TAKE a look along your street. Does everyone have their Christmas decorations up? They do round our way. There is the family at No 5 with the flashing reindeer and pulsating tree lights that resemble an illegal rave circa 1992.

And the couple at No 12 with the gently twinkling and tasteful ornaments reminiscent of a picture-perfect scene from the pages of the Boden or Joules catalogues. Then there is that one house in complete darkness. Not even a sniff of tinsel. Bah humbug.

But what about those who go all out? We love a peek through the keyhole and this week sees Scotland’s Home of the Year return to our screens with a special festive episode.

Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year will deliver exactly what it says on the tin and pick a winner from five contenders, each with markedly different ideas about how to decorate for the season.

Interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones, lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers and architect/lecturer Michael Angus are the judges for this latest instalment of the BBC Scotland show.

What are the experts looking for, how do they decorate their own homes and what are their all-time favourite Christmas moments? We find out.

What was the judging criteria for Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year?

Anna Campbell-Jones: There was a much more relaxed vibe for this festive episode. You are not going to critique the way someone does Christmas in the same way that you would potentially with architecture or design choices because it is about celebration, fun and frivolity.

That is how we approached it. I was looking for something original that complements or contrasts with the interior of the home – it doesn’t have to match – and is also bonded to the way they live and the tastes they have, as opposed to a generic Christmassy Christmas.

Kate Spiers: I always think it is a genuine reflection of the owners when you see a little bit of clutter and life in the home. I was looking for that, mixed in with a Christmas twist and some traditions.

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I said beforehand I wanted to see multiple Christmas trees. That was a thing in many of the homes, which was fun, with the trees decorated in different ways. I like a busy Christmas with traditional decorations collected over the years and some modern aspects mixed in.

Michael Angus: My criteria was to be transported at this most magical time to a magic kingdom. All the homes did that.

HeraldScotland: Michael Angus, Anna Campbell-Jones and Kate Spiers are the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC ScotlandMichael Angus, Anna Campbell-Jones and Kate Spiers are the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC Scotland

Do you have a standout moment from filming?

Campbell-Jones: I loved when we were approaching some of the homes and they were festooned with lights and decorations on the outside. That felt Christmassy and made us feel excited about going into a house. There is a generosity about that because it enhances everyone’s experience – anyone who passes the home or lives nearby can enjoy the decorations.

Spiers: It was fun to see how other people celebrate Christmas, the traditions passed on through families, as well as how they spend the day and decorate their homes.

Angus: Singing along to my favourite Christmas song by Slade. But, of the homes visited, I’d have to say all were highlights – lights being the operative word. What a festival of lights we saw.

What do you consider the dos and don’ts of festive decor?

Campbell-Jones: I don’t think there are any. That’s the whole point. Even if people have quite restrained interiors in their homes, this is a time of year when you can go full Liberace. The more, the better – all styles are fun. I do like it when people have collected things over the years and maybe even made decorations themselves. That truly personal and unique touch.

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Spiers: Part of the fun of filming was that we got to see what other people do. I usually spend Christmas just me and my husband, so it was nice to get a glimpse into how other people spend their day. Everyone has their own twist on festive traditions that have been handed down through their family.

Angus: I don’t really have a don’t for Christmas decor, but the dos have to be craft and colour. Christmas, for me, was always synonymous with making our own decorations and bringing bold colours into the home that would not usually be there.

What about decorations – are you low-key or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

Campbell-Jones: I’m low-key. I have paper chains I made about 20 years ago using offcuts from making cards. I like that aspect of making things. I have a little Playmobil Santa and angel on a sleigh with reindeer that always goes on the mantelpiece.

I don’t decorate every room in the house. I do the hall and the living room and put a wreath on the front door made from bits and pieces chopped from the garden. It is not terribly artful – it’s a big bunch of greenery that I dangle from the front door.

HeraldScotland: Interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC ScotlandInterior designer Anna Campbell-Jones is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC Scotland

Spiers: I’m somewhere in the middle. When we were filming, most houses had more than one room decorated. I only decorate my living room. I thought I was quite out there in terms of my decorations but, after seeing some of the homes, I’m fairly low-key.

Angus: I’m a light touch – a few items carefully chosen. Not like the all-encompassing visions I saw and wished for when we were shooting the episode.

Real tree or artificial?

Campbell-Jones: I have an artificial tree which I use if I’m not hosting Christmas. But when I am hosting Christmas, I like to get a real tree. I always make sure that I source it from a sustainable supplier, such as the Bethany Christian Trust – it gives the profit to homeless people.

READ MORE: Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year: Meet the contenders

Spiers: I have an artificial tree. But sometimes I get a mini potted tree with decorations and baubles because it is nice to have the smell of a real tree.

Angus: I love the delightful fragrance a real tree brings, but I love the opportunity for magical inventiveness with an artificial one.

What is your tree topper?

Campbell-Jones: I have a bronze star. I can’t remember where I got it from, but I have had it for about 30 years.

Spiers: We have a gold, glittery star that is quite extra. I love it. It is about 10 years old.

Angus: It’s always a star at the top. And, as for tinsel, bring it on!

