I have to confess that I am a proper Christmas enthusiast. Its the best time of the year for cosying up and welcoming friends and family into our homes, but in particular I love the lights and decorations. I'm secretly fond of that grey slightly foggy, frozen weather we get in December. I think it makes the twinkly fairy lights and flickering candles even more poignant. In Sweden, Christmas traditionally lasts for a whole month from St Lucia’s Day on December 13th to St Knut’s on 13th January and I'm sure this lengthy celebration with its focus on light has evolved out of the even darker and colder days they experience at this time of year. So how best to create that lovely Christmas look and feel at home? Start at the front door with a wreath to welcome visitors or a couple of lanterns filled with candles or battery lights. The Christmas tree is often the focal point in our homes. Creating a beautiful Christmas tree can seem like a daunting prospect to many people. There really is no right or wrong way to go about decorating your tree, its very personal and families often have their own traditions but if you are a tree decorating virgin or just fancy a complete change here’s a few pointers…. Start with the lights. Unravel them, check they are working and plug them in using a safe extension lead if necessary. Make sure you will be able to reach the switch for the lights once the tree is decorated! I like to arrange them switched on so I can see how they are going. Coil them up back towards the plug end so that you can start draping them at the bottom. Try to vary the height as you work around the tree in zigzag fashion so that the lights look more evenly spread. As a rule of thumb hang the larger decorations lower down where the bigger branches are. If you want a manicured look limit the colour palette to one or two colours with perhaps some silver or gold to give a lift. Bear in mind that light or bright coloured decorations will stand out against a green tree whilst darker ones will tend to add textural interest. If you want more of a makeover, candles add a lovely warm subtle glow in your home and maybe a nice scent too. A rug with texture or pattern or some new cushions can give an instant lift to a room too. Trends for this year include white decorations, nude trees with just white lights and pink tones. We have some lovely traditional paper fold decorations in tan and dusky pink and white baubles and snowflakes as well as candles, rugs, cushions and blankets. Check them out in our online shop or at Home, 122 Micklegate, York. Wishing you all a Happy Hyggelig Christmas!