Nothing screams Christmas than a beautifully dressed tree, covered from head to toe in sparkling lights.

However, a DIY Christmas tree from Ikea is certainly a new one for me.

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My previous post reflected on a number of little events which all pointed towards the impending behemoth of Christmas celebrations – things like a turkey dinner with all (and more) of the trimmings, more Nativity sets in the house than characters in the Nativity story and our daughter scoffing chocolate from an Advent calendar. Every one of these has helped imbue me with that elusive Christmas spirit.

However, the arrival of a real Christmas tree – the first time we’ve owned one; it’s so exciting – has topped all of those for injecting Christmas spirit into the house.

And, despite it being from everyone’s favourite Scandinavian shop, it’s not required an Allen key to fit into place!

Sophie got very excited when she first saw the tree, coming down in the morning and charging over to see if it was as spiky as it looked. I imagine she’ll be even more excited if some presents begin to appear underneath it.

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It was great watching Sophie hanging decorations on the tree. Over the past couple of years, we’ve acquired a host of personalised decorations which have adorned our tabletop Christmas tree. The real one, on the other hand, looked pretty sparse with our normal amount of decorations on it…an emergency shopping trip was definitely required.

Now the shopping has been completed and my wife has hung up the last paper chain – over head height for her but not for me unfortunately – the house really does look ready for Christmas.

My wife has created a Christmas bucket list for things to do with Sophie. It features festive aims like watching The Snowman film, meeting Santa and buying presents for Jesus . (I suggested she do a bucket list for Harry, with things like sleep for longer than two hours but this wasn’t accepted.)

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Sophie enjoys helping cross them out as they are achieved and is very excited about attending a Christingle service too.

Which brings me back to the real object for getting excited about the coming of Christmas. The message of the baby born to save the world can get lost amidst all the colours, sounds and tastes of Christmas but that is the true reason for the season and we need to communicate that more than anything to our children.

As Sophie gets caught up in the magic and enjoyment of the giving and receiving, treats and special memories, we must make sure we get across to her what it’s really all about and she can thank the one who is truly worthy of it.