GONE are the days of red and green Christmas themes; the festive season’s beauty today manifests in so many styles and shades it’s little wonder people across Perth are pining to decorate more than one tree.
Household displays of duos and trios are rising faster than Santa’s reindeer-drawn sleigh, according to Lorraine Meredith, who is undoubtedly the queen of the multiple tree trend.
The visual merchandiser spent two months going all out to make her home a dazzling Christmas wonderland, with 18 trees up to 3m as festive focal points chosen from her thousands of ornaments, including 60 Lemax collectibles that fill a whole room.
“It’s something I really enjoy and I love sharing it with others as it makes everyone happy,” she said while one of Canadian crooner Michael Buble’s Christmas songs played in the background.
“People can’t stop smiling when they’re here, possibly because they’re thinking of joyous things from their past, and the decorations are so beautiful that they give you a warm feeling.”
Mrs Meredith has always loved Christmas, starting her collection on the birth of son Todd 27 years ago when she bought the “family tree” now displayed near two 2m nutcrackers, wall-mounted singing reindeer and ladder-scaling toy Santa.
“It’s a full-on, crazy tree – the everything tree – but when you’ve got a young family, that’s perfect. You could sit there for an hour and not see all the beautiful decorations, like the little bikes, violins and pixies,” she said.
Her love and children’s enjoyment of the collection saw it grow fast and the family home’s annual transformation includes a white fibre optic tree with toy elves, miniature tree decorated in Royal Doulton and Royal Albert treasures, and “partridge in a pear tree” that adult visitors admire.
Regal colours and fairies on the “peacock tree” make it her favourite.
Like most Christmas lovers, Mrs Meredith is an expert at handling “man-down situations,” springing into action when husband Brett or daughters Deanne and Sarah find a fallen ornament.
When she’s not at home planning to host a Christmas Day breakfast for 30 family members, she can be found sharing her infectious enthusiasm while working her dream job at Myer’s Giftorium, where she has served for eight years and is affectionately known as “Mrs Christmas”.
“My passion is my secret; I put my heart and soul into it, and I have been fortunate enough to win a number of awards at Myer for my passion,” Mrs Meredith said.
“I work with a lady who had a 1m (3ft) tree and one year after working with me, she’s onto her fourth tree.”
As for the Christmas grinches who question the expense of her hobby, she said the cost was irrelevant because it brought great happiness.
“I’m not collecting any more, but I say that every year,” she said.
If you visit the store or are lucky enough to see inside her home, be warned: You’ll soon be deriving great joy from bringing the season’s magic to life in your house too.
HOW TO DECORATE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL
Mrs Meredith’s top tips to decorating a Christmas tree like a professional designer are:
– Put on some good festive music to get into the Christmas spirit while assembling the tree.
– Turn the tree lights on before stringing them up to achieve an even glow.
– Use value packs of decorations to fill the inside of the tree and give it a full appearance.
– For a 2m tree, choose about seven assorted decorations and buy 10 of each. Create a pattern and duplicate it around three tree. It doesn’t need to be even.
– Place similar decorations in a glass dish or clear vase on a table near the tree to bring the theme together.