into theme. I know, I'm great. You can thank me later. Preferably with gin and a mince pie.
Because Trad Can Still Be Rad
White, Bright & Certainly Not Shite
Wham, Bam, It's Dark Side Glam
Because Sticking To The Rules Is Overrated
When An Actual Tree Just Doesn't Cut It
And Finally, If You Want To Tick EVERY Box...
The Evening Standard recently wrote that Instagram is overtaking Pinterest as the top inspirational social media, which doesn't surprise me one bit. It's a hotbed of creativity at the best of times but this Christmas, it's really come into it's own. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of talent on show but bloody hell, it's AMAZING for getting ideas and recreating them in your own homes. And as a friendly, networking community, it's unbeatable. Have a Happy Instagram Christmas, lovely people.