My favorite part of Christmas has always been the tree. After all these years, putting up the Christmas tree has become second nature to me. I’ve long worked out the kinks of light storage, extension cords, ornament placement, and garland. So much so that when my daughter called me last week in tears because she was ready to take a pair of scissors to her lights, I realized it’s a learned, not innate, skill.
So I thought I would share my best step-by-step tips for decorating a Christmas tree.
Tip #1 Fluff up those branches
This is a no-brainer if you are using an artificial tree, but even fresh trees can benefit from their branches being fluffed. You can also use this time to trim any of those branches that are erratic.
Tip # 2 All about the lights.
Always check your lights before hanging them on the tree! Don’t skip this step; it will bite you in the butt, I promise. I check that they work, and I check to see if they are warm or cool lights, which I then separate. I don’t mind mixing sizes of light stands, but I do want them to glow the same. Another great hack-Hang your lights vertically instead of around the tree. It saves uses fewer lights, and if one burns out during the season, it’s much easier to replace!
When hanging the actual lights, work the lights into the tree into the trunk as you go, making sure to get all the major branches. This will give your tree that magical glow. I typically use 6-8 strands of lights on an eight-foot fresh tree.
Tip # 3 Ornaments
Whether you are decorating a theme tree or a classic hodgepodge, the key here is to vary your sizes and then place them on the tree, so they are balanced. I like to start by sorting my ornaments into piles. I start with my favorite special ornaments (or the stars of the show, if you will) and then by color. I place the show stoppers first and then fill in around them with everything else. Another tip: Place ornaments inside the tree to create depth.
Tip # 4 Garland
Garland goes on after ornaments and adds a lovely finishing touch. Garlands come in many forms, so choose what you love. For years I made real popcorn and cranberries, and my daughters loved that! I stopped the year we got a hubby who ate the popcorn and left the string. 🙂 Starting from the top assures nice evenly placed strands.
Tip # 5 Finish it off with a Tree Topper
Whatever you top you tree off with is a personal choice. My tip is to make sure the size balances with the tree. Think a ribbon bow. Traditional angels, stars, or something like ours (below) that is not so traditional but has a story behind it, so we love her.
Tip # 6 Finish it off.
You can use anything to finish off your tree. I keep our main tree in a handmade box my husband made a few years ago. For our second tree, I like to wrap it in a fluffy throw, or you can always finish off with a traditional tree skirt or even a tablecloth.
While we are talking trees, here are a few of my more memorable Christmas trees.
The time I just had to use fresh flowers….
And now, going back to the Christmas tree that started it all.
Those are the tips I’ve shared with my own grown daughters, and I hope you find them helpful also. Happy Decorating!
If you are looking for an artificial tree, this is a beautiful one!!
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Until next time,