ARGUS garden columnist Geoff Stonebanks has been sharing his Christmas tree decorating tips with TV viewers.

Last month he was on Channel 5, on a programme called “Incredible Christmas trees and how to decorate them”.

And this week he appeared on ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

The Argus:

They showed clips from the Channel 5 programme and Geoff took them on a tour of his decorations “live from home” in Bishopstone, near Seaford.

Geoff has been interested in Christmas decorations since childhood, when his parents had a country pub. As a boy he helped his mother decorate the bar but soon ended up taking over.

The Channel 5 production team spent half a day at his home in mid November, filming part of his Christmas collection, gathered over the last 60 years.

Geoff doesn’t usually put his decorations up until December 1 but the producers asked if he would decorate just one room ahead of time.

He spent four days getting the baubles, trees and lights out of the loft and set up in readiness for shooting.

The tree in his living room alone has 15 metres of tinsel, 1,700 fairy lights, more than 800 baubles and ten metres of silver beading.

Geoff said: “I always feel, when getting my garden ready to open every year, that I am dressing a film set for visitors to view and the same principle applies with my Christmas decorations. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

“The artificial tree takes ages to set up with all the branches having to be just right.

“Tinsel and silver beads are carefully positioned to create evenly balanced swirls all the way up the tree followed by the baubles and other decorations.”

His eclectic mix includes delicate pieces from 1930s Prague, glass baubles from the 1950s and 60s and a wealth of decorations from Woolworths from 1960, through the decades until its demise.

Following Christmas breaks with friends in Washington DC in the late 1990s, he began a collection of the official White House Christmas decorations, issued by the White House Historical Association.

They are beautifully crafted pieces in memory of past presidents, each packed in a decorative box. The 2020 decoration remembers JFK.

Geoff said: “It is no mean feat to get this collection down out of the loft and set up every year, even more so to pack it all up again after Christmas and put it back in the loft.

“By New Year’s Day, even I’ve had enough.”

He has used the opportunity to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. He has created a nine-minute virtual tour of his Christmas decorations and published it online, asking those who enjoy viewing it to make a donation.

The video, donation link and other details of Geoff’s Christmas decorations can be found at

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