Zara Tindall is ‘obsessive’ about decorating the Xmas tree herself, without Mia’s help

Mike and Zara Tindall arriving for the Xmas Day service at Sandringham Church, 25th December, 2018.

While I love Christmas and it’s one of my favorite times of year, I’m not particularly obsessive about Christmas decorations or celebrating for weeks on end. I just like Christmas music and I love seeing how other people decorate for the holidays. I appreciate those people who take Christmas decorating very seriously. Both of my parents could not have cared less about most holidays, but come Christmas time, they both turned into art designers with very specific ideas about how the tree should look and how many lights to hang and where the ceramic reindeer should be placed. Pretty much every Christmas of my childhood was spent navigating a fight between my parents about ornaments and ornament placement. I can’t imagine I’m alone there – there are tons of people who are OCD about home decor, and tons of people who likely have a very Christmas-decoration-specific obsessive-compulsive energy. As it turns out, Zara Phillips-Tindall is one of those people.

Zara Tindall is ‘obsessive’ and ‘very organised’ with decorating her family’s Christmas tree, her husband Mike has revealed. The rugby ace, 41, lives with the Queen’s granddaughter, 39, and their daughters Mia, six, and Lena, two, at their home on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Estate in Gloucestershire.

Speaking on The Good, The Bad, and The Rugby podcast, Mike said his wife is obsessive about the festive season, revealing: ‘Me and the kids get our own tree that we can throw tinsel on and my wife has the main tree that sits in the house and looks very, very pretty and very organised.’

The revelation comes days after it was announced the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, would not host the traditional royal Christmas celebration at Sandringham amid the Covid-19 crisis. Speaking on the podcast yesterday, Mike said: ‘The first tree has gone up so there are some presents underneath the tree. My wife has a slight OCD with her tree. It’s a bit like Monica [from Friends].’

He went on to say that the family had specific decorations each year for the tree, saying: ‘No tinsel on our tree, there are starred lights. There’s bells and lovely ornaments. She loves her tree. It is a wonderful sight and it is the best thing I’ve ever seen.’

Meanwhile he revealed the family now organise a second Christmas tree for Mike and the children to decorate together. He explained: ‘Last year, it got to the point where Z was trying to put up the tree and Mia was trying to be helpful and she was told, “We’re going to get you a little tree.” You could not see one pine on this tree, it was covered in everything. We gave her the stuff she had on her tree last year today, she took it upstairs and she’s literally got all the lights and fairylights out, tied them round the bed, round something else, something else. You can basically decapitate yourself on numerous parts of her room but she was dead happy with her decorations so if she’s happy, I’m happy.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Not allowing her daughter to help with the main tree? Truly festive! Being so OCD about the main tree that they had to organize a little tree for Mia? Amazing. I mean, it’s all well and good for me to sit here in judgment, but I know if I tried to watch a kid decorate a tree, I would probably be a rage-elf too. “YOU CANNOT PUT FIVE ORNAMENTS IN THE SAME BRANCH,” I would absolutely end up yelling that. Zara probably loves her organized tree and that was a good compromise, allowing Mia her own little tree to decorate. It sounds like Mia went wild with it!

Oh, and just this morning, Mike announced that he and Zara are expecting their third! Congrats to them.

Zara Tindall with husband Mike Tindall  seen at The Festival 2020, Gold Cup Day Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham , Glos

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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48 Responses to “Zara Tindall is ‘obsessive’ about decorating the Xmas tree herself, without Mia’s help”

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  1. ABritGuest says:

    Really nice news. The family hopefully have two additions to look forward to next year. Sweet

    • MapleAngel says:

      Isn’t Zara the one who was smirking and rolling her eyes at the sermon during Meghan and Harry’s wedding? Isn’t she sort of a jerk?

      • Jumpingthesnark says:

        Mapleangel, yes to all this. I’ve side eyed her ever since.

