As a child, I would go with my mum on Christmas Eve to the greengrocers and buy our Christmas tree.
It would be left in the garden until my father came home, then he would put it into a large bucket of sand, then the bucket into a decorative box that he made years ago.
On the front of the box was a paper cut tree on red paper that I think I made in Infant School. It got turned around in different directions depending on how big the tree was (so whether or not the tree was in the box or on the box).
There would be around 20 minutes of wobbling the tree to get it straight.
Now with our artificial tree, getting it straight involves playing with 3 screws in the base of the tree stand. Far easier.
As with most of the things involved with Christmas, my mother would save up the money to buy the tree from her part time job. The tree would be up only until the 12th day of Christmas and would always be taken down for the 6th January. The idea that it would be up any longer just didn't cross anyone's mind.
During these early years of my childhood, my maternal grandmother lived in the first house in our road. She always had an artificial tree, a silver tinsel one. I thought it was rather magical.
My parents' friend, who lived opposite us had a green tinsel tree which they always hung long silver strands of silvery tinsel stuff on and 'angel hair' to look like snow ... I think it was just some form of thin cotton wool. I always felt it very busy looking and was secretly worried that it might catch fire!
From our first Christmas together, hubby and I always had a real Christmas tree but back in 2016 we decided that it was time to move to an artificial one as we were having problems sources trees that hubby liked.
I didn't realise that buying an artificial Christmas tree would take us 3 months and visits to over 6 garden centres! But we found it in the end.
When we first got together, hubby and I bought a set of cheap baubles from Ikea (where we also got our first tree). As we travelled around together, we bought decorations to remind us of our travels and I also made hubby a decoration each year.