CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS: My wife and I... - British Heart Fou...

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CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

ticking-ticker
ticking-ticker
56 Replies

My wife and I have has a Christmas tree every year since we married in 1973. Now, you almost need a bank loan to get something beautiful that is actually now dead. We did try a good artificial tree but it was just not the same.

So this year we have "almost" decided to forgo a tree but continue with putting out all the Christmas stuff we have accumulated over the years and put the pressies down by the fireplace along with the obligatory stockings hanging from the mantelpiece.

Are we being miserly - Scrooge like or do other people feel the same?

56 Replies
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Rose54

My Son informed me last night he has just paid £300 for a artificial tree .He must be mad

I feel the same way as you ours is artificial but a slimline one that fits a space in the dining room perfectly .

Its getting all the stuff out of the loft and sorting it all out that gets me so time consuming I compromise get someone else to do it and decorate tree.

I pack it way after, I must admit I do enjoy the tree

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bantam12
bantam12
in reply to Rose54

It's actually not that mad, we have always had real trees but each year the cost was going up £50 + for a decent sized one, so 2 years ago we invested in a Balsam tree which was over £300, its amazingly realistic and will last for many years so in the long run not expensive and big bonus is no needles to clear up 😉

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Rose54
Rose54
in reply to bantam12

Hi

My Son says its easy to put up and is pre light also on a timer I know that's the make he was looking at so most likely the one he got ,

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bantam12
bantam12
in reply to Rose54

Ours isn't pre lit so we add all our own lights and deccies, it's very easy to put up/take down and very realistic, I would still prefer a real one but the cost and mess isn't worth it.

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chevidaniels28

My mother has nicknamed me Mrs Scrooge since I stopped buying a fresh tree costs a bloody fortune and shreds too quickly. I am in between deciding if I should decorate my front garden hedge with my tree decorations instead 😂 this year.

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Rose54

We always do the bay window have a reindeer scene to stick on this year

Peter Pan last year due to having Grandson for Xmas

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Sunnie2day

Married in '73 says it all - you're not Scrooge-like, you're at the same time of life my husband and I are!

The children are grown and flown with families of their own (splendid place to hand off the accumulation of decorations, at least that's how it's worked for me!).

Health conditions mean slowing down to a more reasonable pace - so those extravagant displays are too exhausting to contemplate much less accomplish.

And if you've down-sized (as my husband and I have), space is limited - perfect reason to down-size the hall decking!

I do admit to having splashed out when the children were young on a hideously expensive Balsam Hill artificial tree - that tree will outlive us all and is currently in use at my son's house (with his now 15yo son openly claiming it ahead for when his parents 'down-size'). I also passed along all the decorations including baubles, figures, lights...that definitely lightened the load!

And I also admit my husband and I are the happy admirers of a much smaller Balsam Hill artificial tree that fits nicely into our limited space (but leaves no room for presents under). Nearly all the gifts fit into the stocking size Santa Sacks we use instead of traditional stockings and the few big ones flank the fire.

Dressing the tree and stringing the white outdoor lights along our stone wall out front is enough for us. We do buy some live greens from a local charity to dress the outside ledge of our front windows, and I hang 'novelty' lights inside those windows ('star curtain', simple and actually quite lovely). We live in a conservation area so the outside decor must be in keeping with the area - and that actually makes our life much easier!

We're not Scroogies, we're sensible:)

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Healthyheart1

No your not a miser , you have lots of things you said to put up. Enjoy your xmas. Merry xmas. Send a photo of your fireplace when your ready x Sheena x

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CPL593H

Sounds really nice and cosy, comfortable. Going down the fake tree route requires about 9 years use to reduce its environmental impact to that of yearly real trees.

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Prada47
Prada47
in reply to CPL593H

So we can feel good about the environment now our trees are more than 9 years old !! Will have to inform our granddaughter aka ( Environment Police Enforcer ) that we are now compliant with being green. We will have to monitor the power usage for the decorations though !!

regards

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CPL593H
CPL593H
in reply to Prada47

You can, I need another 7 years from mine though.

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Deano_H

I ordered a beautiful red tree off amazon, I was a little concerned though when the postman delivered it😏. Turns out the thing is the size of a back scratcher.... not a happy camper 🤔

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Lezzers
Lezzers
in reply to Deano_H

Wrap it up & give it to someone as a 📦

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Deano_H
Deano_H
in reply to Lezzers

I might do, it’ll fit in an envelope ✉️ 😅

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FeetheBookworm

We actually have 2 fake Xmas trees in the loft but DH has refused to get on the ladder to get up there. Can’t think why! Used to have one in the conservatory and one in the sitting room when the daughters were still at home. So we have been buying a tree each year. Last year we bought a small one that sat on a small table in the sitting room and that’s what we’ve planned to do. But agree they get pricier each year.

