Christmas Tree Our Decor Focus
It does not seem to matter how many vignettes or displays I create, my families favorite Christmas decor is always the Christmas Tree.
My Mom allowed me to do all the decorating when I was little, I was much fussier in my home, we always had at least two if not three Christmas trees. The main one in the living room was multicoloured to please the family, another one in the boy’s bedroom had all our home made decorations and finally a white one in my bedroom for me.
We lived in a heavily forested area so one tradition was going with Grampa Dan and Uncle Jim on a tree hunt. I miss those days, even if the snow could be 8 feet or more high. Wen we moved away and now we have artificial trees(sigh). But yes I still have three. lol
1. Get the best quality of tree you can
For me that means a real tree, if you have access to wilderness go on a tree hunt and gather a tree. Or go to a tree farm and purchase one still in the ground. Grampa Dan use to come and set up the real trees for us. He would cut all the lower limbs off to make room for the tree stand. If their was an empty space in the natural tree he would trim up one of those the extra limbs, then drill a hole and glue the branch in the open spots for me.
If your like us and have an artificial tree, make sure to get one with plastic tip ends. The most expensive artificial trees are all plastic tips, the cheaper variety like ours just have plastic tips on the ends of the limbs. After you assemble your tree fluff out each branch to look as natural as possible.
2. Put on lots of lights
The general rule is 100 lights per vertical foot of your tree. Our Christmas trees are prelit, but don’t come with nearly enough lights, we add an additional 100 per vertical foot.
Check for burnt out lights or strings. Replace bulbs or strings if necessary.
Begin at the top back of the tree. Start at the trunk, weave your lights in and out through each branch. Move on to the next limb and repeat. It’s surprising how many lights this uses and how long this step takes. If you have woven them in and out of every branch they should be fine as is; but step back and double check. Make sure the lighting is even and move the lights around if necessary.
Typically I complete the first two steps one day as this part can feel like a chore. The next day I move on to the rest of the decorating.
3. Next comes the garland, ribbon or both
Garland can be draped along the outer edges of the limbs, whereas ribbon cannot.
For a six foot tree you need at least 75 feet of ribbon for a 9 foot tree 150 feet. This is a general guideline depending on how you apply ribbon. If you put your ribbon on in clusters like I did this year, you don’t need as much ribbon. I used 120 feet for our 9 foot tree.
Wired ribbon is much easier, I never use anything else.
Whether you apply it vertically, drape it around your tree or add it as clusters. You should always attach the ribbon to the center of your tree. Use the last branch closest to the trunk to attach it and then work your arrangement outwards. When you do it this way you won’t have to premeasure sections for poofing and your ribbon won’t ever look like its hovering on the outside about to come off.
4. Add picks
This is optional. Picks can be very pricey, I got twenty of them at a half off sale. Having just a few picks, looks funny. If you can’t get a bunch of them, don’t worry about it and just skip them.
If you do have picks spread them out throughout your tree. Make sure they are not directly next to each other or directly above and below each other. They are really handy to fill in some of your open spots.
Place your large ornaments and your very special ornaments first. Remember to place ornaments inside the tree as well on the edges. Not all ornaments need to hang on the tree, people also nestle ornaments in the branches, the tree has two little signs nestled in the branches.
Finally finish off with your smaller ornaments.
I do a theme every year because it gives me a focus and I find it fun. Remember this is your tree, if you think purple eggplants look great go for it.
These are some special ornaments my children and my grandchildren gave me. They go up every year regardless of my theme. This year my theme I saw the little signs to use as focal points, so Angels became my theme. The little white deer and clear Santa Claus icicles stayed in storage, but not these ones with special memories attached.
6. Tweek your arrangement
Once you have the entire tree decorated step back and look at it. Rearrange to to make it just right. This tree doesn’t receive presents so it has a fancy tree skirt instead.
Just one final hint. Every year I place things under my tree to make it pretty, First I get the tree set up and THEN I think about how easy it will be to plug in. Its also a heads up for anyone lucky enough to have a real tree, you need easy access to water it.
I will have pictures of the other two trees in my home tour.
Enjoy the twinkles and glitter.