We have two Christmas trees at our house. My favorite is the “Family” tree decorated with our girls’ homemade ornaments, decorations my husband and I have had since childhood, and ornaments we’ve collected during our travels. This tree is not trimmed to perfection, it does not match the color palette of our living room… but it is the BEST! I love the smiles it brings to our faces as we unwrap the ornaments each year, place them on just the right limb, laugh and remember. These are the moments we treasure. It’s Christmas magic.
Grand or simple, remember that decorating for the holidays shouldn’t overshadow Christmas itself. I hope that by reading this, you will feel more confident as you trim your tree and have more time to enjoy the joys of the season.
Set Yourself Up For Success
As you begin to purchase Christmas tree decorations, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Get the Good Tree
I’m speaking from personal experience! For years, I had a tree that had to be assembled limb by limb, then I strung the lights by hand. By the time I finished, I had turned into Mr. Scrooge. If a new tree isn’t in your budget, wait for the post-Christmas sales. I found a great pre-lit tree for 80% off and I’ve been thankful every Christmas since.
Test the Lights
Nothing is more demoralizing than decorating your tree only to realize the lights won’t work when you plug them in. Test before you decorate!
Wired Ribbon will Rock Your World
Sound dramatic? Perhaps, but you just won’t be able to achieve the look you want with ribbon that is not wired. Wire ribbon will lay, cascade and hold up better than non-wired.
More is More
You always need more decorations than you think. Purchase more picks, sprays and ornaments than you think necessary, keep your receipt, and return any you don’t end up using….but I’d be willing to bet you’ll use it all!
Trim Your Tree
If you decide to decorate your tree to match the room it will stand in, use the colors of fabric patterns or artwork when searching for Christmas tree ribbons, ornaments and floral sprays. If you have gold tones in the room, for example, look for fillers and ornaments with golds as well. This will result in a cohesive, striking room.
Step 1: Ribbon
As I said earlier, start by using wired ribbon. On larger trees, I like to use two different but coordinating ribbons layered together for a full effect. You can cascade strips of ribbon starting at the tip of the tree down to the bottom branches or wrap the tree in a spiral design. You can also make large bows out of the ribbon selected and attach them to your tree using floral wire.
Step 2: Large Sprays
Large sprays are generally two to three feet in length. They should be eye catching pieces that will add color and texture. Tuck sprays securely and evenly around your tree.
Step 3: Filler Sprays
Smaller than the large sprays, filler sprays are another opportunity to add another texture to your tree….think sparkle.
Top to Bottom
When decorating the top of your tree, you have several options that can give your tree a unique finishing touch:
Star or Angel
Keep it traditional by topping your tree with a beautiful star or angel and remind everyone the true reason for the season. Growing up, my sisters and I took turns each year placing a sweet angel atop our tree.
Use more of your floral sprays and picks to stick into the top of the tree. This can be tricky so make sure to evenly distribute them and balance the finished spray with the size of your tree.
Your tree may end up surrounded by wrapped presents, but you’ll want to cover the base of your tree in a pretty and polished way:
The most traditional way to cover up your tree stand, your tree skirt should match the decorations you’ve used to trim your tree.
I love this new Christmas tree decorating invention. Tree collars can be made of wicker, wood, metal and more. It’s a polished clean look that’s easy to install.
Are You Extra?
Some tree bases are extraordinary and unique. Sleds, large scale baskets and specialty pottery can be stunning. Whatever you decide to use, make sure your tree is securely anchored or you could be shouting “Tiiiiimmmmber!!”
Fool Proof Recipe
Miss Cayce’s Winter Wonderland, located in Midland, has been in the Christmas tree decorating business for many years. They have come up with a “recipe” that will help you decorate like a pro:
By Callie Harris
Photos By Shayli Anne Photography