I'll admit it - I am a Christmas tree snob. We did have a small artificial, white tree a few years ago but it's just not the same as a real Christmas tree. I love the smell, and the whole ritual of choosing a tree and decorating it.
This year we heard about the Christmas Forest which has 10 stores in London providing real, sustainable Christmas trees. They also offer a delivery service. The stores are open until 10pm so we went along to the Dulwich store to pick up a 7 foot Nordmann Fir.
You could literally smell the trees when driving in. There are lots of shapes and sizes on offer - all you need to do is choose one and a member of staff will wrap it for you. Simple. The staff were very friendly - and a bit chilly out in the cold night air.
I do feel slightly bad about the fact trees are being cut down just for us to enjoy for a couple of weeks but, these trees are all freshly cut from sustainable Christmas tree farms where every tree cut is replaced by a new one.
The company have an ongoing partnership with Tree Aid - for every tree you buy from The Christmas Forest, they plant a tree in the drylands of Africa through its projects, helping provide a livelihood to some of the poorest communities on earth.
In December 2016 they raised £25,138.05 for TREEAID. This donation helped villagers in Mali to grow 28,2245 trees which reduce poverty and protect the environment.
There are choices of top quality or value real Christmas trees and you can also buy the stand, the lights, and a wreath form the Christmas Forest.
The kids joined in with decorating the tree. We've gone for a slightly rustic look with white lights, hesian ribbon, dried orange slices and an array of baubles. We keep the tree away from any radiators with a lot of room around it. Did you know a freshly-cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours? Remember to keep filling the stand with water.
We are really happy with our tree and the service from the Christmas Forest.
*We kindly given a voucher towards our tree from the Christmas Forest - opinions of the company and the service are our own*