How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

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It’s finally time to start doing all of our favorite holiday things. We can listen to Christmas music, make fresh batches of eggnog, and most importantly, get a Christmas tree.

But a lot of people want to know how to decorate a Christmas tree that is aesthetically pleasing. What makes the difference between a magazine-worthy tree and a giant mess?

Keep reading for expert advice and tips on how to make this holiday tree the best it has ever been.

Pick Your Tree

First things first, you need to pick out a tree. You can have high levels of success with either a real or an artificial Christmas tree.

If you decide to pursue a real tree, Douglas firs and Noble firs are good places to start. Do your research, because some types of trees have fuller branches than others. The benefit of getting a real tree is that it will fill your home with its piney scent.

But a lot of people choose to go with an artificial tree. The nice thing about these is that you can use them year after year if you take care of them.

Therefore, it’s worth it to splurge on a nicer model. Pick an artificial tree that is easy to assemble and store easily. If you want a nice tree but don’t want to break the bank, check out these strategies for getting a bargain online.

Some artificial trees come pre-lit. But if you want to have the flexibility to shake up your tree design year to year, purchase a plain tree.

Decide on a Theme

For some families, an eclectic decor style works best. Simply hang an amalgamation of random ornaments and baubles that have been collected over the years.

This method provides nostalgic fodder and is a great option for an intergenerational family tree. But if you are interested in a more stylish or Instagrammable tree, it will serve you well to pick a theme.

An aesthetic theme will give you a template for choosing your lights, garlands, and decorations. A theme can tell a story, or it can be purely visual. If you need inspiration, consider the following themes:

  • A white Christmas, with white lights and snowflake ornaments
  • A gold and navy color theme
  • Red bows
  • Candy-themed
  • Rustic/Country charm
  • Fresh citrus

Any theme you can imagine is possible. You just have to be able to visualize it.

String Your Lights

Before you put up your Christmas tree decorations, you should hang up your lights. If you opted for a pre-lit artificial tree, you don’t have to worry about this step. But otherwise, you need to choose the color, shape, and type of lights you want.

LED lights are increasingly popular as they are generally fire-safe and more energy efficient. But you’ll have to decide if you want multi-colored or white lights. Refer back to your theme to decide what works.

The standard pointed shape is classic and always works on a good Christmas tree. But you can also opt for slightly larger globes or smaller glittery lights.

For a classic look, avoid blinking lights. They’ll distract from your overall theme.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to stringing your lights. Purists believe in stringing lights all the way around the tree.

But for a quick hack, position one side of your tree against a wall. Weave the lights across the tree in a Z pattern. This will make decorating easier and no one will be able to tell that you only decorated one side of the tree.

Experts recommend that when you’re stringing lights, you should alternate going above a branch and then below. If you need help securing lights on a branch, remember that you can split the wiring and fit it snugly on each bough.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Next up, you get to choose your baubles and decorations. If you chose a color theme, stick to classic orbs. Otherwise, get creative with your theme.

The most important thing to remember is that you want to hang the baubles evenly across the tree. You can hang ten ornaments or one hundred, just make sure they are evenly spaced. If you have pets or small children, hang the breakables higher up.

And of course, don’t forget the tree topper and tree skirt. Every great holiday tree has both of these things.

The topper should be fitting with your theme and set the tone for the whole tree. Solid go-tos are golden stars, angels, or white snowflakes.

A tree skirt goes at the base of the tree to hide the tree stand and provide a place to display presents. If a tree skirt isn’t for you, consider getting creative with your tree stand.

A repurposed crate or wicker basket are both very stylish choices. If you like to switch up your decorations every year, keep your eyes open for some Black Friday markdowns on lights and baubles. This is the best way to get Christmas decor clearance items before everyone else.

May Your Holidays Be Bright

Now you know how to decorate a Christmas tree. And if you have followed these tips, it is likely that you have decorated the most stylish tree of your life.

So, it’s time to relax. Put your favorite Christmas movie on the television and settle in with some milk and cookies. You’ve earned them.

But if you still have some questions about decorating for the holidays, fear not. Check out our Saving Money Tips and Articles section to read more.

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