Christmas Tree Trends for 2020

Are you ever too old to get excited about the Christmas season?  There is something so enchanting about Christmas decorations. The sparkle and glitter that transforms every day spaces into something quite magical.

Personally, I still have to quell the bubble of excitement and anticipation as I go about my commute, and trips to the shops heading into the Christmas season.  Seeing the streets, shop-windows and houses decked out in bright lights lifts the spirits and brings a smile to your face, and of course a Christmas Tree has to be the main attraction, the centre piece for all Christmas related events!

Christmas is a big event for the Planteria team as it’s our job to dress trees for businesse – from head office atriums and reception areas, to the grandest hotels and the cheeriest of pub chains, and everything in between.  We like to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening in the world of Christmas Decorating.  Christmas Tree trends, like anything design related, change from year to year.  With this in mind, I caught up with our Christmas Tree Guru, Lucy Sweeney to get the inside information on what’s hot for Christmas Trees for 2020.  Let’s hope it’s not hand-sanitiser filled baubles, or face-mask themed decorations!

Lucy says..

It’s interesting that Christmas tree trends often reflect fashion design with regard to colours and themes, so anything that you have seen as a strong trend on the catwalk or in interior design will be echoed in Christmas trees.  This year that means rose gold is still very popular.  Another twist on this will be rose gold mixed with gun metal grey echoing the grey interior theme which is has pervaded every bit of home furnishing for the last few years.

New for this year, expect to see mixed metals making a statement. Think of pairing opulent metallics together.  Try out different tones of gold, from old gold to yellow-gold, pale champagne, tungsten grey and silver all mixed together to get this effect.

 

There will however, always be a place for ‘traditional’ trees with a colour palette of red, gold and green. Some 20 years ago when professional tree dressing became an established part of the corporate and hospitality season, all the top London hotels had very traditional trees with the red gold and green palette and lots of tartan ribbon tied on the trees as bows.

More recently, there has also been a movement for some luxury brands to create a unique twist on this and to go for something as different as possible.

For some brands this has included working with guest designers, and even modernist art installation Christmas Tree ‘pieces’ like the silver inflatable Jack Irving Tree at W London or the primary coloured Yinka Ilori ‘Tree’ at the Sanderson.

 

The 00’s saw a move away from tinsel and the lametta, the shiny garlands and strands of metallic plastic.  These items have started to make a resurgence from the wholesalers but are yet to make a return to the corporate sector, thank heavens!  But perhaps you will see more of them in the domestic setting?

Perhaps the biggest change over the years has been with tree lights as they moved from multicoloured, to white, and there are so many options available now. Though classic lights are by far the most sophisticated.

Planteria are ready to help you sprinkle some magic on your workspace this Christmas with 11 different decoration theme options, plus a bespoke decoration offering, as well as choices of Live Nordmann Firs, Replica Trees or Artificial Cone trees.  Whatever look you are going for – we can help deliver a Christmas to remember.

Just pop over to our Christmas page to find out more: https://www.planteriagroup.com/christmas

 

How to Plan the Perfect Christmas

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Christmas may well be the most wonderful, magical time of the year, but it’s not without stress. From buying presents for so many different people, having to wrap each one in beautiful paper (and desperately trying to find an online tutorial for wrapping), to the mad last-second dash to the supermarket the night before to pick up the forgotten cranberry sauce, a lot of time and effort goes into making that perfect Christmas.

With autumn drawing in and thoughts turning to the festive season (you may have noticed advent calendars are already making an appearance), here’s a handy guide to ensure you’re fully prepared and can enjoy the big day with the minimum amount of stress.

Gift Buying

When it comes to present buying, it really is never too early to start. Some people are organised enough that they buy the bulk of their Christmas’s gifts in the January sales for the following Christmas, while others leave it to the very last minute, trying to grab what they can from the rapidly emptying shelves in late December. Ideally, you should start looking for inspiration around the middle of September and begin with drawing up a list of everyone you need to buy for, not forgetting the office Secret Santa.

