Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree – how lovely are your branches.
The Dearne Valley Ramblers have got into the festive spirit by decking a living tree in Langsett Woods with tinsel and trinkets.
The club first decorated the fir tree about three years ago, when they came across a poem attached to it inviting people to add to the decorations in memory of somebody who used to enjoy walking there.
Club secretary Sue Haywood said: “It just captured people’s imagination and we bring tinsel, baubles and decorations to go on it.
“Last year and this year we have incorporated it into what we call our Tinsel Tree Walk and have carol singing around the tree.
“It happened on Sunday and we all dressed up daft – there were a few Father Christmases and lots of elves and reindeer – and a jolly good time was had.”
This year the decorations have expanded to cover two or three smaller trees in the same clearing, on the edge of the forest at Langsett.
Sue said: “Everyone who has seen it loves it. It’s good fun and we get a great reception from the passers by. One of our Father Christmases had a bag of sweets for the children passing by and it was just a really lovely occasion.”
The decorations will remain on the tree in the run-up to Christmas.
Dearne Valley Ramblers are always seeking new members to join the club.
For more information, visit www.dearnevalleyramblers.org.uk
Trees and decorations
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century, when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.
Britain is thought to have adopted the custom after Queen Victoria and her German-born Prince Albert were pictured celebrating around a Christmas tree in 1848.
The first Christmas trees were decorated with fruit and candles.
Red and green are the traditional colours of Christmas decorations, the reason holly was one of the first decorations to be used. Green represents the continuance of life in winter, reflecting the Christian belief in everlasting life. Red symbolises the blood shed by Jesus in his sacrifice for humanity.
Despite being invented in 1610, tinsel did not become a widely-used Christmas decoration until the early 20th century when manufacturing advances allowed a cheaper aluminium base to become available.