‘Christmas tree, Oh Christmas Tree….’, so the carol begins. Christmas trees are to be seen aplenty in Irish homes right now. Fairy lights are adding their warm glow to many a sitting room as darkness falls early these short days. It’s interesting to note that Christmas trees are a relatively modern addition to Irish homes. Long ago, Irish families would go for a walk together to gather holly, ivy and other natural winter greenery from the countryside to adorn their homes during the festive season. Holly with red berries is still considered to be a bringer of good luck to any home. There’s nothing quite like the brightness of its jolly red berries to make a house feel like Christmas. A holly wreath for the front door declares the celebration season well and truly open! Candles were always part of the Christmas scene In Ireland. A single candle burning in the window on Christmas Eve meant a welcome for any strangers passing by in need of a warm place to stay. This symbol was a direct reference to the holy Christmas story, when the Inn keeper turned away Mary and Joseph in their hour of need. The beauty of a single candle burning in the window still holds graceful charm and conveys the real message of Christmas. Other alternative ideas for decorations this time of year include citrus fruits studded with cloves and hung in doorways, to send fragrant aromas all over the house.Christmas ‘trees’ made from natural driftwood, or bare twigs spray painted and hung with simple homemade decorations are understated ways to bring the spirit of Christmas into the house. How do you decorate your home this time of year? We’d love to know….