*This post is in collaboration with Balsam Hill UK – all thoughts, opinions and advice/tips are my own
Christmas. I know. It’s early. “Too early” so I’ve been told – many, many times. However, I’m the kinda guy who thinks of Christmas as soon as Halloween is over – and I know I’m not alone on that one! Anyway, no harm done so let’s just roll with the festive vibes..
I love the festive period for so many reasons – vanilla white hot chocolate (I’m aware you get these all year round, but they taste so much better when it’s cold outside!), Christmas markets, Christmas decorations, cosy knits, cosy nights on the sofa, cosy blankets, THE GRINCH – what’s not to love! More importantly however, it’s a time where families come together and spend special times as one. It’s just my favourite time of year if I’m honest!
As a major Christmas lover, I have been a fan of Balsam Hill and their magical Christmas trees and decorations for many years, so to say I’m ecstatic about this collaboration is a total understatement.
I’m absolutely honoured to be part of the Balsam Hill #BHUKFestiveFamilyChristmas2018 Campaign, where myself and other incredible bloggers and influencers (I’m just your average instagrammer really!) have been asked to share their Festive Family Traditions as part of this special campaign, whilst showing you all the beautiful pieces Balsam Hill have to offer.
Speaking of traditions, I’d like to think we all have a little family tradition we do at Christmas in some way shape or form – whether it’s the things we do on the run up to Christmas, the things we do on Christmas day or the little things we celebrate during the festive period. We’re no different here at the Corby Craig Residence and we too have our own Christmas traditions, which some of you guys may do yourselves..
Tradition 1: At Christmas and on Christmas Day especially, family board games are essential. What’s also essential is minimal phone use, so down goes the phones and out comes the board games. It brings the whole family together for laughs, chat and just general fun – it’s a special kind of traditional fun that’s sooo underrated – we love it! Wouldn’t recommend Monopoly though – that might ruin Christmas Day.
Tradition 2: We collect a souvenir tree decoration from the places we visit each [if we can find one] – whether it be at home, or away. We do this so we can look back in years to come and think of the memories from adventures gone by and reminisce whilst putting the Christmas tree up – think of it as a Christmas tree with a story (or a few). For example, this year we bought a little Disney decoration from our trip Disneyland Paris for Simon’s 30th birthday, that we’ve added to the tree [Where’s Wally moment as you now try to find it!]. We hope that we’ll able to tell our kids about the memories we’ve made over the years with this little tradition, then hopefully pass it on to them to continue when they have their own home.
With that being said, here’s the reveal – our Balsam Hill Christmas Tree:-
With our tradition of collecting a new tree decoration each year, our Christmas Tree is subtly eclectic but at the same time very much traditional style. Reds and golds are the colours I have always associated with Christmas, hence my chosen colour scheme on our 7ft Fraser Fir Narrow Tree Pre-Lit with Clear LEDs. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘Narrow’ – this tree is gorgeously full with the most realistic branches I’ve ever seen.
It took me almost 5 hours just to spread the many branches that make it look so full! It’s really worth taking your time separating the branches to avoid leaving any gaps. As this tree comes in 3-tiers, I spent time on each tier before adding the next to ensure an even spread of branches. It’s one of the easiest trees I’ve ever assembled and even though it’s pre-lit, the wiring for the lights is actually concealed within the metalwork and connected when you add the next tier – so no need for a 20min search to find the connector to join up your lights – wahey! [It’s the little things].
God it’s dreamy – I have to pinch myself every time I look at it. I can’t wait to use this tree for years and years to come. The amazing thing about this tree is, it also looks amazing without anything on it at all!
With a collection of souvenirs gathered from times past on the there, it creates a sort-of eclectic edge which I liken to vintage/rustic style, so the Farmhouse Christmas Mixed Materials Bauble Set of 12 Pieces I’ve added from Balsam Hill fitted in perfectly [photographed below].
A very much rustic collection of natural inspired materials with tones of navy and deep red in a country-vibe check. The mini sleigh is my favourite, but isn’t the check-reindeer beautiful? Placement is key with these items to ensure even colour distribution – so always take a step back and plan your bauble placements from afar!
Finishing off the tree is the luxuriously soft 60″ Ivory Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt – I’ve dreamed of having this under a Christmas tree of mine for so long. I think it creates a lovely finishing touch, almost like a skirting board to a wall – and a perfect floorscape for pressies!
Top tip: Remember to put your tree skirt on before you build your tree up, especially if your tree skirt doesn’t detach or widen – many a time I’ve had to take the tree apart to put the tree skirt on because I forget about it!
I have to admit, I’m so impressed with what you get inside a Balsam Hill Christmas tree box – most impressive of all is that you get two sets of gloves [amongst other helpful bits] for setting up the tree! Those who know the woes of scratched hands/arms after setting up your tree will understand just how much of a nice touch this is!
As for Christmas this year – if you didn’t know already, our little family expanded recently. Our 2nd fur-baby Margot was introduced to the family, so there’s now 4 of us here at the Corby Craig Residence!
Myself and Simon [my fiance], along with our two pooches Hero & Margot, will be having Christmas dinner at our own house for the very first time, so Christmas this year is going to be really special!
We’ll still go visit our families during the day with the pooches [both our families are dog lovers!] and maybe even a nice walk somewhere – weather dependent – but just knowing we’ll be coming back to our own home for dinner makes me so happy. I feel like a proper adult – well, kind of [thinks about what new PJs to wear and movie to watch after Christmas dinner!]. We’re so lucky to have what we do and I appreciate every single moment.
Our home holds so many lovely memories, not only from the souvenirs on our tree, but also from Christmas Day 2016 – when Simon proposed to me in front of our Christmas tree, not long after we moved into this house! For that reason, we’re really excited to be spending most of Christmas Day at the Corby Craig Residence, especially when we’re surrounded by these beautiful Christmas decorations.
Whatever you’re up to this festive season, I hope it’s filled with love, laughter and good health. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas ya’ filthy animals!
Huge thank you to the incredible Balsam Hill UK Team for having me on this campaign – I’ve loved every second of it.
#BalsamHillUK #BHUKFestiveFamilyChristmas #BHUKFestiveFamilyChristmas2018
For beautiful Christmas decor inspiration, follow Balsam Hill UK on Instagram and Facebook – you’ll love it:
Balsam Hill are hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page from 19 – 25 Nov! Be sure to check it out.