Are you cheugy? It’s Gen-Z’s latest insult for uncool millennials that try a little too hard. Pronounced chew-gee, it was coined on TikTok by a 23-year-old, and guess what’s high on the list of offending lifestyle choices? Fairy lights!
Surely the clue’s in the name. Who among us hasn’t had our day brightened by these little electric strings of magic? Fairy lights are not just for Christmas – they’re for life, including using them to set off tree decorating ideas all year round, so how about we get to the point and give you some ideas with both barrels that transcend trends and buzzwords and labels.
Oh, and by the way, lasagne and cappuccinos are also cheugy.
The beauty of an un-Christmas tree is you can change it as many times as you like because you’re in Dodge City. Anything goes. There are no rules or expectations or cops staking you out ready to pounce and bundle you off to the slammer in glittery handcuffs for crimes against Christmas.
Let that tree have it with the full force of your creativity.
Tree decorating ideas
Butterflies stand for summer loveliness. So bright and beautiful, they’re always going to cheer you up and maybe even remind you of that song by Dolly Parton ‘love is like a butterfly, it’s soft and gentle as a sigh’ or the sitcom of the same name from the late 70s/early 80s if you’re a person of a certain vintage.
Birds and the bees tree
Bees are on-trend at the moment if that makes any difference whatsoever to you, which also means that you can snap up loads of bee paraphernalia online and then stuff your tree with it. Let’s just hope it doesn’t attract the real thing and you have to call in the exterminators. Add some bird ornaments to keep these wee pollinators company and you’ve created a forest vibe in your home by bringing the outside inside – great if you’re still furloughed or working from home and can’t be fagged going on any more walks.
Rainbows stand for our love of NHS workers and the sacrifices they continue to make during the pandemic, gay pride, likewise summer fun and hope and chasing your dreams so the wonderful thing about this theme is that it’s interchangeable. You can recycle it. And festoon it in multi-coloured fairy lights. You could even hide a pot of gold somewhere on the tree or hang those chocolate gold coins on it that nobody eats if you’ve got some leftover from Christmases past.
Mother’s Day/Father’s Day tree
Hang Polaroid pics of mum or dad on your tree with other stuff that you associate with them to celebrate mother’s or father’s day. Like footballs or cupcakes or spanners, or bingo dobbers. It’s open season. You might want to fashion the tree in the image of the person you’re honouring by dressing it up in their clothes and maybe a wee hat – if that isn’t too creepy. Could be calamitous if someone stumbles home in the dark trying not to disturb the rest of the house after having a few and mistakes it for the real thing.
Life’s a Beach tree
While we wait on international travel opening up fully, why not bring the beach into your living room minus the sand and the jellyfish and middle-aged men struggling to crowbar themselves into their trunks under a towel. Shells, boats, fish, lobster pots, mermaids, oil tankers, scuba divers, octopuses all make excellent tree-hangers.
Autumn and Halloween tree
Whose heart doesn’t melt at a tree dripping in lovely autumnal colours? Orange, green, gold, burgundy, bronze, rust, ochre. Strewn it with pumpkins and squashes, golden ribbons and garlands. Or spooky it up with skulls, a witch’s hat, or some of those vibrating ghost things. Black trees are very effective. How about signs of the zodiac for some occult realness? The upside-down tree is also a fun twist that can be adapted to any theme really – it’s not an omen of doom like an upside-down tarot card.
Love heart tree
Those wee sweety love hearts with the writing on them make great conversation-starter ornaments that you can either buy or have a stab at making yourself. Heart-shaped lights on a plain tree will send yours aflutter, or drape a white tree with heart ornaments and white lights with a suspicion of pink tinsel – and then put the face of your true love atop the tree where the fairy/star usually goes, and should you fall out, you can pin it to the dartboard instead.