Wine bottle Christmas tree in Rustington becomes Internet sensation

A Rustington mother-of-three’s wine bottle Christmas tree has caused a stir online.

Whether it is mulled on a cold December night or a flute of fizz on Christmas morning, nothing says festivity like a glass of wine.

But a Rustington mother has taken this idea to the next level, turning leftover bottles into a tree which has become an internet sensation.

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Christine Aurelius, 46, of Guildford Road, Rustington, said she was ‘grinning like a Cheshire cat’ following the online response.

A Christmas tree made of bottles by Christine Aurelius goes viral. Pic Steve Robards SR2011243 SUS-201124-125932001

After she posted photos on a Facebook page ‘for a laugh’, thousands of people shared them and the story was picked up by national media outlets.Wine brand Echo Falls even contacted her to offer a gift.

The mother-of-three said: “I’m very proud. I never expected this in a million years.”

Despite the tree being made of 179 bottles, Christine admitted she is not a big drinker. After acquiring the bottles, she approached a steel company to make a bespoke frame, which cost £80, and devised a method of hanging them up.

She has had the tree for six years, delighting passersby as they look at her porch. Each year, it takes Christine around three hours to put it up and she has customised it with different coloured lights.

A Christmas tree made of bottles by Christine Aurelius goes viral. Pic Steve Robards

A few bottles have fallen off over the years, but none have smashed, Christine said.

Two years ago, she considered making a second tree to rent out to pubs over the festive period, but she was turned down due to health and safety regulations.

She said: “I have two other frames. I have said to my three children, if I should pass away, I want you all to put a tree up in my memory.”

The tree’s belated online fame has had an interesting side-effect. Another Aurelius who lives in East Preston reached out, and research showed he was a distant cousin.

Christine said her dad David, 69, was ‘ecstatic’ and ‘could not believe he lived half a mile away but they had never bumped into each other’.