There was a tabloid article a year or two ago that asked: Is This The Oldest Christmas Tree in Britain? I don't have an image of it; copyright would probably be an issue. But it belonged to a couple that had been married for 50 years and this hapless tree had shared almost every one of them. It was somewhat threadbare it's true. But what it had shared and what it represented, you could say it was priceless. I was shocked at how callous people were being over it.
I'm a firm believer that well dressed trees should have something added every year. It's so cheap to do now. But as well as chocolate Santa’s and candy canes, there ought to be something personal as well.
The best way to do this is salt dough. There is no better use for flour that has fallen out of date than adding a cup of salt to two cups of flour and enough water to bind. Knead away and create away. Once done, leave in the oven after dinner is taken out. It will continue to air dry left in an airy place. Allow to dry until it sounds hollow when tapped. then varnish it for long term keeps. I've seen varnish in pound shops, along with paints and glitter. Beads, sequins, there is no limit.
It may be an idea for everyone to write their wishes on the back of the hanging decorations. Forget the lottery, something more personal.
And of course, for the adults, there is always the Blue Peter Christmas Advent decoration. Why not?? Personally, my love for Peter Purvis goes undimmed.
Live decorations such as Holly and Poinsettia always bring a magical energy to bear. There really is no substitute. It's true that they don't survive indoors for long; Christmas Eve didn't become the norm for decorating without reason. The main key about Christmas is the same as every other event in our national calendar. It's to celebrate it well on its own two days. To allow it to drag into weeks and months is perhaps naive. The whole point of a holiday is that it's supposed to be special and that is not the same thing as expensive. Special as in different. To set the special days well apart from the rest helps us mark our lives in terms of seasons and not just in bills. Time flies as you age, we all need to be making the most of it, whatever our situation.