We are doing the family Christmas lunch so feel we must make an effort. I do love getting the old deccies out though!

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Tudee

I live alone, few friends left alive now, I therefore don’t see the point in decorations for me to sit and look, compounding the fact, ......but I wish a very happy time to those who are part of something.

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GrannyE
GrannyE
in reply to Tudee

That is so sad. Have a lovely cosy Christmas and treat yourself to a special meal nevertheless and do put up a decoration or two. If you do not feel too bad why don’t you volunteer to help out somewhere? Various organisations are always on the look out for helpers at Christmas

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Tudee
Tudee
in reply to GrannyE

Thank you Granny E, my life is not miserable, I just hate the forced expectations of it all, you WILL be happy, everything on the telly is Christmas, jingle music in the stores, I want to out my fingers in my ears and go “la la la la” lol

I shall be busy helping my brother who has cognitive impairment which keeps me on my aching toes. Think I’ll wrap some tinsel round them. Dee

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clarehealsworldwide

Sorry to read about your brother

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Tudee

Late, but thank you Clare, we thought he had Vascular Dementia,but scans reveal he had a C.V.A. during an Endarterectomy prior to Quad by pass. This affected his memory centre, but despite everything he is thriving, has genius level I.Q. (It runs in the family) erhem.........and a great sense of humour, so Im sure we shall muddle through, I wish you every happiness and good health.xDee

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clarehealsworldwide

Thanks Dee. Hope you have fun with your high IQ family!!! Mine is about 120. My brother has a photographic memory, so his life has been easier than mine....

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Purplecross
Purplecross
in reply to Tudee

Hi I also live alone no friends or family but I still put up my white artificial tree and real candles and make a small Xmas dinner. Other than that I treat like a normal day I suffer from anxiety as well as depression which worsened after op.keep your chin up

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Ianc2
Ianc2
in reply to Purplecross

Good for you. More power to your elbow.

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Dempo
Dempo
in reply to Purplecross

Hope things improve for you. There is always someone to chat to on here!

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clarehealsworldwide

Where I live in Yorkshire the local council, local community centres & AgeUK run groups supporting older people on their own, a choir, weekly lunch club, afternoon tea club, monthly outings etc. Hope there are similar groups near you that you can join

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Purplecross

I don’t qualify for anything as I’m not old enough I’ve always wanted to retire to Yorkshire a d get back to nature that would certainly hep me. I’ve had holidays in North Yorkshire and I love the people and the area shame I can’t afford it.

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clarehealsworldwide

If you're over 50 you can join the groups for "older people" here in North Yorkshire. I stayed at The Almar, a lovely B&B in Scarborough, in September. £30 a night for an en suite single room with marvellous breakfast. As I didn't eat meat they gave me a whole packet of smoked salmon with my brekkie. Free snacks, water bottles, tea, coffee any time. Prices of a 1 bedroom flat start at approx £120, 000 in Scarborough, Harrogate, etc. Most of the churches have groups to help people of all ages. whether they are Christian or not. Hope you can find some new friends near you, maybe from a new group you haven't been to before. I also made friends with ladies from my phase 4 cardio rehab exercise class (tho mostly men there). Best of luck.

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Handel
Handel
in reply to Purplecross

You're an inspiration Purplecross. Good for you xxxx

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Sammiwammi

You are definitely not the only one.....we haven't put a tree up for 3 years now.....Christmas is not about a tree, but about the birth of Jesus Christ, so don't think you are miserly-scrooge!!!

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ticking-ticker

How nice was that reply - and to remind us just what Christmas is all about. Thank you for the support! All of your kind replies have been so warm and enlightening and I thank you all. They are so fascinating to read and all paint a warm and caring and loving feeling towards Christmas and to family life which is so reassuring.

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Sunshinebrew

We bought an artificial tree 25 years ago I think it cost around £70 in a sale, it was expensive at the time but we're still using it !! So that's pretty good value.

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Cliff_G

We've decided to carry on with a real tree. We get them from the local Forestry Commission (Scotland) woods and whilst somewhat expensive, they're better than some more purely commercial places. We put the tree in our sun room and light and decorate it and lights round the windows, and the whole room is like a beautiful fairy lit grotto, lovely to sit in with just the wee lights on. Pressies* round the base and a beautiful smell. It's one of our family traditions we'd hate to give up, even if there's only the two of us - son's family with two grandwains, though, this year.

