It's early December and there's a big question hanging in the air. (Well there are a few serious ones but we're avoiding those like the... [insert word beginning with p]. The issue many households up and down the country are grappling with right now is – what to put on the top of the tree? Are you an angelic family? Do you believe in fairies? Or do you prefer to be the star of the show?
The angel has been a topper for Christmas trees since the early 18th century in Germany, when trees were first brought into the home and decorated. It symbolised the Archangel Gabriel who revealed to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus.
The star became popular in the early 19th century, representing the bright star that appeared in the sky to guide people to Jesus's birthplace. Fairies fluttered to the tops of British trees in their droves in the 1950s, thought to have been inspired by angels as well as fairy godmother characters in popular pantomimes.
These are still among the most popular tree toppers today, although of course there are myriad options depending on your beliefs and how – or if – you celebrate Christmas.
So we thought it would be fun to ask the team here at La Residence Interiors what they might choose if they were on the look-out for a new Christmas tree topper this year. Since we specialise in luxury and style, we're not scrimping but looking for a quality topper that will make a lasting impression... Here's our pick of the Christmas tree topper crop.
BEST FOR ANIMAL LOVERS
Priscilla the poodle, £42 Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.com) Chosen by LRI sales executive Sara, who has two dogs and two cats
“I love this fluffy posh poodle. It’s a very cute, lighthearted topper for a tree with a beautiful hand-crafted look – the detail and glasses are great! I think children would love it as much as the adults.”
The topper is made from wool and filled with light poly foam and is 29cm high, 17cm in diameter.
BEST FOR STYLE GURUS
Florentine Gold Star Tree Topper – 16 point, £32 (curiousegg.com) Chosen by Zena, our super-stylish Saturday sales executive
“I like the fact that this gorgeous multi-pointed gold leaf star has been sculpted from craft board, so it’s not as heavy as a metal star and won’t weigh down or bend the top of the tree.”
Stored carefully, this should last a lifetime to pass down the generations. The 16-point star will sit over the spire of your tree, its base forming the 16th point.
BEST FOR ARTS & CRAFTS AFICIONADOS
Post Impressionism Fairy Tree Topper, £18 (John Lewis & Partners) Chosen by our clever crafting enthusiast, sales executive Sue
“This whole look is part of a collection by John Lewis that’s inspired by the vivid colours of Post Impressionism. If you’re the sort of person who likes to vary their Christmas tree theme from year to year, this exotic fairy would really make a statement along with tropical birds, animals and insects to create a jungle paradise feel. It’s definitely a bit different!”
According to John Lewis, the bright palette brings energy and fun, while hints of gold add opulence. The fairy tree topper is 28cm high.
BEST FOR LUXURY LOVERS
Christmas Tree Topper £99 (swarovski.com) Chosen by LRI founder and authority on style and exclusivity (obviously!), Sarah
“I do like a bit of sparkle… preferably understated though rather than overdone! That’s why we have zircon silver cushions, jewelled candle holders and pearl and crystal photo frames in our home accessories collection – they really help set off our weathered oak furniture. This topper is quite unique as it’s handmade from mouth-blown glass with tiny, hand-glued crystals. Pricey but very pretty.”
The crystal topper is also lightweight, so suitable for small trees. Size: 27.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm.
BEST FOR DESIGNER DIVAS
Sankari Round Tree Topper £24.95 (nkuku.com) Chosen by marketing executive Mandy, who designs LRI’s marketing emails and website banners.
“I like the intricate cut-out design of this brass tree topper. It's also striking because it's not a traditional star shape and it's not one-dimensional. One review online pointed out the pretty pattern it made on the ceiling when light reflected off it and I like the idea of that.”
The topper is made from brass and measures 21cm x 11cm x 11cm.