With Christmas just over a week away, it’s time to add the final festive touches to your home. However, if a house move is also imminent, it’s advisable to keep those decorations under wraps until the valuer has been round and taken any necessary photographs. If your home remains unsold for a while, it’ll be easy to date the photos if there’s a Christmas tree on show. Viewers will turn a blind eye to gaudy decorations and inflatable snowmen during the festive period, but it’s very important to remove everything in the New Year; leaving them in place as January advances can suggest unwelcome traits like apathy.
The centrepiece of most homes is a large Christmas tree, but there’s a far wider choice than the prickly pine trees of yesteryear. Real trees can be problematic for pets, since pine needles are easily ingested or trapped between paws but difficult to remove painlessly. Modern reusable artificial trees are impressively authentic and cost-efficient, and they don’t require a council uplift in January. Modern fibre optic trees are a more portable and on-trend alternative to their artificial siblings, casting shimmering light that looks very smart from outside a window. It’s even possible to purchase pre-decorated trees nowadays.
If you’re a traditionalist, try to buy fairy lights with ‘fuse bulb’ or ‘stay-lit’ protection that will continue to work even if one bulb blows. Modern LED lights last far longer than conventional filament bulbs, while simultaneously using a fraction of the electricity. Other battery or mains-powered options include portable illuminations, ranging from collections of pretty fibre-optic strands through to three-dimensional scale models of festive villages and Nativity scenes.
In recent years, retailers have expanded their ranges of Christmas decorations, with major household stores now stocking items like advent calendar quilt covers and reindeer-shaped card holders. Features like this can contribute to a classy ambience, even in rooms without a tree. Conversely, wall-mounted tinsel is very old-fashioned, with the twin drawbacks of requiring plasterwork pinholes and distracting attention away from intricate cornicing or ceiling roses.
Finally, illuminated external decorations should generally be avoided, though hanging-icicle displays and window-framing light tracks are much more socially acceptable than glowing Santa gnomes or interminably flashing “Merry Christmas” signs. A gaudy exterior display can create negative connotations of your home, which is the last thing you want if it’s about to go up for sale…