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Ringing the changes: our take on decorating and wrapping this season

Ringing the changes: our take on decorating and wrapping this season

The moment that marks the real start of the Christmas festivities arguably comes when the tree lights are switched on and gifts of all shapes and sizes are stowed carefully beneath. Best done to the accompaniment of uplifting carols, Christmas classics, or soaring choir music, and with a nip of whisky (or the like) close to hand, it’s a moment that brings us together and awakens our festive spirit. But how to decorate the tree – and wrap your gifts for its base – to best effect? This year, we’re treading a slightly different path.

The tree

Like most, at Neptune, we tend to be guided by a colour scheme for our decorations. This year, we’ve opted for warm metallic tones to sit against the dark greens of our Albert Christmas fir tree, and particularly, our Isla Fawn velvet ribbon – in a rich bronze shade – which we've draped in cascades over the branches, so they hang like icicles, and bring out the subtleties of our mottled Laurel baubles

And while it goes without saying that each of us will have our own way of going about trimming the tree, there are a few simple steps we like to follow each year to ensure the process is as smooth as can be (untangling strings of lights notwithstanding).

So, once your tree is secured in its base and skirt (you might like our Somerton tree skirt in woven rattan), always start by winding your lights through the branches – beginning at the bottom means you can plug in and switch on the lights to guide the weaving and winding. And look for strings with warm white LED bulbs, like our Savoy lights, as they’ll give a delightful soft glow to the tree.

Then hang your larger or heavier baubles first, keeping them roughly to the bottom third, and decreasing in size and weight as you work up the tree. Make sure to position some particularly sparkly baubles on the inner branches where they’ll catch the light and give a magical depth to the final look. Dot a few showstoppers at irregular intervals to relax the systematic approach, and finally, go forth in merry abandon with your scissors and ribbon, draping or tying lengths to the very ends of the branches.

The wrapping

A pile of presents beneath the tree looks almost as tantalising as the tree itself. Try extending the theme of your decorations to your gift wrapping by picking out one motif or colour from the tree to repeat in your paper, or the trimmings. And if you have lots of gifts to stack, using two different, but complementary papers, will add some interest and depth.

Rather than opting for an overtly festive motif for our sustainably sourced, recycled paper this season, we’ve reimagined our favourite harvest-inspired Odette print – created for us last autumn by textile designer Beki Bright – in a deep green hue. A fitting testament to the versatility of our designs from seasons past.

We’ve contrasted the deep green shade with a warm saffron paper, bringing the look together by using the same Isla ribbon in the bronzy-Fawn shade and adding in Mallard, a deep, dark green, to echo the greens in the fir tree.

By keeping the adornments simple – just a few rounds of velvet ribbon and a plain tie-knot with a contrasting Odette tag – the gifts echo the theme of the tree with its rich but simplified approach to decorating.

Explore our gift wrapping collection to find papers, tags, and ribbons for your gifts – and tree. And discover our Christmas decorations here.