As we near the season of Midwinter, our thoughts naturally turn to decorating our festive home; celebrating the darkness with light and bringing evergreen foliage into the house – but wait! Before you buy yet another Christmas Tree, bear a thought for those living in Denmark or Norway who are seeing their native rural world transformed into a wasteland at the hands of Christmas Tree farmers who take over great swathes of land and chemically stimulate the growth of Spruce, affecting the natural flora and fauna of the area and leaving the landscape scarred and bare every harvest time.
I do not mean to be a killjoy and understand that you may be trying to cut down on plastic waste and artificial trees make you come out in hives, so I have another suggestion for you:
Why not bring a new tradition into your home, that of the Yule Bough. Not a tree but a branch, preferably already fallen in recent storms, reclaimed form your local park, roadside or woodland.
Hung across your mantelpiece or above your window, you can adorn this re purposed timber with lights, baubles, and small gifts, using recycled ribbon, string and re purposed tags from old clothes.
There is no end to the ways you can decorate your bough – why not tie chocolates, cookies, bells, fairy lights, small photographs or more as you celebrate the season,. Hey if you are feeling really adventurous you can have a selection of branches around the house – some standing upright in pots, others clustered in buckets or jugs, or hung from rafters, ceilings or window frames, whatever takes your fancy.
You can use spray paint or canned snow to tint the leaves and get you r children to make paper chains, snowflakes and lanterns to hang. Truly eco- friendly, natural and oh so creative, with no two branches being the same – you are sure to create something unique and memorable – who knows you may even start a trend?