Real or artificial, big or small, festooned with tinsel or baubles, the tree is the star of the show when it comes to Christmas decorations.
But while most will only go up for a few weeks, Vicki Morley’s has stayed since last December. And it’s been redecorated 11 times, with a brand new theme.
The mum-of-four said: “Usually my tree comes down in January. But these are unprecedented times, so this year I’ve kept the tree up 24/7 in our living room.”
Vicki, 44, who lives in Langwith, Derbyshire, with husband Darren, 50, sons Niall, 25, 15-year-olds Dexter and Lennon and daughter Niamh, 18, told how the tree-athon began for an emotional reason.
She added: “Last Christmas my brother Steven, 50, spent 15 days in hospital, including in ICU, with Covid and we couldn’t even visit him. I was worried, but thankfully he pulled through.
“At first, I planned to keep the tree up until he was discharged and could visit, but then we went into lockdown so he wasn’t allowed to come here.
“I decided to keep the tree to cheer us all up in January. But there always seemed to be another reason to redecorate it. A year on, here we are.”
Will the tree remain up in 2022? Vicki replies: “I haven’t decided yet.
“My twin sons turn 16 next year and want a ‘birthday tree’ so I’ll do that. I won’t be surprised if I find a few more reasons to keep it up…”
Here, Vicki takes us through her tree for all seasons…
I put away the decorations, just keeping the lights on, and redecorated the tree with white and silver tinsel and stars which I borrowed from my mum.
January felt so bleak and frightening, the country in lockdown and people dying of Covid, and I wanted our tree to be a light in the darkness.
I found it soothing sitting by it, and it reminded me happier times would come again.
I got the inspiration for this tree from Pinterest, where I saw lots of images of Valentine’s trees, which have become a new interior decor trend in recent years.
I bought the decorations from a local pound shop, including heart lights and cardboard hearts, and it cost me less than a tenner.
Although we’re not usually very romantic for Valentine’s, this year I wanted to spread some love in my home.
Mother’s Day fell in March this year and to celebrate all the amazing mums out there who were working, home-schooling and caring for others during lockdown, as well as my own mum Mandy, 65, I created this special tree.
The flowers in it are all artificial and taken from a vase I had in the house. I spent a few pounds on the floral bunting and “Mum” balloon.
Hung on the tree were little photos of my two grandmothers who have passed away.
This was my second tree in the month of April, to mark my daughter Niamh’s 18th birthday.
She couldn’t have a party because of Covid restrictions, but I still wanted to make the day special for her, so I created a “birthday tree”.
She had no idea, I sent her away to my sister’s house for the night, so I could decorate it as a surprise and her face when she walked in the door was priceless. She absolutely loved it. Now all the kids want one for their birthdays.
Of all the trees, this one is the most personal to me. In 2002, I lost twin daughters called Daisy and Chloe 23 weeks into my pregnancy.
I went on to have my twin sons Lennon and Dexter, now 15, but I’ve never forgotten my daughters and, after deciding to do a “spring” tree, I used a daisy theme to honour them.
I used yellow streamers and glued paper daisies to them, which was time consuming, but it’s one of my favourite trees of the year.
My husband and one of my sons are football mad, and the country was gripped by Euros fever, so I decided to do an England tree, to get behind the team.
This one was very simple and inexpensive, with just a length of flags and a few football helium balloons at the top.
But it was fab having it there in the living room as we cheered on the England team all the way to the final.
July, August and September
I felt so happy this summer – the weather was great, and life felt a lot more normal again.
I celebrated with a summer-themed tree, decorated with cardboard watermelon slices, flamingos, butterflies and huge tissue paper flowers, as well as rainbows as a reminder of all the key workers who worked so hard.
The carers for my elderly neighbours love my trees and often park their car outside my house just to have a look and feel cheered up.
It was time to get spooky in October and make a Halloween tree, something I knew the children in the local area would especially love.
I made the tree look dark by draping black webbing over it and picked up most of the decorations for pennies in a local charity shop, plus stuff I had in the house from previous Halloweens.
We had lots of trick-or-treaters call to the door, who were very impressed with it.
Remembrance Sunday is an important day for us. My husband served in the Navy and both my brothers served in the Army.
My mother and father-in-law died in September within 20 days of one another.
They always went to the local march, and my mother-in-law used to carry the flag.
I made all the poppies from tissue paper.
It was very therapeutic, thinking about veterans and their sacrifice.
Christmas is just around the corner and my tree is back to its festive best, with a new Santa hat for the top and lots of lights and tinsel… all of which I had in the loft.
I made the flowers and the holly berries myself. I’ve got really crafty in the past year.
People have assumed I’ve spent a fortune, but I’ve actually only spent around £50 since this time last year.
After last Christmas, I can’t wait for the festive season to begin. It’s going to be so special to bring my family together for food, games and fun, and we can all enjoy my tree which has really helped me and my family through a hard year.