DID you know that tinsel was introduced as a Christmas tree decoration to mimic spider webs that adorned outdoor trees?

It is still considered lucky if you see a cobweb on Christmas Day.

There will be no shortage of luck in my cottage if that’s the case.

Holly and ivy have been used to decorate homes since the 9th century because they symbolise everlasting life.

In Pagan times, holly was thought to be a male plant and ivy a female plant and an old tradition stated that if the holly was brought in first, then the man of the house would be the master for the next year, but if the ivy was brought in first, then the woman would rule for the next 12 months.

Polls reveal that last weekend is when most of us will put up our Christmas tree, be it indoors or out.

If you are displaying a cut ‘real’ tree indoors, always choose one before it is netted so you can check it is a good shape and not already dropping its needles.

A lot of Christmas trees are cut in October and kept in cold storage to enable suppliers to keep up with demand, so it’s just possible a few won’t have been stored properly and will be shedding needles before you get it home.

Once home, remove the net – dispose of responsibly as it can cause a lot of problems for wildlife if just discarded – and let your tree ‘relax’ somewhere cool and dry before bringing it into the house.

Cut an inch or two off the base of the truck and stand in water to let it drink.

Bringing it straight into a hot house can encourage it to ‘throw off it’s needles’, just as you would throw off your coat.

If at all possible stand your tree in water to display too, but obviously it must be safe and secure.

The last thing you want is it falling over and spilling the water everywhere. A 6ft tree will get through up to two pints of water a day, so be prepared to keep it topped up to keep the needles in the best health.

Some people use lemonade to ‘feed’ their tree and apparently sugar in the water will help too – and that’s even more reason to make sure it doesn’t get knocked over.

There have been various trends for non-real Christmas trees over the years.

Popular tree colours have included black, blue and even pink; a few years ago wooden trees were all the rage – a little ironic really - and most recently there was a market for upside-down trees displayed from the ceilings. This year, ‘half trees’ are apparently popular - halved length ways, so they can fit flat against a wall, great for smaller rooms.

‘Christmas Central’ predicts that, ‘the 2022 Pantone Colour of the Year is “Very Peri,” a dusky purple with blue-gray undertones.

This opens the door for purple Christmas ornaments in all shades of the spectrum, from romantic lavender to playful plums to deep amethyst and eggplant. Purple ornaments also pop on green or flocked trees.”

To be honest, I’m not even sure what half of that means. Thank goodness for spider’s webs.