      • Snuffles says:

        I dunno. She was HEAVILY pregnant and clearly supremely uncomfortable in general that day. She looked like she was about to pop. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

      • Becks1 says:

        She was, but like Snuffles said she was also about to pop and looked super uncomfortable in general. I go back and forth on how much I judge her for that behavior. The other royals though – Kate, Eugenie – no excuse.

        Harry was named of Lena’s godfathers (the one who Zara was pregnant with at the time) so I gather there is no bad blood there. I also feel like Zara and Peter, out of all the royals, probably “get” Harry’s choice to leave the most.

      • ShazBot says:

        she is the only one I give a modicum of exception to on that day because those wooden benches look very uncomfortable and she was super pregnant and clearly in physical discomfort. BUT didn’t she also say nobody in the family likes Meghan at some horse event? So it was probably both.

      • Call_Me_Al says:

        Came here to say this. I have hated Zara since then. So rude and snobby, came off as racist too.

      • Itsme says:

        Yep and yep.

      • GuestwithCat says:

        Zara was indeed reacting to being uncomfortable, as would I if I had to pee and was that hugely pregnant, but when asked in an interview about the faces she was making she did acknowledge in a snarky way she thought the sermon went on a bit. If you look up her comments on the web you all can decide for yourself if she was dismissive and snobby about it all. My impression is that she was and I just have kind of written her off ever since.

        But who knows how Harry and Meghan get along with her? Maybe they get along great. Both of my sisters-in-law have snarked to me, about me and been unimaginably awful to me at times but we are all shockingly close-knit and consider each other actual sisters. I would still talk smack about them in a heartbeat though. And they would do the same. It’s just funny how family is, sometimes.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      A new baby is always lovely.

      Guess cousin Willy isn’t *incandescent with rage* at his cousin; after all, his “two children per peasant” rule doesn’t count here, too, I guess.

      • Mumbles says:

        It wasn’t William who said that, it was Harry.

      • Zaya says:

        He said it. At an event for Jecca’s charity, he warned of overpopulation in Africa.

      • Mumbles says:

        Yes, he talked about overpopulation, just like his hypocritical grandfather has. But not the two-child per person limit, that was Harry.

      • Becks1 says:

        All I’ve heard Harry say about it was in the conversation with Jane Goodall about the fact that HE Wasn’t planning on more than 2 kids.

    • Tiffany says:

      And the excuses made about her being pregnant is what white privilege will never go away. She is garbage and was acting like garbage on that day period.

      If she was so uncomfortable, she could have easily decline to sit there instead of knowing there would be archive footage of her looking like that. She knew and did not care.

      Just stop.

    • Pop says:

      @Shazbot, where did you read this about her not liking meghan?

      • ShazBot says:

        I can’t remember where…it was sometime last year, it was going around twitter (so grain of salt) that at one of the horse trials she was overheard talking to someone and said it. Obviously could be totally made up, but given everything else we know, it also sounds totally plausible.

    • Tessa says:

      Of course no complaints by the media that she is upstaging Princess Eugenie.

  2. PEARL GREY says:

    Congratulations on the third baby. They always looked like a well-matched couple.

    Just to be picky, and I know people don’t mean any harm, but I wish people would try to stop using the term “OCD” to describe simply being particular or wanting something done in a certain way. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a genuine mental health condition that involves more than being anal about decorating a tree. And on another note, it must be nice for Mike and Zara to know that they can talk about not letting their daughter decorate the main tree without the press rushing to print stories about her being a control freak or mean to children.

    • Squrriely says:

      I agree with Pearl. Being particular about a tree isn’t OCD.’it probably doesn’t seem harmful until someone you love
      suffers from OCD, but I wish you didn’t have to know someone to be kind about these things. There are so many more descriptive, more interesting words.

      • It’sJustBlanche says:

        Yes!!! My oldest son has it. He’s a great kid and it can be debilitating and it’s difficult to find the right help. When people say that, they seem either ignorant or callous—and possibly both.

