Etiquette expert says fake trees and Yankee candles are ‘naff’ Christmas decorations


William Hanson has shared his thoughts on ‘tacky’ Christmas decorations, including fake trees, Yankee candles, and outdoor lights – do you agree with his judgements?

A Christmas tree with presents at the bottom situated in a living room. There are stockings above a lit fireplace and the lights on the tree have been switched on.
William Hanson has detailed his Christmas decorating dos and don’ts (stock image)

We all have different tastes and styles when it comes to decorating our houses ready for Christmas – and your choice of baubles shouldn’t matter to anyone else as long as you’re happy with the end result.

But apparently, there is actually a “right” way to decorate for Christmas.

Etiquette expert William Hanson told The Sun that there’s a long list of dos and don’ts that people should be following every year – but what do you think of his claims?

DON’T: Have a fake tree

William claims that artificial trees are “naff” and says you should always spend money on a “good-quality real tree”.

The etiquette expert claims fake trees never look as good as real ones (stock image)


Getty Images/Image Source)

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He said: “Fake trees are naff because they never have the allure or quality of the real deal. And don’t get me started on pre-lit trees. The fun part is having this blank, green canvas and building it up.”

If you want to go with the real thing then go for it, but we think artificial trees are just as good – plus they will last you a lifetime, meaning they’ll save you money.

And if you re-use the same fake tree for years, it’s also better for the environment in the long run.

DO: Use natural decorations

The etiquette expert is big on the natural look and says you should be aiming to decorate your house with plants that you would find in the wild at this time of year.

William says ‘unsightly’ decorations should go to the back of the tree (stock image)


Getty Images)

Holly, mistletoe, and berries are all good choices, as is a poinsettia, which is the traditional Christmas flower.

However, William claims you shouldn’t hang your mistletoe from a doorway – even though that’s tradition! – and should instead put it in a vase.

DON’T: Display ‘unsightly’ decorations

If you’ve got young children, they’re probably going to be making Christmas decorations at school in the coming weeks.

And while you might want to proudly display their creation at the front of your Christmas tree, William claims you should keep them “hidden” at the back of your tree.

My mum would do this every year with the (disastrous) papier-mâché bauble I made when I was a kid – and I would always get upset that my masterpiece couldn’t be seen.

Again, how you decorate your house is up to you – if you’re proud of your kid’s artistic efforts, show them off!

DON’T: Buy Yankee candles

The etiquette expert says there’s “never a time or a place for a Yankee candle”.

He said: “Candles on the dining table are fine for the evening, but at lunch you should be smelling the food, not a candle.”

But while fresh food is always going to smell better than an artificial candle, there’s plenty of time in the day (such as when you’re cuddled up on the sofa watching a classic Christmas film) to enjoy a festive scented candle too.

DO: Embrace your tree’s imperfections

Once you’ve chosen between a real tree and a fake one, William says you shouldn’t worry too much about it being a bit wonky.

While many of us strive for perfection, the expert claims that keeping your tree “tasteful and restrained” is actually a bigger sign of class than having a tree that is “overly styled”.

DON’T: Put up outdoor lights

One of the highlights of my Christmases as a child was seeing all the bright lights people had strung up outside their homes on my walk home from school.

But apparently, that means you could be from a “non-desirable neighbourhood” – whatever that means!

William said: “Lights outside houses are almost always seen in non-desirable neighbourhoods. If you love them, it’s probably because you are from such a neighbourhood.”

Instead, William suggests keeping decorations inside, or if you do still want a touch of outside flair, go for “clear lights” wrapped around a tree.

DON’T: Decorate before Christmas Eve

Many of us will have already put up our Christmas decorations, with some getting into the festive spirit almost as soon as Halloween had passed.

But William claims the longer you wait, the more social class you have.

He said: “A good social acid test is how early someone puts up their tree. If you put it up on Christmas Eve, you are top tier. If you’ve got it up now, I’m sorry to say you are common.”

Personally, we don’t think it matters!

What do you think of the expert’s Christmas advice? Let us know in the comments below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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