Christmas Tree Decorating Tips


Decorating your fresh cut or artificial Christmas tree is always an enjoyable experience. If you have been planning ahead you have probably decided on a theme for your tree or will just wing it with a mix of ornaments.

A theme can be anything you want it to be! Possible themes are woodland, glass, birds, animals, blue, copper, white, angels, garden, snowflakes, and icicles - the list is endless. The sky is the limit. 

Pre-test your strings of lights, checking for any burnt-out bulbs. 

Unpack your ornaments and lay out any new decoration purchases on a nearby table or couch. Attach individual wire hangers to each ornament.

Once your tree is in the stand, turn the tree to see what side you would like to face out into the room.  Of course, this is more important with a fresh cut natural tree.  When the best side of the tree is determined, pull it out from the wall so you can easily light and decorate all sides.  Artificial trees will need to be fluffed out and shaped to achieve that full tree look. 


At this point consider laying down the tree skirt around the base of the tree.  I find this much easier to do now than crawling under the tree when it is fully decorated.  It will slide back in place with the tree after you are done decorating.

If you have a fresh cut tree the first thing to do is put on the lights. Always decorate with the tree lights on. Choice of light color is up to you and for a fun look for the kids, multi – colored lights are always the best. For a classy look that emits a glow and features the ornaments use clear or white lights.  Most artificial trees on the market today are pre-lit with clear or multi- colored lights. Some cycle on and off, rotate through a sequence of colors/flashes and are remote controlled.

The suggested number of lights per tree is usually 100 lights for every vertical foot of tree.   

Start to light your tree from the bottom up and from the inside out. Wrap your lights from the inside outward along each branch of the tree, cross over to the next branch tip on the same layer and wind the lights down the branch toward the trunk. Work in a circle around the tree lighting every tree branch. Move up to the next layer and continue to add strings of lights as you move up and around the tree. This method of lighting a tree gives your tree that inner glow that radiates out into a room.

 Do not forget to step back once in awhile to take in the full effect.  That way you can fill in any empty spots before moving up the tree with the lights.  If you end up with extra lights at the top, just wind them back down the tree trunk.  While you are up at the top of the tree add the tree topper. A tree topper can be anything; an angel, sprays of decorative berries, bows that sparkle with their tails trailing down the tree or a favorite stuffed animal from your childhood.


If you choose to use garland on your tree, use the same garland from top to bottom.  Wide ribbon makes a wonderful garland. Long chains of crystals again add more reflective light throughout the tree. Cranberry garland looks especially good on a natural or woodland themed tree.

As with the lights, make sure you add some decorations deep in the tree toward the trunk.  Clear glass ornaments are especially good as interior decorations as they catch the light and give the tree depth.

If you have a lot of ball ornaments that are the same, consider grouping them into threes, tying them together with a ribbon and space each group throughout the tree. A mix of grouped and single ornaments adds extra interest to a tree. One of the most beautiful ten- foot Christmas trees I have ever seen was nothing more than clear lights, loaded with different sizes and colors of plain ball ornaments.  It was finished off with a few larger -than- life artificial red poinsettias.

Once again stand back once in awhile to survey your handiwork!  Take your time and enjoy the process. Once you have your decorations on, fill in any extra spaces by inserting ribbon bows, artificial sprays of berry stems, colorful branches, or large pinecones. Whatever will finish off your theme and help fill-in the tree. 

Remember there is no one ‘right way’ to decorate your Christmas tree.  The tips above are only suggestions and hopefully helpful tips!  Do what makes you and your family happy-that is the most important of all. 

Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours in 2022!



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