      • Sparky says:

        That was my reaction as well. @ItsJustBlanche– if you’re in the LA area UCLA has an OCD intensive outpatient program that’s excellent. (I’m a graduate thereof) Given that I’m bipolar as well I feel compelled to mention that’s another term that shouldn’t be bandied about in such a manner.

  3. Dandun says:

    Congratulations to them! ive always really liked these two and how down to earth they come across.

    Separately I love decorating the tree with my boys and how it ends up looking like a mess but we have had great fun. my husband grins and bears it but moves things around in the evening time to try and make it look a bit better! each to their own but i couldnt imagine not letting them help, its part of the fun

  4. aang says:

    I don’t care what the tree looks like anymore. I had a string of years where it looked amazing. Then my kids got old enough to “help” and it was always lopsided and mismatched. I hope the kids tree is someplace everyone can see it. She’ll make the kids feel bad if they hide the tree way, like it is ugly or something. Last year we skipped Christmas and went to Mexico, what a revelation. It was the most relaxing December I’ve ever experienced. COVID messed up our travel plans for this year so we’ve got the small white tree that used to go in my daughter’s room. We made hand made ornaments that look like the BT 21 characters, got the idea on Pinterest. It looks silly but it was fun to do and will be good memory. Hope to be on a beach sipping a drink for Christmas 2021.

  5. Lightpurple says:

    As I started reading the article, I wondered if they were going to have more kids so I shrieked out loud at the baby announcement at the end.

    Every household that celebrates Christmas should have multiple trees so everyone can express their tree decorating tastes. We have one in every room. Even my boarder put up a tree and she’s Muslim. The big real tree in the living room, we all decorate together.

    • Snazzy says:

      Growing up Muslim I was never allowed to have a tree in our house. Now that I’m on my own and living in sin with a white dude, every year I decorate the tree to the hilt! It’s always a mess, more Charlie Brown than Martha Stewart, but I’m happy. I love Christmas decorations

      • MaryContrary says:

        We’re Jewish and this year I have strings of lights over every surface. I just feel like the more happiness and cheer the better!

      • GuestwithCat says:

        Lol I just love the way you phrased all that. Actually speaking as a Christian here, the tree is just sort of a universal symbol of the wonder holiday season, for whatever holiday you happen to celebrate. It’s actually got its roots in Celtic culture I think. Lol, I’m not the one to ask because I’m hardly an expert.

        My daughter’s close friend is Hindu and they put up a tree. My atheist friends put up trees. It’s a tree for all! We all use artificial trees. Everyone single one of us has allergies to real trees. Once in a great while I’ll give in and agree to have a tree farm tree in the house. But I’m sneezing and taking allergy meds the entire time.

      • Jay says:

        This description made me smile!

    • Betsy says:

      I have a friend from the Middle East, from a fairly strict Muslim family that does not approve of decorating trees (even though the country they’re in has adopted the custom to some extent). She’s here for a few years and delights in putting up her tree every year.

    • LightPurple says:

      She was super excited about doing it. I swear it is the most photographed tree in history.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Aw congratulations to them on their third!

    I like seeing the themed, formal Christmas trees, but its not my style. I like Christmas trees to be more personal – my only concern when the kids decorate it is that nothing gets broken (I only have like 4 ornaments that I would be upset about if they did get broken anyway.) You can tell the heights of the boys bc that’s where most of the ornaments are centered, lol.

  7. Sofia says:

    Congrats on the pregnancy!

    As for the Christmas tree discussion, I just decorate it as “standard” – lights going around the tree, baubles for decorations and a star at the top.

  8. Kathryn says:

    We decorate the tree as a family, but then I catch my architect husband rehanging and rearranging all the ornaments. He cannot help himself hahaha

  9. AnnaKist says:

    Ny daughter always does our tree, and so many people have texted me already, saying how beautiful it looks. She put a photo on Fakebook, obvious;y, and I never see those as I don’t have an account. This year, she relented and enlisted the help of my granddaughter. My daughter had 14 weeks of chemotherapy before the first of two stem-cell transplant. That took place a couple of days before the tree went up. It’s unbelievable how all these medical procedures knocked her around, but she was not going to be deterred from putting up the tree on December 1, as we’ve done every year. It was wonderful watching the two girls bringing it all together. I’m the Bah-Humbug of the family, but always feel a bit sad when it’s time to take the tree down. Second stem cell transplant this Friday. All I want for Christmas is for this treat,ent to work, so Wonder Woman can have a better quality of life again.