If you’re a working professional and don’t have the time to go shopping during the week, get online and start browsing some of your favourite online retailers in your lunch break. They will often have recommendations for gifts that may spark some ideas.

If you have children, take them shopping with you at the weekend and take note of where their little eyes wander. Chances are they will drop not-so-subtle hints as you walk past toys and gadgets that take their fancy. Make a note on your phone of all these moments to help compile that Christmas list. Or you could even ask them to send you links online to what they want; kids are so tech savvy these days they might even do a better job of navigating those online shops than you.

One top tip for present gathering is to make a list of what you’ve bought for who as you’re going along – not only does it make things easier come wrapping time, but if you hang onto the list, you know you won’t be at risk of buying someone the same thing again next Christmas.

 

Card Writing

Despite email and instant messaging, many people still want to write, send and receive physical Christmas cards. It’s a lovely tradition that may be one of the only times you contact that distant cousin or that old University friend of yours.

If sending cards is for you, the first thing you need to do is check those all-important postal dates. For 2018, Royal Mail recommends Thursday 20th December for the last 1st class post deliveries, and Tuesday 18th December for 2nd class for domestic UK post.

For international post, the dates vary widely, from dates as early as September all the way to mid-December, depending on the destination. Check the Royal Mail website for a comprehensive list of all countries and prioritise your international letters first. It helps to draw up a list of everyone you’re sending cards to, to avoid missing anyone.

Alternatively, it can be a nice idea to save the money you would have spent on cards and instead donate it to a charity of your choice. A first-class stamp is around 67p, if you were to send out 50 cards, you would end up spending £33.50! Which doesn’t even include the cost of the Christmas cards themselves. Consider a festive email card for people like your work colleagues; they’re just as merry, and you’ll be able to do some real good with the money you save.

Getting Away

Sometimes getting away from the day-to-day planning for Christmas can be a great way to unwind and enjoy some of the festive cheer. If you’ve got the cash to spare and some holiday time to take, German Christmas markets can be a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit – Nuremberg is famed for its Christmas market, but Berlin and Dresden are also excellent choices.

Copenhagen is another great Christmas destination if you want a winter wonderland, or you could really push the boat out and take a trip to New York to see the incredible show they put on around this time of the year. A mini break is a great chance to escape the office and get some shopping done.

If you are planning a getaway then you need to book well in advance or the fares will skyrocket and availability will go down, so get searching in September or early October to avoid disappointment.

 

Stress-free Cooking

We all put so much pressure on ourselves to make the big Christmas dinner a showstopper. Let’s face it, by the time you’ve panic-bought all that food (and it’s always too much) and slaved away in the kitchen (when you should be having fun), you’re probably in no fit state to enjoy it. Christmas should be about spending time with your family, not getting hot and flustered making bread sauce and your own Yorkshire puddings.

If you’re too busy with work, cut a few corners and take some of the stress out – order online for home delivery, and remember that frozen roast potatoes and cranberry sauce from a jar are just as good. Nobody should be expected to produce a home-made black forest gateau at the drop of a hat. Treat yourself to an upmarket supermarket dessert. The kids aren’t going to notice the food’s not home-made, and if any guests pass comment, then you know not to invite them next year.

Christmas should be a time to relax with family and maybe drink a little more than you should. Take some of the worry out by getting organised early, then you can enjoy the big day and leave the stress to Father Christmas.

Decorations

If your decorations have seen better days, it might be time to invest in some new ones. The major DIY stores will start to display their Christmas stock a good couple of months before the big day, and when it comes to decoration buying, it can be best to do it in person rather than rely on the internet. Sometimes the decorations which look nice online can look cheap and tacky once they arrive.

It’s always nice to have the office decked out at the beginning of December, so decide who on your team will be responsible for stringing up the tinsel. A sparkling tree with some baubles or some festive bunting certainly wouldn’t go amiss, either.

