My First Christmas Tree

November 30, 2014 — 35 Comments

This may seem odd but I have never actually owned a Christmas tree before this year or had one in my house over the holiday period as I rarely have people over – it’s just been easier for me to visit everyone else.

This year though I wanted to bring Christmas home, and also bring the homemade into Christmas.

I therefore set about tracking down a good quality tree that I thought would fit the bill (and last me a few years to boot).

Much web searching and comparing brought me to Balsam Hill. I hadn’t heard of this company so I did a good amount of reading and browsing of their website (and did a google search to check other user’s comments) and satisfied myself that I was going to get value for money as well as a good looking tree that would suit my needs for years to come.

I really liked the look of their European style trees and thought that the pre-lit version would also help me avoid the Christmas light tangle that I have seen other people get so worked up over.

My choice, the Norway Spruce (which was on sale – ever the bargain finder), went in and less than a week later it arrived!

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 1

I’m not sure about this, but I do think that I got a little more excited about opening this box than I do just before opening Christmas gifts.

Popping my giddy inner-self to one side I opened the box.

The first thing that I could see was that it had been well packed. On further investigation I found that there were comprehensive instructions, gloves to protect my delicate hands (don’t laugh) during construction and also a bag of spare bulbs and other bits and bobs.

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 2

They even sent a free body bag for when those Christmas disagreements go a little to far.

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 3

Joke! It turned out to be a comfy sleeping bag for the tree to snuggle down in between Christmases. A really nice touch I thought. I didn’t recall reading about this bonus on the Balsam Hill website so that was a nice surprise.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.

Assembly steps were quite easy. The instructions explained it all well in simple English (good thing for me).

The tree that I chose came in four sections; the base and three tree parts (no partridge, which was understandable as this was not a pear tree).

Each part was handily numbered.

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 4

It was simply a case of starting at the bottom, inserting the sections and “fluffing” as you go.

Even the pre-installed lights were set in place and simply needed connecting together.

Here’s a before and after of not-fluffed and fluffed for the base and first section.

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 5 Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 6

It’s a bit like my moustache before I go to bed and then when I wake up, lol!

Anyway, I carried on adding and fluffing until … paff, done!

Balsam Hill Christmas Tree - 7

*puts on sunglasses*

I didn’t actually realise how generous Balsam Hill were with the pre-installed lights! Even in the day (with a south facing window) the tree gave a lovely Christmassy glow – *happy sigh*

I honestly didn’t think that I would ever have a tree in my home as it has in the past seemed like a bit of a waste of time/space but I am so pleased that I have gone for it and now that I have it, I am over the moon and even thinking of inviting some people over too (get me being all sociable and stuff, lol)!

Anyway, I think that I still have a little more fluffing to do before the job is completely done however it’s time for a cuppa first. I’d also better get crafting as I’ve got a lot of tree to decorate!

I’m aiming for 100% handmade (however time is getting short) so I think I may end up with ‘mostly’ handmade, lol! – I’m hoping (time permitting) to be blogging about these various things like handmade gifts and handmade decs in the run up to Christmas.

What about you? Be honest, how long have you had your tree up? Have you handmade your decs and cards? I bet there’ll be some of us still at it on Christmas Eve ;)

Anyway, that’s it for this one. No making (apart from the tree) but there is much to come :)

Thank you for visiting and I hope you can stop by again for the next post.

J :)

35 responses to My First Christmas Tree


    Just doing a pop-up tree this year as we’re away for Christmas and into New Year and it just doesn’t seem right to take it down in the middle of January. Your tree looks fab – takes me back to when I had my first tree in the USA – My friend gave me one from her farm, and I had no money for proper decorations so I made popcorn and cranberry strings instead of tinsel, homemade biscuits with little holes and red ribbon as decorations, and paper fans printed with musical script and aged with tea. Hope you post another photo with your home-made decorations! Susan



    That’s a beautiful tree John & I think the free body bag is inspired! (btw, turns out I do have an account, hence this post lol!) Merry Christmas xx



    Superb tree John, my tip to make it easier in the following years, if you have been Mr Efficient and pulled off those number tags, be sure to use a permanent pen somewhere out of sight to number the sections as you take them down.

    A few lengths of twill tape help ‘encourage’ fluffed trees into the intended storage. We found ours played much nicer when it was pinned down with the twill tape and you can do it carefully rather than mash it in which risks damaging lights. They can be a bit like Lego models, they seem to grow once out of the bag and you struggle to make them go back in the same small space.

    Not decorating this year, I’m in-between; can’t face any of it and I love my little tree (a table top 12″er. and its lights. Noticed a neighbour had lit star in her window and that lovely pretty glow they give off, made me want my tree out. have got as far as one small box out of the loft and still looking at it. As someone commented ‘If you are going to feel crap anyway, have some pretty lights to keep you company’.