What we have decided though is we don't want any presents and cards stuff. There's nothing we need, and that's a commercial side of Christmas which we feel has got out of hand. If anyone still wants to buy us something, we'll be saying that they should give that money to a charity of their choice. That's what we'll be doing for them, we will be saying. (*something wee for the grandchildren). We will also tell everyone we're not sending Xmas cards, but will send by email a festive "card" that can be printed on A4 if desired to have a physical thing.

We feel it's more important to do something decent with the Xmas spirit, especially as Xmas day will be the second anniversary of coming out of my life-saving aortic dissection operation, my Christmas present from a lovely surgeon in NZ, where I was when it occurred, visiting our daughter

An early Happy Christmas to everyone.

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Janma123

I haven’t put a Christmas tree up for a few years now but will this year as the family are all coming here for Christmas. I have an artificial tree in the loft that was bought about 7 years ago but I’ll probably get a real one as I love the smell! My tree never goes up until a few days before Christmas so I don’t have much problems with needle drop!

Real trees do seem expensive but there is a lot of work and cost involved in growing Christmas trees as they are nurtured and shaped for several years before being selected, cut, packed, transported and sold. We have large areas of Christmas trees close to us and seeing the work involved is a real eye opener! The weather here has been hellish but the squads are out in the fields cutting and packing from early morning until late evening working with lights.

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Khonkaen

IMO Xmas should never be about money. It is a time for good will to all men (and women). We have had the same 2ft artificial tree for the last 12 years and the happiness has never depended on anything material.

We will again spend Xmas in Thailand where my wife's family are not at all rich, but are happy to eat, talk, sing and dance.

Many people lost the plot 50/60 years ago and I think it is totally against the spirit of Xmas to go into debt to have a good Xams.

Scrooge deliberately gave his family and employees nothing, so people go the opposite direction, through fear.

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lateguitarist

I agree entirely. Christmas has been getting progressively out of hand for years now, due mainly to commercial pressure. I have no religious faith and quite frankly I b****y hate Christmas and all the waste and pressure that goes with it. If people do have a faith they should just celebrate it in a simple, family oriented manner. The money that is spent, by people who cannot really afford it, is just outrageous, I know of people who have spent literally £1000's on presents. Our family is not much better, Grandparents buying the kids stuff that ends up at the charity shop come 10th January, just because they "have to buy them 5 things". I sit and look of the piles of waste, almost up to my knees as the fancy paper is torn off and is in the recycling bin 5 minutes later. This is not to mention the piles of shopping 6 feet high in supermarket trolley's, it never ceases to amaze me how people can possibly eat so much in the space of 2 days, the fact of the matter is that a lot of it probably gets thrown away, it is quite disgusting this day and age. This is the sort of nonsense that we have to stop if we are going to seriously start thinking about the planet we live on. People reading this will think I am a miserable old sod, but the reality is miles away from that, most people probably behave in the way they do because they feel they will be ill judged if they are seen not to be on the bandwagon, and are just bowing to the terrible commercial pressure. One good thing though, it is me or are there fewer awful Christmas adverts on the telly this year? I am just waiting for the first decorations to go up round here, can't be long now :) best thing about new years day? Thinking "thank goodness that's over for another year". One thing Christmas is definitely not these days, is a religious celebration!

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Khonkaen

Life itself is getting out of hand, having a HA has bought home to me what is important in life and it isn't money, or possesions, it is family and friends.

Xmas this year will be bigger than ever in those terms, my dear mother in law is kicking 87 and frail, so there may not be many more left and I am still uncertain about my own health.

So every Xmas will be about fun and a tree is at the bottom of the list

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lateguitarist

Here here, and rock on!

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Khonkaen

As an abject failure at 6 string banjo, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, I just bought a ukulele and will try to learn for Xmas. My daughter in the UK plays so the we plan is have an online jamming session on Xmas day.

A challange to someone who is as useful as a chocolate fire engine, but Joe Brown says it only takes two days!!!. Here's wishin'.

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lateguitarist

LOL, which Xmas are you referring to?? I wouldn't take much notice of old Joe if I were you! Nice idea though I am planning a bit of a family singsong.........

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Khonkaen

That cannot be bettered. We have karaoke here, but a friend Andrew plays guitar for a while and it is really great, but then his wife makes him to leave early....bah!

I used to jive, pretty good at it until arthritis, must teach the new wife and get a knee brace. Really kick the sh*t ' till the sun goes down.

Guys and gals forget the Xmas tree, have fun instead.

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Handel

Well said! All the very best to you xxx

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stillaboveground

Putting up my tree is like doing the crypton factor, but opening the decoration box is like opening a box of memories, I will never get used to that feeling, and don't ever want to. Merry and healthy Christmas to you.

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HarryBell

Do you have a garden? with a tree that could sacrifice a decent Tree-like piece- if so, cut it spray it silver and you have a really economical creative way to bring the winter world into your house. Or you can scavenge in woodland- free-tree, hey ho off you go!

