Christmas is always an exciting time when we deck the halls and add some festive magic to our homes. Chloe Witty shares an update with us around decorating for her first Christmas in her new Keepmoat Home as well as some top tips.
I feel like I’ve been counting down to Christmas since we first received the keys to our new house. Technically, this is our second Christmas if you want to be pedantic - as we moved in last year on the 21st December, however this is the first time we've really decorated our home.
Our first big challenge was finding our pre-owned decorations (turns out they were stored at a friend’s house, who knew?!) and start to think of how we wanted our new home to look in the run up to Christmas.
First of all, we were set on getting a real Christmas tree. I've never had one before and have always loved the idea of the smell of fresh pine filling the house – with an added bonus that the only thing I need to store between now and next Christmas is the stand. We headed to IKEA (other Swedish home stores are available) and bought our tree. Bonus tip - if you get your tree at IKEA, you’ll get a £20 voucher to spend in January, making your tree cost only £9 - savvy!
I probably went slightly overboard with our tree! The sensible option is to measure the space you have before going shopping to ensure you pick one that fits your space rather than letting your competitive nature take over and decide that bigger is better.
Be prepared for your car to be covered in pine needles, but really, it's good practice for what's to come. The shedding is something that was a little surprising, along with the fact they need a lot of water - but it’s all worth it because they look amazing!
Nevertheless, if you do want an artificial tree, you might want to wait until the post-Christmas sales to get a sweet deal. Good artificial trees are more expensive than you might think!
Before purchasing our Keepmoat Home, Dan and I rented for several years, which is great for developing a solid starter festive kit. I would recommend you pick a colour scheme, which helps you to get some lovely filler baubles, but also think about what you might want your future tree to look like. We haven't done any major decorating yet in our home, but we've tried to buy colours that we know will go with our living room once it's kitted out in the way we want it. We've also started a tradition where we buy one decoration every year, so we should have a lovely collection as we get older.
Whilst we did have a good starter collection, our new home has significantly more square footage than we're used to which means while it's looking pretty festive, it's not looking all-out Pinterest festive. Don't feel guilty that not every inch of your home is covered in Christmas decorations, focus on one area at a time and utilise sales (Black Friday or January) to get the extras.
‘Tis the season to be 90% cheese at any one time! My parents are hosting Christmas this year, which I'm still happy to oblige with, but given I have a new home with plenty of space, I'm hosting a few little get-togethers. My top tip is to cook something that requires as little attention as possible as you don't want to spend your entire evening in the kitchen away from your guests and more importantly, the gin. For meat eaters, I don't think you can go wrong with pulled pork done in a slow cooker. Roasted butternut squash is delightful for vegetarians, and camembert should always be on hand.
I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas (or first Christmas in your new home) and you enjoy every magical moment this year brings. Remember to share any photos of your Keepmoat Home looking festive, using the hashtag #KeepmoatHomes - I'd love to see them!