If you’ve got kids, decoration buying is all part of the build-up and fun. It can also be a good excuse to distract them with a little creative crafting, and home-made decorations almost always end up being the most treasured. You can take advantage of all the wonderful ideas and tutorials online to discover something that your children would love to make themselves. You could try getting them to craft tree ornaments from polymer clay, or use old jam jars, glitter and some glycerine to make their very own Christmas snow globes.

Finally, there’s the big one. It’s an age-old dilemma – real or artificial? Each family and each office has their own ‘tree traditions’. Artificial Christmas trees are of a much higher quality than they were even a handful of years ago, so if you can find a nice one, it can be reused for years to come.

For others, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of fresh pine. The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (yes, that’s a thing) say you can buy your tree from the 1st December onwards and still have it looking lush and healthy throughout the festive season. However, don’t forget to keep it watered every day, to make sure the tree will dazzle beneath those fairy lights for many weeks to come.

At Planteria, we can take the stress out of your Christmas this year by doing all of your Christmas tree arrangements for you. Our complete commercial Christmas tree services have something suitable for any space, from smaller trees for offices, right through to show-stopping centrepieces perfect for hotels, bars and large reception areas. We have a wide range of colours to choose from, real or artificial, undecorated, with lights only or fully decorated if you like. Additional extras include presents under the tree and artificial garlands and wreaths, created in our standard tree colour choices. When the festivities are over, you can even arrange to have us collect your tree after Christmas; it’s all included in our fantastic service.

Get in touch with Planteria today to find out how we can meet your needs this Christmas.

The Business Case for Celebration

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We’ve all been through a lot this year, Brexit, financial instability on the markets, turbulent politics at home and outside the UK. In true British style when the going gets tough the tough find everything they can to celebrate and be positive about.

If this seems a trivial thing, or superfluous to business requirements, it might be time to take a fresh approach and see what benefits can be brought to you by finding opportunities to celebrate.

You only have to look back a short way in history to be inspired by the famous ‘Blitz spirit’ Londoner’s displayed in the second world war, to see that this attitude is a winning formula. When the chips were down and the City was being destroyed around them, Londoner’s pulled together, they soldiered on and they found time to gather together to sing and celebrate small things. We can’t compare our current situation to the adversity of war-time London, but we can take a lesson from their attitude.

You’ve heard the expression ‘work hard and play hard’ this is a key part of building passionate, productive and resilient teams. If you’ve set targets and worked hard to achieve them, taking the time to celebrate is imperative. Recognising and celebrating when you reach your goals, or even smaller goals on the path to the final destination makes the effort worthwhile and reinforces the satisfaction of achievement. Take time out to applaud the efforts of all concerned with a meal, a reward or recognition event.

Here are some really good reasons why you should celebrate your successes:

A happy workplace brings better results for companies and individuals and is cited as a main reason for staff retention.

Celebrating with your team increases bonding and builds teams that work better together.

Celebrating success reminds the team of why you set the goal in the first place and spurs your team on to greater achievements.

Ironically sometimes even celebrating failure can be a key to success. Read how Spotify celebrated an unsuccessful experiment, and how not sweeping the results under the rug, but discussing it openly, created a win.

A great chance is coming your way, Christmas is fast-approaching, so why not plan an up-beat end to the year? Decorate your office, with Christmas Trees, wreaths and garlands. Push the boat out and plan a Christmas Party, Secret Santa draw, or festive drinks? Show your appreciation to your team for their efforts over the year, and use it as a perfect opportunity for some team-building.

With the lines between work and life blurring and the fact that we are often spending more time with our colleagues than our family members it’s important to create a more relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. To quote Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson “A business has to be involving it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts”.

‘Tis the season for goodwill to all men. So let it work for you and give you an excellent reason to end on a high note. Celebrate your collective successes, and spring-board your team into a positive and prosperous New Year.

Trees and decorations – let’s take care of that part for you!

