WHEN it comes to decking the halls and putting the Christmas tree up, many people have their own way of doing so.
But with current covid turmoil and the absence of anything better to do, it is no surprise that Christmas keeps starting earlier and earlier.
While some have been choosing to get their trees up as early as October this year, others are still sticking to tradition and holding off until December 1 rolls around.
However expert etiquette coach William Hanson has revealed there can be a fine line between festive and frightening Christmas decorations.
The co-presenter of the podcast Help I Sexted My Boss insists there are basic do’s and don’ts to ensure your decorations aren’t 'common' and tacky.
He says there are certain decorating pitfalls to avoid so your tree doesn’t veer into looking too "overdone" as "less is more" and people shouldn't take the festive activity too seriously.
Here’s William’s guide on the do’s and the don’ts of decking the halls …
LESS IS MORE
Etiquette coach William says "less is more" and people should really try to resist going overboard with their Christmas decorations as it can look like ‘tat’.
Some people have a tendency to use every bauble and glittering ornament they can find with lots of clashing colours and themes.
William says: "Resist going overboard, opt for a few tasty places or adorned zones rather than drowning your house in fairy lights, tinsel and festive tat."
The podcast star also insists that steering clear of multicoloured flashing lights will ensure your Christmas tree doesn't fall into the ‘tacky’ category.
He says: "White lights are preferable. The lights on trees or on garlands are meant to represent the stars which when viewed from earth, are white.
"They’re not flashing pink, strobing blue, and shimmering green. Just stick to white lights to be as authentic as possible this Christmas."
If you’re putting your decorations up in the final few days before the main celebrations, well done – very chic.
HAVE A REAL TREE
William says Christmas decorations look less 'common' when people have a real tree instead of a fake one.
He says: "Have a real tree! Real is beautiful – authentic, even. It’s so much more elegant to have the real thing rather than a plastic creation.
"If you must have a fake one – perhaps someone in your house is allergic to fir trees – then make sure it’s a green one. Trees are not blue."
HAVE A STAR ON TOP
Choosing a luxurious Christmas tree topper can be a difficult task.
But etiquette coach William says people should stick to putting a simple star on top of their trees to maintain traditions.
He says: "It was a star that guided Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem – not Father Christmas or a Sugar Plum Fairy."
TAKE THEM DOWN ON TIME
While many families have opted to get their decorations up early to add some festivity to the bleak covid-stricken year, William says it’s important not to keep them up for too long.
He says: "Twelfth night is the absolute cut off for taking down the tree and boxing the baubles.
"The only person who is exempt from this rule is Her Majesty, who likes to keep her decorations up at Sandringham for weeks and weeks after the celebration ends.
"When you’re a 94-year-old Queen you can do what you like!"
William also insists there’s lots of things to avoid doing with Christmas decorations to ensure they don’t come across tacky.
DON'T PUT THEM UP TOO EARLY
He believes decorations appear more "chic" when they are put up closer to Christmas.
William says: "The acid test for smartness is how late you leave it.
"If you’re putting your decorations up in the final few days before the main celebrations, well done – very chic."
SCRAP THE TINSEL
But William also insists there’s nothing festive about "itchy tinsel" and people can have a lovely Christmas without the tacky decor.
"It doesn’t liven up a room and it is very dated, not to mention not being eco-friendly.
"You can still have a good Christmas without it," says William.
DON’T CALL FATHER CHRISTMAS 'SANTA'
Another thing that William believes is a huge Christmas ‘don’t’ is referring to Father Christmas as Santa.
He believes the American term should be avoided.
He urges: "Call him Father Christmas – this is Britain – and we are not visited by Santa!"
Big, glittery bows are very downmarket and never look as good as you think they did on Instagram.
The podcast co-host is also sceptical of Christmas door accessories and believes people should ditch big bows to avoid being seen as tacky.
He adds: "If you must stick something on your front door, a wreath (ideally real) is the only option.
"Big, glittery bows are very downmarket and never look as good as you think they did on Instagram."
DON'T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY
And lastly the etiquette coach thinks people need to remember Christmas shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
"It’s just a bauble and a few lights," he says.
For more festive stories, this eight-year-old girl wrote a heartbreaking letter to Santa ask for NO presents – and it’s left people in tears.
And this woman shared a bizarre guide on how to cook Christmas dinner in the dishwasher.
Plus The Radfords gave a tour of the incredible Christmas decorations in their home – and it looks like Santa’s grotto.
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