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HHH2017

I love the smell of a real tree but now we live in an apartment block its not so practical. So last year with our first artificial tree I used candles to get the gorgeous pine tree fragrance. I love decorating it with items the children made years ago and baubles we’ve collected over the years. Thank you for your post, you’ve made me feel all nostalgic 🎄

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SaraTwycross

Absolutely not we wre doing exactly the same, hugs sara

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Dempo

Maybe you could afford a smaller free and put it in your hallway? I must admit I hate the expense of a fresh tree, but my husband insists on one every year, I think he likes the man job of choosing it and transporting it home ! If you have a lot of holly and ivy near you, you could make some beautiful indoor displays, some gold sprayed pine cones are good, too.

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ticking-ticker

HH post hanging decorations that mean something and Harrys idea of spraying things gold gave me flash backs of childhood, where mother would make the holly decorations with a big red candle and spray the tips with either gold or silver. We have baubles that we bought for our first Christmas together in 1973 purchased in Edinburgh. As for your husband Dempo, I have always been the same, always a big tree, full of decorations and the little candles in the metal daisy shaped clip on bottoms - just as we had when a child - goodness knows where they went. So I am aware and acknowledge what a lot of you females have known for years - than men all hanker after their childhood memories and never really grow up, what with train sets, gliders, model kits, old cars etc etc, but thats what keeps us young at heart! A friend of mine said he was bottle fed and don't know what all the fuss is about, but I just don't know what he means by that. Trust me I was a sailor! and I love the nostalgia and good will there is at Christmas and why we always buy the old Christmas cards with pillar boxes topped with snow and a robin etc

Starting the Christmas advertising on 1 November really is too much and should all be banned until 1 Dec - our tree's always went up for my birthday on 17th and down again on New Years eve ready for the New Year with no ties to the previous year. Sacks full of toys for the children of today and if not one of them is the newest iphone well life is just not worth living. The things a child has in their bedroom can sometimes outweigh the value of the complete rest of the house which to me is just obscene and can - as we all know - lead to huge problems. People just do not want to interact with their children any more and just relieved when they begin "gaming" on line. Why have them if you do not want to enjoy them as all of you here clearly have with the special Christmas's you have made for them.

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lateguitarist

Completely agree, I think there should be a special branch of "Christmas police" to prosecute people who put up decorations before December 15th (ish), along with pubs advertising "book your Xmas party now" in June (honestly) and the endless sickly adverts we have to endure.

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Qualipop

How about a growing live tree? There's someone near us selling growing trees in tubs for a very reasonable price. Garden centres often have them. I had one years ago that we used for many years until it got too big then we planted it in the garden. Or, does it have to be a tree? What about a big vase of branches painted white and decorated?

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ticking-ticker

Now thats a nice idea! Thank you for that

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jimmyq

We bought an artificial christmas tree in the 1980s and still have it. My wife keeps trying to replace it but an't find one as good. It takes up a lot of room but what-the hell, it's Christmas.

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sandrann

Loving the photo of your Christmas tree, thank you for sharing it with us.

We've had a large 6ft high pre-lit artificial tree for the past 12 years now, it has more than paid for itself as it was in a sale for £10, bargain.

If we didn't have a conservatory leading off the lounge that we stand the tree in, it would be too large for our little bungalow.

Had a shock at the prices of real trees, and can understand how you feel.

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Phil-52

My kids have all grown up and left home ages ago but they keep nagging me to put the tree up each year.(artificial that is) last Christmas Eve while buying some decorating stuff I noticed some sad little pine trees awaiting their fate. About a fiver I think. This year after repotting it and keeping it out in the garden it has almost doubled to about a foot high :) can't wait to bring it in and drape some tinsel on it. Next year it might even be big enough for a few lights.

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Sarahd56

Funnily enough I was thinking the same..lots of little Christmas ornaments instead of a tree.

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Handel

Hi ticking-ticker. What a great post!

I still remember the Christmas stars my old dad made - blimey over 60 years ago! Wood, with bacofoil over the top, cut in the shape of big stars. He drilled holes and poked 'fairy lights' through! That was a real fire hazard but lovely.

We've got a pretty decent artificial one that some posh mates of ours thought was real (amazing what you can do with a quick burst of pine air freshener!).

Our little grandkids collect loads of long twigs each year and paint them silver with fake snow spray. Stick them in a nice vase with some battery operated lights - couldn't fault Poundland last year for these) and you've got a pretty amazing decoration up the corner of a room.

You're certainly not a Scrooge. Hope you have a good one xxxx

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Fredders

We don’t have a Christmas tree or any decorations - we have six furry vandals!!!!

Wendy

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