    I used Tim Holtz alcohol ink on plain gold or silver baubles (depending on your colour scheme) and pounced the ink on like when you make agate effect. If you want shiny shiny add a layer of acrylic at the end. Here’s how to make alcoholic baubles

    Wishing you a fantastic time creating and celebrating




    Congratulations on your tree John.

    My three are now up and running, though one of them did decide to throw the spanner in the works when the little white thing blew. Luckily I had a spare, but as they are now over five years old I will have to invest in another set next year.

    Just to add insult to injury, my craft light also decided to chuck the sponge in. Hahaha, what it didn’t realise was that I had a spare bulb, have ordered two more, that’ll teach it!


    Patricia Gardner-Hill (MS) December 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Congratulations on your first tree John, you chose well and I hope it brings you years of joy. Really looking forward to some new ideas from you – to add to my decorations.

    I really love the Scandinavian and country style decorations in my home. I make so many tree and hanging strings of decorations and mobiles each year and have far too many now for my small bungalow – perhaps I should start thinking of selling some new copies of my decoration and even think up some new designs. Proceeds could fund a lovely new tree like yours!
    Pat GH


    Sandra Sinnassamy December 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Lovely tree, John. We have five, the main one is dressed traditionally with decorations bought from the “General Store” Covent Garden, which has since disappeared. I love Christmas and all that goes with it except the over spending and getting into debt, which we don’t do. Sadly, folk have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. Sharing, kindness, good will & love to each other, and the fact that its Jesus’ birthday. We now have five trees which each member of my loving family are responsible for. Due to my disability I cannot do mine this year but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching my Hubby, Daughter & two Sons demonstrate there creative skills.
    John, enjoy your beautiful tree, may it’s presence bless you for many years to come. Evergreen means everlasting. Have a wonderful Christmas. See you in the new year, rearing to go with fab new ideas. God bless x



    Loving th tree John 🎄🎄🎄🎄
    Ours is up too, so feeling equally as festive 🎅🎁🎄
    Enjoy making your decs!!



    Well John, you’ve got the edge on me. I don’t deck up till about the 12th Dec, ‘cos my hubby is a scrooge. I have been making decs though. I’ve used the scan n cut to cut some stars from Christmassy fabric, which I have blanket stitched together and stuffed with toy filling to make cute starry ‘cushions’. They have an understated appeal, I think. Next I’m making some snowflakes with felt and sticking them onto embossed acetate bauble shapes so I can string them up and hang them in my windows.
    Merry Christmas!



    Have to say, it is GORGEOUS just like it is! You definitely could leave it alone for this year – or if you must, just a few decorations on the outside branches, handmade of course. That way you can enjoy the process without any stress and it will still be beautiful. Perhaps all gold or silver to match the lights! Certainly an opportunity to add to the decorations each year…making memories as you go! Whatever you choose to do….ENJOY!



    thanks for sharing your pretty tree John…glad you got one!!!



    I love the tree John. I bought mine a few years ago in the sales ( Sainsburys) it came with the decorations including the lights (only bought because we can get in the loft to get our old one now) (both disabled) Anyway I put it on the landing in front of the window in the alcove. I only put it up the week before Christmas. You have a Merry Christmas John with your friends and family. xxx



    Wonderful tree . I get the same feeling every time I open our Christmas tree box. It then takes two hours to fluff then I let it rest over night before decorating that way the branches look more real.
    Love your blog.



    Enjoy your tree John – It looks beautiful – don’t forget to get an angel for the top



    John what a beautiful tree we collect Christmas ornaments from our holidays & our friends bring us back same from their travels we date them make for great conversation so good luck
    I have my cards handmade & posted but as usual will still be busty 2 Xmas eve can’t wait for your next blogg. Thanka


    jean confused... November 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    What a beautiful tree John hope you put photo on when you have put your handmade decs on



    Wow John what a gorgeous tree, I think I may take a look at these xxx



    Congratulations on your first Christmas tree, John. I look forward very much to seeing her (are trees “hers”?!) beautifully dressed over the coming days and weeks. Enjoy!



    Lovely tree John .
    Are you doing any more saturday scanncut ?



    Wow John, what a beautiful tree for your first time. I love the way it looks so well constructed and what a bonus to have easy instructions and gloves! My tree is still in a box up in the roof…I’m still trying to pluck up courage to climb the step ladder to get it out, I don’t want to get halfway and have a vertigo attack!! One of my neighbours has had her place decorated for almost THREE WEEKS now. That’s just too darned early. I hand-made some beaded covers for my baubles (stop laughing) but that’s as far as I’ve gone so far for home made. :)



    I purchased one of these a couple of years ago, still looks fabulous. It now resides with my daughter and grandson as I now live in a little cottage and don’t have the room. I decorated mine with the handmade/homespun theme and kept it very traditional. I bulked the decorations out by adding boiled sweets ‘re-wrapped in coloured cellophane and in the true Victorian style with small handmade paperchains and strings of beads until over the years I had managed to make sufficient adornments to fill the tree. The sweeties and paperchains still adorn the tree but don’t need so many as in the early years. Have fun with your handmade decorations (don’t forget to label them with your details and when they were made, a photo in a mini scrapbook would be fabulous).



