Sisters sharing Christmas joy across Australia

Family affair: Mel Martino convinced her sister Connie to open a gift store together which soon became a dedicated Christmas shop. Photo: Supplied
Family affair: Mel Martino convinced her sister Connie to open a gift store together which soon became a dedicated Christmas shop. Photo: Supplied

Want to keep up with this year's Christmas-decorations trends?

Make sure you look at pink, peacock colours (teal, blue and green) and candy-cane patterns.

These are the top sellers at Ambiance, a Christmas store in Melbourne that is open all year. The store is owned by sisters Connie and Mel Martino, who love spreading the joy of Christmas decorating.

Mel has her "finger on the pulse" for what will be popular when she ordered early in the year and was right when she tipped pink would be big.

"Every second order of a tree or ornament is pink," Connie said.

The trends change each year, and in almost 25 years of running the store, they've seen many different trends.

Connie's advice for anyone starting their Christmas decorations is first to pick a colour and then build on it.

"Some people have every colour you can think of, and that's fine too, but more and more people are sticking to colour schemes," she said.

"Buy a green tree and get a base colour like silver or gold and you can blend it with a colour each year or build upon it. You could do silver and pink this year and blue next year, then red."

It was a Wednesday afternoon, and Connie was rushing around the store after they'd reopened following a COVID lockdown.

One customer came to collect an online order of a nutcracker for her nan, who would be visiting from Benalla.

This connection with customers and sharing the joy Christmas decorating puts a smile on the sisters' faces.

"We love what we do," Connie said.

"We want to help people get the most joy and fun out of decorating for Christmas, and after the two years we've had, we all need a bit of joy in our lives."

Ambiance is truly family-owned, with the sisters' mother and husbands all involved.

Create a different Christmas tree

Christmas trees don't have to be plastic or freshly cut. Bunnings shares four different types of trees, and best of all, you can make them yourself.

Christmas teepee

Wrapping lights around a veggie cage will create a tree that's ideal for small spaces, outdoors or indoors. These are inexpensive and will last for years if looked after.

Dowel Christmas tree

This festive and elegant tree makes the perfect centrepiece; it involves making a tree from dowel rod and a few other timber pieces.

Timber Christmas tree

Pieces of scrap timber can be transformed into classy tree decorations that can be used around the house. These can be enhanced with lights or painted.

Fairy light wall tree

With lights and a few sticky hooks, you can have a stunning light tree displayed on the wall. This is ideal for smaller spaces.

For step-by-step guides visit bunnings.com.au.

This story Sisters share the joy with others first appeared on The Canberra Times.