  10. EMc says:

    This was the first year my 7 and 4 year olds really wanted to decorate. I had them help me with the lights, I did the ornaments at the top where they couldn’t reach and I let them go to town on the resg. Is it mismatched and uneven? Absolutely! Are there spots missing things? You know it! But they did it and they were proud and thats all I care about.

  11. molly says:

    Congrats on the baby, and I’m glad they found a solution that seems to suit everyone. Houses with kids that only have department store trees full of coordinated, generic ornaments make me kind of sad. (LOOKING AT YOU INFLUENCERS.) Don’t you have anything personal? Anything they made? Anything fun?? I’m all for a picture perfect tree, but if expressing her Christmas spirit was important to Mia, I’m happy she got to do that as well.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Maybe she’s OCPD about decorations as OCD sufferers incur much more debilitating symptoms. Mom was like that about her trees, so in some sense, I can be a bit particular about balance lol. But I’ve taught the kids (I wonder if she’s aware that as a parent she can teach lol). The boys do great now. Expensive keepsakes are securely hung at the top. Sizes and colors are evenly distributed and affixed snuggly amidst branches, not loosely hanging at the ends. Then we go in with big beautiful bows, twigs, decorative strands, etc. Ta da!

  13. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    More than once when I have asked my kids to explain why I didn’t want them to do something and was looking for them to recognize that they were doing something dangerous, they replied instead “Because it will mess up your floors (or couch or walls).” So I have no room to judge and also maybe need to relax a little.

  14. Aud says:

    I’m glad they got their little girl her own tree. A few of my friends won’t let their kids decorate and I always feel bad. My daughter loves decorating our tree. It’s not a perfect tree but i love it. It has homemade, mismatched ornaments but that gives it love and character

  15. Jaded says:

    Apropos of nothing, I’m glad he got his wonky nose fixed.

  16. Jegede says:

    Congratulations to them.

    Hope Princess Anne gets her boy!!😉😉

  17. Other Renee says:

    I love looking at Christmas trees and holiday lights. But I’m Jewish so no tree. Right now I’m looking at a pile of pretty blue and silver tinsel with Jewish stars and dreidels I’m going to hang up today for Chanukah. My daughter’s fiancé isn’t Jewish and they put up lights and menorahs and stockings all over their living room and it’s lovely. I put stockings up for each of them and fill them with goodies. His is Christmasy and hers is blue and white.

    Like some of you, I too give Zara a pass for that day. She looked miserable and like she wanted to be anywhere but at a long wedding ceremony on a hard bench. I remember how I felt at that stage. I could not sit down for five minutes without feeling awful. I had to walk or at least stand up all the time to stretch out.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Other Renee, I’m Jewish too, and when I grew up, my best friend was Catholic. I used to go over and “help” decorate; I SO wanted a tree!! Of course, my parents said no. One year, my dad, tired of hearing this, went into the garage, and my wonderful dad, (who was NO carpenter! Lol) built me a Jewish “tree”: a Star of David on a 10 ft. stand, then said: “Go to town!” Lol. I painted it light blue and white, and put lights (blue and white) around it… a bit of tinsel for sparkle…NIRVANA!!

      Now, I just string blue and white fairy lights all over the room and on the balcony rail (the outside ones “twinkle”), and hang my “Hanukkah Wreath” over the mantle. Yes, they *are* a thing; got mine on Etsy. It’s big, and gorgeous, and I love it! When I light up the room, put on the fireplace, and watch my Xmas movies, I am in heaven! 😊