    Hi John that is a gorgeous tree a pre- lit is such a good idea everything is nicely spaced. Hugs Jackie



    How funny… we too “invested” in a new tree from Blossom Hill today.
    Cant wait for it to arrive now. Mine usually goes up on December 1st and I try and have most hand made decorations. crystal icicles, beaded baubles. I try and add a few more each year. I started off with normal ones and gradually have reduced them as I make more.
    Good luck decorating it



    I love it! I resist putting up my tree because of the trauma of tree lights ;) this looks a perfect solution. I’ve had my current tree for around 20 years now, every year I hate it as I’m assembling and then love it when it’s filled to the brim with about 8 sets of lights; loads of hand-made decs; other ornaments which have been specially bought for us over the years – a glorious riot of mis-matched, very colourful, very meaningful….Christmas! When my kids were little I used to put the decs up by Dec 1st, now that we’re all older I put it off somewhat – but I do have a grand-daughter now who, at 4 and a half, will appreciate it so I’m working up to a visit to the loft.

    I also have a lovely LED pre-lit tree which goes in the conservatory and reflects in all the windows; another one which goes in the lounge; the main one is in the hall.



    Hi John, your tree looks really lovely. For an artificial tree :-).
    Why do the Brits put Christmas trees up already beginning end of November? What is the idea behind it?
    We in Germany put it up usually on Christmas Eve morning – this is our Christmas day where we open the presents – and then it depends on the families habit. Some decorate the tree with the children to help or others do it secretly and the kids are not allowed to see it before they are allowed into the “Christmas Room”.
    In most families then the tree is up till 6th of January, especially the catholic regions as that is Holy Three Kings. Some people take it already down after New Year.
    Today for us is the 1st Advent, where we lit the first candle, next Sunday is the 2nd and so on, till 4th Advent.
    Always interesting to see different habits in different countries.
    Looking forward to what decoration you will be doing for your first tree.
    Hannah from Berlin



    WOW!! What a beauty!! It looks really really beautiful.

    I don’t put the tree up till December -one which we’ve had since 1976!! I think it cost about £20 from Wilko’s. it still looks good & is decorated with all the same decorations every year, especially the ones the children have made! plus a few new ones to replace those that really need throwing out. Now the children gave left home & we sometimes go to them we don’t go to town like we used to!! It sometimes looked like a fairy grotto!!! Lol!!! Still busy making Christmas cards – with the help if my Brother Scan n Cut!! Nothing too flash this year but it really helps with the mat & layering! So best get back to them!

    Really love your Christmas tree & thinking I may get ours out next week! Thanks for sharing.



    Oh how lovely John, there is something cosy about having a Christmas Tree in the home over the festive period, you certainly won’t regret buying one and to think it can be put to bed very happily in its cosy sleeping bag on twelth night, i’m looking forward to seeing your homemade adornments as and when they appear on your tree.



    Hi John! Lovely tree! I’m going to check out Balsam Hill. My Christmas tree is 20 years old and it may be time for a change. I didn’t put the tree up last year as I had lost my son in October and I didn’t feel like decorating the house, but this year I am going to make an effort in his memory. Waiting for decoration instructions – thank you!


    Denise ..Closet Crafts November 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Looks really nice with lots of lights good shaped tree you going to love having your home decorated up for Christmas …..I do love doing the house for christmas I may do a bit to much but hey its only a few weeks a year now to finish my tree……. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄



    How lovely for you. I am not sure whether we are having our tree up this year because I am visiting family so will be away for several days. My bah humbug husband said he didn’t see the point because we will not be here but I am having Christmas tree withdrawal symptoms already. Enjoy your beautiful tree it will become very special to you. Have a lovely Christmas and I shall look forward to seeing the rest of your decorations. You have set the bar now so to speak. Happy Christmas x



    Hi John, My tree is up and twinkling, mine isn’t as big as yours but it has the preinstalled light as well. Have you got any beads and wire hanging around? There were some pretty wite and crystal decorations on C and C (I think) last week. They look quick and easy and would twinkle beautifully. Now next you need a wreath on the front door!



    Wonderful tree and pre installed lights are essential on a big tree. I have a half tree that I put up in my craft room and it causes the anual stress for lights. Hope your tree gives many years of pleasure and each year you can add a special dec.


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    […] John Bloodworth, there never was any need to put up a Christmas tree in his home. According to his article, since her rarely had people over during Christmas, it was much easier for him to visit other […]


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