Santa Claus Promoting Our Tree Service for Offices and Hotels

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Yes, it may be September and seem early to think about Christmas, but if you’re a building manager, facilities manager, office manager or in charge of Hotel services, seize the moment! We have all our tree orders finalised by November, with the peak number of orders being taken in early October!

This year we’ve launched our easy to use on-line tree ordering configurator. Available in the Greater London and Cambridge areas for corporate customers. To help us promote our service we took our Santas out into the streets of London to greet commuters with some early festive cheer.

Our aim, to spread the message about our service, and to provide an extra incentive to order now we also gave away a ‘personal desk tree’, claimed by using the code on our leaflets. We certainly put a smile on the face of many city workers. Quite a few were happy to snap a ‘selfie with Santa’ to share on our social media platforms. Spreading a bit of early Christmas cheer has to be a good thing?

Our popular tree service offers live, Nordmann Fir trees as well as traditional and cone style artificial trees in a range of sizes. You choose; undecorated, lights only or fully decorated in your colour choices with optional faux gifts for the base of the tree, coordinating garlands and wreaths. When the festivities are over we take it all away! Easy as mince pie!

Order today!

It is NOT too soon to be thinking about Christmas

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Christmas in the Office – get ahead with our guide…

Are you the person who is responsible for playing ‘secret-santa’ to ensure that your organisation gets into the Christmas spirit when December arrives? If the answer is yes then you’d better get your skates on because it is not too soon to be thinking about Christmas!

Not a job for the faint-hearted, it is one of those infamous poisoned chalices. Organising the office Christmas party can be a mine-field, with someone ready to complain about the location, someone-else happy to pick fault with the catering and … probably a few who think they could have done a better job themselves!

You may not be able to please everyone, but it’s very possible to please (in fact, delight) the majority.

We’ve created a quick guide to steer you through the main points to ensure that you give your team an unforgettable Christmas.

Get your Christmas Party Sorted!

Start Early – The earlier you start the better the chance of securing your preferred venue and entertainment, and the majority of your colleagues can save the date in their diaries.

Set the date – Check with key dates in the company calendar, and then send out your invitations and remember to add an RSVP by date. Send out plenty of reminders as the party gets closer.

Know your budget and stick to it

Decide on the theme and type of the event – There are so many options here whether you’re going for a shared party, private dinner, a whole venue or a group activity or experience. You’ll know what suits your team best.

Select a venue and get it booked!

Visit the venue if you haven’t used it before. Consider;

Capacity – is it the right size for your anticipated number of guests?

Location — is it accessible, good for cabs and public transport? If not, are you arranging coaches or hotel accommodation?

Facilities — Does it have what you need? a PA system, or space for presentations, live entertainment, dance floor etc?

 

If you book a hotel or restaurant here’s a check list for your diary of information to provide the venue with…

The number of people attending – 6 weeks before the event.

Any special dietary requirements – 4 weeks before the event.

The choice of menu selected – 4 weeks before the event.

A seating plan – 2 weeks before the event.

Deck the Halls – Order your Tree and Decorations!

Order your tree and decorations. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a beautiful tree and decorations. Order it now and you can be the Christmas Fairy, organising for your fabulously festive, professionally decorated tree to magically appear in the office in early December to dazzle and delight your colleagues.

This is the easy bit, get everything in one place. Go on-line now at Planteria place your order and secure your tree to be delivered early December and collected after Christmas. Choose the size and type of tree you want and select your decoration theme, don’t forget to order matching wreaths and garlands for the finishing touch. Leave the rest to us!

Merry almost Christmas!

From Tree to You: Christmas Trees to Make Your Business Stand Out

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Christmas is a magical time, and most people will agree that part of the fun, is the build up to it and the decorations everywhere. We enjoy seeing decorations go up in streets, towns and businesses across the country. Twinkling lights and bright colours lift up the gloomiest commute home.

You may have seen beautiful trees in some office receptions, hotels and store windows and thought they look stunning and wondered how, as if by magic, a 20ft tree went up overnight?

