12 decor trends of Christmas that should be banned
- Michelle Ogundehin reveals the tacky Christmas decor trends that she hates
- READ MORE: Bah humbug! Terrible attempts at makeshift Christmas decorations
Christmas. I think I hate it. The compulsion to be overtly jolly from now until New Year; the rampant consumerism from pushy ads on TV; the overheated, increasingly sweary shops. And let’s not forget the pressure to host, entertain and hunt down the most thoughtful gifts. It’s all too much.
But, as an interiors expert, the one thing most likely to draw my ire is your choice of decorations.
I can’t bear that Christmas decor trends ebb and flow so frequently these days. To me, the formula is fixed and simple: real tree, low-drop needles, bushy, about 6ft tall. Adorn it with an assortment of random baubles collected over the years, white fairy lights, possibly a fairy or angel on top. Place cards on every available shelf, and you’re done.
Yet, apparently, I’m in the minority. Now, there’s always some wacky innovation to be tried — from pampas grass Christmas trees to a spiral ‘floating’ tree made from chicken wire suspended from the ceiling — and salivated over on social media, from September onwards.
But why do we need to buy an entire new set of decorations every year? Surely all that money is better spent on meaningful gifts or experiences, not panic-bought tat that will be landfill by January.
As such, here are the 12 decorative fads of Christmas that I wish would disappear right back up the chimney . . .
As an interiors expert, the one thing most likely to draw my ire is your choice of decorations. I can’t bear that Christmas decor trends ebb and flow so frequently these days (stock photo)
1. STAY AWAY FROM BUBBLEGUM PINK
Searches for pink Christmas decor have skyrocketed by 286 per cent in the past six months, according to Pinterest Trend.
The reason? Barbie movie-mania, of course. Parent company Mattel took part in collaborations with more than 100 brands spanning fashion, beauty, homeware and more. So perhaps it was inevitable the madness would endure long enough to pollute the festive season, though I wish to God that it hadn’t.
You can now opt for full-on Barbiecore with an actual pink tree (think synthetic, fake, plastic). Or tone it down by restricting yourself to a selection of blush-toned baubles, butterflies, bows, ribbons and bunting.
I loved the movie, but aren’t we slightly missing its point if we turn house and home into some sort of saccharine dollfest?
Barbie was all about female empowerment, but pink as a colour is actually a sedative. It’s unassuming and nice i.e. yawningly dull.
Give me a natural fir with crisp greens, golds and reds any time.
2. ALL TINSEL SHOULD BE BANNED
I’m sorry, but I loathe tinsel anywhere and on anything. I love a sparkly bauble or sequins, but gaudy shiny tendrils twisted around the telly and wrapped across every picture? Just say no. It is the decorative equivalent of a flammable acrylic Christmas jumper with a light-up Rudolph nose.
Plus, even if it claims to be biodegradable, it’s a lie. Nothing that tacky can be good.
3. PICK ONLY WHITE LIGHTS
I’m putting multi-coloured tree lights in the tacky tinsel camp, too. Controversial, I know, as they can be considered ‘fun’, but I prefer my tree’s character to be contained in the baubles (here, feel free to go bonkers).
When it comes to lights, white fairy lights on green strings — so all you see are the pinpricks of light — are the only way to go.
Animal prints have no place in the festive home. I’ve seen random wild animal baubles, zebra-print wrapping paper, cheetah spot streamers. Just say no (stock photo)
4. DECORATED STAIRS ARE A STEP TOO FAR
If I could ban bannister garlands, I would. Call me old-fashioned, but handrails are there for a reason: to hold onto. Which is tricky if there are yards of tinsel and fairy lights in the way. On some, you can barely see the stairs for fronds of fir, oversized lanterns, streamers and bows. Please, take it away.
5. BE SURE TO BANISH BOWS
Equally OTT and dangerous are bows tied around candles and cascades of paper nonsense above mantelpieces. Two words: fire hazard!
In truth, bows on anything drive me nuts. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Some things — door handles, picture frames, the dog — don’t need pimping.
6. DON’T PANDER TO PAMPAS
I can’t bear a pampas grass tree. Or any other blatantly non-tree tree. It’s too self-consciously alternative, saying ‘Look at me I’m so quirky and anti-establishment’. I’m sorry, but if you don’t ‘do’ Christmas, then fine, don’t ‘do’ Christmas.
7. PUT UP PROPER TREES, NOT TWIGS
Likewise, no one is fooled by the decorated twig aesthetic either. Nothing draws my ire like a single branch with bits of dehydrated orange hanging from it — it’s not an artistic statement, it’s a stick with dried fruit on it. Poor show, best forgotten.
8. METALLICS ARE JUST MADDENING
For those determined to buck a classic green fir, allegedly copper is the de rigueur metallic for artificial trees this year — see the 7ft John Lewis model for £229 that’s now sold out. Touted as ‘dense and bushy’, it apparently makes the ‘perfect backdrop for decorations, especially those in rich tones of red, green, purple and blue’. Presumably not all together, otherwise it sounds like a big bruise.
But the overall effect is of a real tree left too near the radiator. Plus, today’s novelty is always tomorrow’s trash. Which means this one will be hanging around in a landfill for the next 500 years.
9. KEEP YOUR TREE FIRMLY GROUNDED
There’s something reassuring about a noble fir standing proudly to attention in its pot. So spare me the oh-so-clever conceptual tree ‘installations’ that leave one scratching one’s head.
The upside-down Christmas tree, suspended from the ceiling and first seen at Tate Britain in 2016, has no place in a sane person’s home . . . nor does this year’s ‘floating’ spiral tree made from chicken wire and orchid blooms, which has garnered creator Marco Zamora more than 600,000 likes on Instagram.
10. DON’T JOIN THE CHAIN GANG
Hovering on the border between naff and charmingly homespun are paper chains. I used to spend hours making these as a child, but they’re still horrid tangled around all and sundry. They get in the way, break easily, are an invitation to mayhem for cats, and by the end of the season they’ll be ragged and stained dust traps.
Inspired by the new Wonka film, some style queens have gone crazy for a traditional tree festooned in stripy bows, lollipops and candy canes (stock photo)
11. ANIMAL PRINTS DRIVE ME WILD
Animal prints have no place in the festive home. I’ve seen random wild animal baubles, zebra-print wrapping paper, cheetah spot streamers. Just say no.
We’re getting our bible stories muddled —this isn’t Noah’s birthday. Animal prints come and go in fashion but that doesn’t make them right, or classic. Somehow they seem wildly inappropriate for Christmas — so less leopard print, more reindeers please.
12. KEEP CANDY CANES OFF YOUR TREE
Inspired by the new Wonka film, some style queens have gone crazy for a traditional tree festooned in stripy bows, lollipops and candy canes. But sweetie-themed trees just feel so American. Other. Not us. Imported and artificial.
I also can’t bear the mad overcrowding that tends to go with this kind of look. You’ve basically constructed a cone of saccharine, sickly junk, with the poor tree suffocated beneath. There is no hard and fast ratio of tree to bauble that I adhere to, but one should, at the very least, be able to see the branches.
BUT HERE’S ONE ‘TACKY’ TREND I DO LIKE . . .
This may shock you, but I absolutely love it when people go bananas with decorations in their gardens. Yes it’s naff as hell, but so generous as we all get to partake.
Garlanded gnomes, tick. Inflatable reindeers, double tick. Projections of snowflakes tumbling down the house front, major respect!
Throw in fairy lights strewn around any tree or bush (still white only though), and fake snow pictures on the windows, a sign saying ‘Santa, stop here!’ and I love you.
Contrary, I know.
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