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Tree Guide

About our Christmas trees

You can find British-grown Christmas trees in your local Waitrose store from early December. Our sustainably sourced Nordmann Firs feature non-drop needles and strong, bushy sprigs which are ideal for adorning with decorations.

If you'd prefer a reusable artificial tree, visit John Lewis to explore a selection of sizes and styles to fit your home.

How to decorate your tree

Make sure your tree is suitably dressed and adorned this festive season by following this four-step plan:

Choose your colours

Before you pop that first bauble on a branch, take a little time to decide on the colour scheme or theme for your Christmas tree decorations, whether it's traditional red and gold, modern metallics or a kaleidoscope of jewelled colour

Time to twinkle

Christmas tree lights are perfect for adding a welcoming festive glow to your tree, from LED, fairy, bubble or globe style. Make sure the lights go on first to create a decorative base layer

Decorative garlands

Christmas garlands create soft layers of texture and colour to decorate your tree from top to toe. Start at the top and gently wind your garland carefully around the tree, avoiding heavily-laden branches

Add your ornaments

For the finishing touch, pop your favourite baubles on the tree in prime positions. Then add the remaining tree decorations in order of size, ensuring even positioning throughout the branches to add depth and interest

How to care for your Christmas tree

In order to get the best out of your tree this Christmas, follow these three golden rules:

Buy at the right time

If properly cared for, your tree should last 4-6 weeks so make sure you buy it in time to enjoy it for the full festive period

Find the right place

Position your tree in a good viewing spot away from heat sources and natural pathways in your home to reduce needle drop.

Give your tree plenty of water

Christmas trees are very thirsty and need daily watering, around a cup a day.

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The history of Christmas trees

The origins of the Christmas tree date back to pagan times when sprigs of evergreen foliage were used to decorate homes during winter. These boughs and wreaths of abundant green were a symbol of spring returning and were believed to help ward off evil spirits and illness during the long winter months.

In the 16th century, northern Europeans started the tradition of bringing whole evergreen trees into their homes to celebrate Christmas. In Germany, these trees were decorated with coloured paper, tinsel and edible treats, such as gingerbread and gold covered apples. Glass makers created specially made Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree, similar to the more traditional tree baubles used today.

The tradition made it to Britain in the Victorian era. In 1841, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a Christmas tree set up in one of the family rooms in Windsor Castle and a drawing of this festive scene was published in the Illustrated London News in 1848. This prompted wealthy middle-class families to imitate this decorative trend which has since become an established and well-loved Christmas tradition.