Part of the difficulty of getting a Christmas tree for your office or business is actually getting it back to the premises, especially if you are in busy city centre location. Of course, decorating a large tree may involve using a step ladder and takes time and a practiced eye. So, who does this job at your office? Maybe it’s you, and you already have a ‘to-do’ list as long as your arm, as well as everything else that goes on during the holiday festivities? This is the perfect job to outsource to the professionals, and if it isn’t your job, do pass this on right colleague, they’ll thank you for it!

Leave It To Planteria, We’ll Do It All For You

Planteria does the hard work for you, providing a bespoke and professional Christmas Tree service that caters for business needs, practically and professionally. Our service ensures that your Christmas tree is hand-picked, delivered and decorated, with all the fuss associated with these yuletide festivities completely eliminated. This gives you the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the occasion, without running the risk of decorating-related workplace injuries.

Not only that, but with a wide range of colours to choose from you can select the perfect theme for your location, or even match your corporate branding. Simply order your Christmas Tree online, choose, real or artificial, with lights only or fully decorated. You can add wrapped decorative ‘presents’ to complete the finished look, and also add complementing wreaths and garlands.

Select your chosen delivery slot and pay for your tree. Planteria will contact you to confirm your exact delivery in November, and will then deliver and decorate your tree in situ on that date. We will also collect your tree on your pre-selected collection date after Christmas, this is all part of the service and included in the price.

No more attempting to hire a vehicle large enough to transport an enormous tree, all the while unloading and parking in a busy city centre. From your initial order all the way through to post-Christmas collection, we have you completely covered.

The Tale of our Christmas Trees

Our Christmas trees are grown on sustainable UK Christmas tree farms which harvest and replant trees every year. It generally takes about 10 years to grow a Christmas tree from seed to a size ready for cutting. A Christmas tree farm is carbon positive for most of the year as the trees absorb Carbon and emit Oxygen. Once a Christmas Tree has graced your office or venue, it can be recycled, typically sent through a chipper to be used as mulch for parks and green areas.

We start preparing for the holiday season in July and August, with our Tree specialists visiting Christmas tree farms to ‘tag’ the type and size of trees that we want on behalf of our clients, wandering through acres and acres of fields to pick out the perfect trees. The specific need of the client determines the type of tree we select for them: larger trees, which sell out quickly, are often reserved for clients with premises that call for larger statement centrepieces – particularly hotels with spectacular lobbies and organisations with airy atriums.

 

We offer a first come, first served basis for these larger trees, and therefore to avoid disappointment, we suggest that customers looking for a Christmas tree on a ‘grander’ scale – that is, 10 feet or taller – should order as early in the year as possible. These taller trees are sourced from a specialist farm in the South East and are show-stoppers to suit all spaces.

 

Christmas Trees for Busy Companies

When ordering a tree on behalf of your business, chances are that you have chosen a tree that is significantly larger than the standard, domestic tree and decorating it to an acceptably high standard will be incredibly difficult. Remember – this tree will be associated with your business. You need it to look the part.

Our corporate office Christmas trees service is a popular choice for this reason – delivered to a high standard, we are on point as far as colours and trends are concerned. This year, we have introduced two brand-new colour schemes, tapping into current fashion trends with Rose Gold, and a Silver & Gold combination. This is in addition to the classics; Red & Gold, and Blue & Silver, if these combinations aren’t to your taste, we have a eleven colour schemes available, all of which can be mixed and matched to suit your needs.

Want to Find Out More?

If our service sounds like something of interest to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss how we can work together to meet your particular needs. Our professional team are versatile and operate successfully to achieve the look you desire at a cost-effective price, ensuring your vision becomes a reality and your holiday season remains entirely stress-free.

Bring and Share Christmas Food!

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Christmas and New Year’s festivities are a must for offices across the country – the chance to create some merriment and festivity in the, normally corporate workspace, with decoration and celebration is important for the wellbeing of many workers, not ignoring the fact that it’s also a lot of fun! A great way to celebrate it is with a bring and share – an event that encourages everyone to contribute together to make some delicious treats for all to enjoy!