Ah, tinsel: retro chic or crime against taste?

Campbell-Jones: I am borderline. I have one length of tinsel that I put along the top of some pictures, but I don’t go mad on the tinsel. This year, I might put it on the fireplace to change things up.

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Spiers: Every single year, when we decorate our tree, my husband and I say: “Tinsel or no tinsel?”. We always end up putting it on. Christmas is meant to be a little bit tacky, glitzy and over the top, I think.

Do you have any Christmas decor traditions?

Campbell-Jones: There are little multicoloured birds that I have had for years. I don’t buy decorations every year. I have one box and if it doesn’t fit in the box, then I don’t need anything else. There is something comforting about getting the same things out of the box each year.

I have kept some children’s books – such as Maisie’s Merry Christmas – that I used to read to my kids. I like sitting those out in the living room. My mum used to bring foliage in from the garden and put it on the table and over the top of picture frames. That is a tradition I have carried on.

Spiers: Many of my decorations are inspired by ones I had as a kid. When my family lived in New Zealand, our relatives in the UK used to send us London-themed decorations. I have a wee Big Ben, a red post box and a telephone box. Those feel nostalgic for me.

HeraldScotland: Lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC ScotlandLifestyle blogger Kate Spiers is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC Scotland

What about Christmas traditions in general?

Campbell-Jones: More recently we have started doing a big Mexican supper on Christmas Eve. The leftovers get made into huevos rancheros on Christmas morning. It is a good, hearty breakfast that keeps you going until the Christmas meal.

Spiers: Every year, around December 23, my husband and I go to see It’s A Wonderful Life at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT). That is when I start to feel festive.

A couple of years ago, as we were leaving the GFT late evening, there was a couple of flakes of snow. We thought we were going to get a white Christmas, but it wasn’t to be, sadly.

Best childhood Christmas present?

Campbell-Jones: My Chopper bike. I wanted one for such a long time and I didn’t think my parents would get it for me because it was a boy’s bike, dangerous and all that. But they came through.

Spiers: Me and my brothers all got bikes one year. My parents wrapped up helmets and put them under the tree. We were looking at them confused thinking: “Why do we have helmets when we don’t have any bikes?” Then our parents took us outside where they had little bikes waiting.

Biggest disappointment on Christmas Day?

Campbell-Jones: I can’t think of any. Santa Claus always gave us a fun stocking. We used my mum’s old pop socks for Christmas stockings. It was the 1970s and these lurid orange or purple pop socks would be bulging with bizarre shapes, such as boxes of crayons and tubes of Smarties.

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Spiers: Every year I want a white Christmas. The closest we have come in recent times was a white Boxing Day. Maybe this year.

Angus: I don’t recall ever receiving anything that disappointed me. I’m sure I’ve given things that might have. One of my fondest memories was the first time I truly appreciated that yes, it is much more wonderful to give than receive …

Any festive faux pas?

Campbell-Jones: Not so far, touch wood. My uncle gave me aftershave one year, which was peculiar. I was very polite and tried it, pretending I thought it was perfume, and came up in a horrible, blistering rash.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Campbell-Jones: We have been doing a plant-based Christmas for the last few years. I saw a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin that looked amazing – I might try that. I did a brilliant mushroom wellington last year.

Spiers: I am all about the sides: roast potatoes and parsnips.

Angus: Turkey and all the trimmings and lashings of cranberry sauce. And even better than the dinner: the leftovers.

HeraldScotland: Architect and lecturer Michael Angus is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC ScotlandArchitect and lecturer Michael Angus is among the judges for Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year. Picture: Kirsty Anderson/IWC/BBC Scotland

Any special guests around the Christmas dinner table – who would you invite?

Campbell-Jones: Iris Apfel. She is a 100-year-old New York fashionista and awesome. Whatever she would want to say, I would want to hear.

Spiers: Catherine O’Hara who plays the mum in Home Alone. She is amazing.

READ MORE: Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year: Meet the contenders

Angus: Charles Dickens, James Stewart, John Lennon, the Muppets, Noddy Holder, Scrooge, Tim Burton and Santa Claus. The latter might even bring me my perfect Christmas present: Scalextric.

What dream present would you love to find under the tree?

Campbell-Jones: I like things that are personal or funny. My brother gave me a tin of Campbell’s Meatballs one year. I was delighted with that.

Spiers: My husband says I am hard to buy for, but I don’t think that I am. I always ask for books because I love reading.

Do you have any Christmas telly traditions or favourite festive movies?

Campbell-Jones: All the classics. I like The Muppet Christmas Carol, but my partner can’t stand it. That is one I may sneak off and watch by myself. Elf is always good value and Die Hard too.

Spiers: We have already watched The Holiday, which is such a good Christmas film. I love Elf – that is probably my favourite. I will watch that a couple of times before Christmas and maybe on Christmas Day too.

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Angus: When it comes to TV traditions, the Christmas movie is the main event – at least it used to be. Before the days of video and digital media, it was all about that moment when the whole family sat down stuffed to watch a classic movie, such as The Great Escape.

Scotland's Christmas Home of the Year is on BBC Scotland, Wednesday, 8pm