Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas Trends Over The Years

Christmas! You don’t have to be six years old to get swept away by the magic of it all, and at Brookside Garden Centre, we take it VERY seriously! Planning starts in March and merchandise starts to arrive in August, and whilst that may not be particularly unusual, our devotion to the cause very much is, and as such, we want to help you as much as we can.

Whether you prefer the scent of a real Christmas tree or the ease of an artificial one, we not only have both, but we have all you need to adorn your preferred option.

Like most things, Christmas trees are subject to the latest trends, but they’ve been with us for around 2000 years, and quite possibly more. Records show that the ancient Egyptians would decorate their homes with green palm rushes in honour of the return to health of their god, Ra; similarly, the Druids and Romans would celebrate their own solstices and decorate with evergreen boughs, and the Vikings believed evergreens were the special plants of the sun god, Balder.

Although evergreens have also been used by both pagans and Christians to celebrate winter festivals, the traditional Christmas tree didn’t reach the UK until the early nineteenth century when the German-born wife of George III held a party with a tree as the focal point. A young Victoria was so enamoured, she would have a tree in her bedroom every year during the festive season, but it wasn’t until 1848, when the Queen’s Christmas was immortalised in a drawing, that the wealthy began to follow suit, and not until the 1920s that the lower classes adopted the tradition.

Lighting for our festive firs began with candles, and although electric lights were created back in 1880, they were too expensive, and it wasn’t until the 1920s that they became affordable and only after World War II did they become popular; decorations, however, have gone through many transitions. Initially they were often food, used as Christian symbols, but as trees became more popular, so too did edible figurines, including animals and birds. Fruits and nuts were added in various forms, and small cakes and candies were displayed in small boxes and sacks.

Paper, wax, tin and lead have all been used for creating our tree ornaments, but glass decorations increased in popularity in the 19th century as they didn’t melt or catch light when placed next candles.

In recent years, we’ve seen the design of our trees and decorations increase with the need to create our own traditions. Where once there was just a single choice for real trees, we are now overwhelmed by the array of fresh trees available, some growing, some not. And then there are the artificial trees! Gone are the day that trees had to be green; whatever your favourite colour, there will be a tree somewhere with your name on it, and yes, that could well be black. Many have returned to earlier traditions of hanging trees upside down, and then there are others who change their festive décor annually.

To save us the trouble of navigating through the myriad of choices, we asked our Chief Buyer, Alison, what we can expect to see this year: “We try to cater for all tastes with our artificial trees, so we have different shapes, different sizes and different styles. We have ‘Pencil’ trees for those that have limited space, but we still have the more conventional green firs and some snowy pines too. When it comes to decorations, we always favour the more traditional styles at Brookside – reds, golds and silvers – but we’ve seen some more unusual colours this year, so we’ve incorporated some of those into our displays. Pink is very popular, and it works well with touches of white and gold. Although we’ve opted for more of the softer shades, we have some shocking pink decorations that are stunning. Turquoise, blue and dark blue are also featuring a lot, and we have all three colours available. They can be mixed together, or you could combine turquoise with the soft pinks and another favourite for this year, metallic shades – bronze, copper, platinum – or add some greys to the blues for a dramatic effect. For the more traditional styles, last year’s trend of candy canes is still strong this year.”
But it’s not just tree decorations that are catching our eye… “Gonks are everywhere! We love them and have a large assortment in so many different colours and sizes. We have soft and cuddly gonks and ornamental ones too. We think they’re going to be around for quite a while.”

So, if you’re looking for a new colour scheme this year, drop by and take a look at all Brookside Garden Centre has to offer, and see if it’s possible to leave without buying at least one gonk!


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