Raise Morale and Celebrate with Some Delicious Treats

Not every company wants to host a Christmas party, and this could be for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean that you should forgo celebrations altogether. There is plenty that you can do within working hours to raise staff morale without impinging on their own commitments. Hosting a bring and share is a perfect example of how you can satisfy staff desires to celebrate Christmas or the new year without cutting into their personal time. The event could also be used as a charity fund raiser giving an extra incentive for everyone in the office to get involved, either in baking or sampling the food, on a day set with more of a relaxed atmosphere and a little more socialising.

It’s also a great idea to reward those individuals who are striving to keep the business running over the Christmas period.

Inspiration for a Brilliant Office Bring & Share

Firstly, if you are going to be getting into the Christmas spirit in your office, then we fully recommend investing in a Christmas tree to get everyone in the festive mood.

The Planteria New Business Team will be enjoying a thoroughly Christmassy celebration this year, complete with decorated tree and plenty of food contributions from our colleagues. We’ve collected a selection of our tried and tested favourite Christmassy contributions for a bring and share, to inspire you:

We’re bringing more than just food to the table; we’re also looking forward to engaging in a few Christmas activities, such as wreath making whilst listening to some classic Christmas songs.

Tips for Making Your Own Cheese Scones

Cheese scones are a classic twist on your favourite plate of afternoon tea, and they are incredibly easy to make too! All you need to do is add some cheese to your classic scone recipe, perhaps with a pinch of pepper and salt added to ensure that your scones are a truly savoury sensation. Other recommendations include adding spring onions and chives to the cheesy topping to add a little heat and variation in colour too. If you are concerned about your scones looking a little pale, then choose a darker cheese such as a red Leicester to make them stand out as perfectly scrumptious.

These taste especially exquisite when paired with some roasted or sundried tomatoes, but it can be quite easy to accidentally fill up on these treats before you have had the opportunity to try the rest of the dishes on the table.

If you want a go at replicating some of the Planteria team’s favourite dishes, here are some recipes for you to use as guidance! Good luck!

Cheese Scones

Christmas Tree Gingerbread

Marzipan Mince Pies

Malteser Tiffin

Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

Sausage Rolls

Ready for Christmas

If you’re thinking about Christmas already, then you should know that you’re on the right track for enjoying a spectacular and super-organised Christmas period. We understand that there is plenty to do and think about, so let us handle your  Office Christmas Tree preparations. Order now with our configurator to ensure that you receive the perfect tree this December.

A Planteria Christmas Tree

Christmas Infographic! Corporate Party Planning

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Planning the perfect corporate Christmas party can be extremely gratifying, but we also recognise that any business get-together comes with its trials and tribulations. Fortunately, we understand the importance of a professional party and are here to offer our assistance with a beautiful new infographic:

Corporate Christmas Party Infographic

As can be expected, British offices vary in how they celebrate the festive period, so we’ve gathered some facts for you to enjoy here:

86% of organisations will host a Christmas Party!
70% of organisations offer flexible hours during the festive period
55% of employers give their staff gifts
60% of employers don’t ask their teams how they want to celebrate!
51% of organisations share end-of-year results
Above facts sourced from  Perkbox.

Of the offices that do host Christmas parties…

25% are expecting an all-expenses paid for occasion
14% will have their event subsidised
15% will receive a Christmas bonus
10% will receive a gift
28% thought their employer could do more for the company at Christmas
Above facts sourced from  Onrec.

Also, did you know that Birmingham has the highest Christmas party expenditures per employee on average? A total of £37.06 per employee, compared to Exeter’s £8.76 at the bottom of the table, although other studies place London at the height of Christmas spending, so it all depends who you ask.

In the end, though, it all totals to around £1bn spent nationally by businesses celebrating the festive season.

We hope our infographic has helped you to plan an amazing Christmas this year, but don’t forget to order your  Office Christmas Tree  with us soon!