Christmas can be one of the most magical times of year, but we all know it can be full of tricky times too! After the whinging reached fever pitch last December, and daily presents almost became the norm, we decided to go a bit lower key this year – minimising sweet treats, ditching the ‘December Box’ and reverting to an old fashioned advent calendar without any chocolate (shock horror!).
However I still want to continue creating new family traditions too and for the first time in years (with the exception of a disastrous attempt at using a freshly cut tree from my in-laws’ garden) we have gone for a real Christmas tree which we chose from the marvellous Molly Dishwasher on Saturday.
Based on Manor Farm Stud in Frant (TN3 9BH), Molly Dishwasher is actually the name of a beautiful shepherds hut which many local families escape to for a little break across the year. However during the festive period, the pop-up shop is a welcome addition to the Molly Dishwasher dynasty and the perfect place to pick up some gifts and choose a tree.
Everyone is welcome to go up and have a browse, sip on a warm glass of mulled wine and savour the selection of Nordmann Firs which are freshly chopped from a nearby forest. Your tree can then be delivered to your house for free if you live within 5 miles of the farm, or for a small fee if you live further away like me. The trees are really reasonably priced, starting from £40 for 5-6 foot tree up to £85 for a massive 10-11 foot fir!!
We showed up on Saturday to this picturesque place and parked up at the farm buildings before making our way to the pop-up shop. I got to have a decent look at the gorgeous gifts while the boys enjoyed some shortbread biscuits courtesy of Mops, the brains behind this family business. She then led us out to the trees – a beautiful selection of Nordmann Firs which are a popular choice with their strong branches and super soft needles. They are also non-drop which means they create way less mess than the average tree.
We looked at a few of the bigger ones and decided that they would be a little too large for our compact sitting room so moved onto the next range of firs. We knew we had found ‘our tree’ when Mops showed us a ‘cracker’ of a tree which would be the perfect size for our living room. The boys were more interested in chasing each other around the piles of trees at this stage but nevertheless, it was great to involve them in the whole experience.
We were going to get the tree delivered to our home but after it has been expertly ‘netted up,’ we realised that we would be able to fit it into our boot. We also picked up a stand for the tree there which we were able to use easily.
After getting the tree into position at home, the fun part began – helping my five year old to decorate the tree and doing some re-arranging after he had gone to bed! I can’t stop looking at our twinkly tree and love the smell of it too. Whatever traditions you decide to create this year, I hope you have a very merry Christmas!!
If you are thinking of ‘going real’ this Christmas, Molly Dishwasher is open on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am to 6pm and Sundays from 9am to 4pm from now until Christmas. Find out more HERE.