It’s that magical, festive time of the year – the Christmas season! And, if you are looking to switch up your holiday décor, a great place to start is with your Christmas tree.
Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, whether you are set on a color scheme, love a particular style or have favorite ornaments collected over the years, your tree should reflect your style and personality.
But let’s face it, most people love the decorations once they are up; the actual process of decorating can be less than enjoyable. The secret of decorating a beautiful Christmas tree is simple, according to the folks at Better Homes and Gardens. (https://www.bhg.com/christmas/trees/how-to-decorate-a-christmas-tree)
Here are BHG’s best tips to follow for stress-free tree decorating.
1: Hang Your Christmas Tree Lights
The first step in how to decorate a Christmas tree is adding the lights. Tree lights typically come on green or white wire strands, though you can also find black variations now, perfect if you happen to have a black Christmas tree. Choose the strand color that matches your tree so the wire will be hidden. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it the most dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.
2: Add Christmas Tree Garland
There are no firm rules for decorating a Christmas tree when it comes to draping garland. To avoid branches bulging between tightly cinched garland strands, start at the top of the tree, and slowly increase the amount of garland between each wave as you work your way down the branches. Plan to use about two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.
To avoid a busy look on your tree, decorate your Christmas tree with a variety of garlands from plain to fancy. Thin, beaded garlands look best hung from branch to branch; thicker paper, ribbon, or foil garlands look best wrapped loosely around the entire tree.
If you’re still in need of a garland, consider making one this holiday season! If you love a traditional look, make a cranberry garland that blends cranberries with slices of fresh lime, this wrapping paper garland, or this boiled wool felt garland that’s a twist on the classic popcorn garland. If contemporary is more your thing, try the wood bead garland shown above, this sophisticated crepe paper garland, or this easy DIY pom-pom garland.
Ribbon is also a popular alternative to a garland. Loosely wrap wide, patterned ribbon around the entire tree in horizontal bands. To add interest, try making big bows from similar ribbon and using them to decorate the tree branches. To amp it up, use ribbon vertically on the tree, creating cascading streams of ribbon from the top of your tree to the base, tucking the ends under your tree topper and securing around the trunk at the base.
3: Hang Christmas Tree Ornaments
The final step in decorating your tree is to hang your Christmas ornaments. Here’s our quick guide to arranging ornaments:
To showcase your favorite ornaments, place them in prime positions on the tree first.
Next, hang your larger ornaments, spacing them evenly around the tree. Fill in around those ornaments with medium- and small-size ornaments. Be sure to hang some ornaments closer to the trunk to create depth and interest.
Finish dressing the tree by adding specialty items, such as clip-on ornaments or icicles.
If you want to give your holiday a handmade touch, try crafting some ornaments this season.
The Legend of the Poinsettia, by Tomie dePaola
A Very Vintage Christmas: Holiday Collecting, Decorating and Celebrating, by Bob Richter
Christmas with Southern Lady- Volume II: Holiday Decorating, Recipes, and Table Ideas, by Andrea Fanning