I’m fully in festive mode now!
It never used to hit me particularly hard but as I’m getting older and the children are growing up, I’m loving Christmas more than ever.
On Sunday, we by-passed our usual Christmas tree farm and collected a tree from our local Pines and Needles store. It’s a pop up shop near to us and they contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to test out their service. I’m going to be honest, I had never heard of them and had no idea where they were but I agreed we’d go along after Elsa’s athletics on Sunday to choose a tree. I must be really blind because their shop is directly opposite Elsa’s athletics track. It’s super cute with a festive looking hut for a shop. I’d love to see it in the evening as I bet it looks beautiful with all the lights blinking and music playing.
There are loads of trees neatly lined up in size order and they each have a coloured tag denoting their size and type.
Initially quite overwhelmed and daunted as she doesn’t have any recollection of this sort of environment before, Emmeline was quickly won over by the beautiful pine scents breezing around, the festive vibe of the stall but most likely she was won over by the offer of an apple pie. No, not a mince pie but an apple pie! How did they know she’s such a cake fiend?!
I don’t typically have a huge amount of patience for
anything choosing trees and in true Alice-style, I pointed out the nearest one to us and said “what about this one?”
I must have amazing instinct as the tree nearest to us was absolutely perfect. Gorgeous shape, lovely thick branches and no wobbly bits. But in truth, they all looked pretty good so we could have taken any and been just as happy. The guy working at the stall was lovely. Really helpful, friendly and without even asking if we’d like help, he carried our tree and put in the car for us. It was exactly how I like collecting a Christmas tree to be…simple, pain-free, quick and easy.
How cute is this little decoration shop? You half expect Santa’s elves to pop up and offer to make you some wooden toys.
Along with the tree, we brought home this fantastically sturdy tree stand which holds well and holds a decent amount of water so you don’t end up with dried out tree too soon!
I have to say that it was a really great experience receiving a tree from Pines and Needles and would definitely consider it again for next year. They have stores all across London and in St. Albans and offer a same day delivery service – here is their map so you can find your nearest shop.
They offer two types of tree – a traditional Norwegian Spruce which they recommend for outdoor use because of its hardy nature. And the now more popular for indoor use, Nordmann Fir which has thicker needles and doesn’t drop so readily. They charge £59.99 for a 6ft Nordmann and £47.95 for a 6ft Spruce.
What particularly appealed when they initially contacted me was their family history. Pines and Needles is a company initiated by two Scottish brothers in 1995. Then aged fifteen and thirteen, they came up with the notion of loading up a horse box and travelling from their family farm down to London with beautiful Christmas trees. Over the years the organisation has grown but they retain that element of Scottishness by insisting all tree deliverers wear a kilt! Yes!!!
Just to be super on trend, they even supplied Ms Markle and Prince Harry with their tree last year so they must be pretty good, right?
Anyway, back to our tree…
Once home and upright, the girls set to work with the decorations. Jude was not interested in the slightly but sat on the couch watching the goings on. I tried to convince him to hang one of our new decorations but he just wouldn’t do it.
I think he was quite intrigued as he didn’t disappear up to his room but instead watched from afar. We don’t go crazy with the lights and decorations around the house as I like to keep it semi-normal for Jude. It would be too much for him if suddenly our house turned in to a disco ball of lights and glitter everywhere!
Little Chicky had so much fun. Her bead distribution was perfection in her eyes (I moved it all when she wasn’t looking)
Turn away for a minute and there she is on a chair trying to reach the higher parts of the tree!
We always buy a few new ornaments each year and this year we bought our initials in glitter and mosaic jewel form! Ever the Aquarian, I have to be different…too many E’s and J’s in our household so I had to buck the trend.
And here is the finished item as beaded, baubled and tinselled by the girls.
I’d love to see your Christmas trees if you’ve done them already 🙂
*Pines and Needles very kindly gave us this tree and stand. However all words thoughts and baubles are my own. They also sell tree lights, decorations, wreaths and garlands home and table ware.