Decorating a Christmas tree is not rocket science, you say. Oh, contraire! When I look back at some of the first Christmas trees I decorated in my younger years, I just laugh and laugh. Charlie Brown had nothing on me! Here’s some of my Christmas tree decoration tips I’ve learned along the way.
3 Easy Tips to Insure a Beautiful Christmas Tree
1. As soon as you get the bottom section of the artificial tree snugly into the stand, make sure it’s straight and go ahead and put the tree skirt around the stand.
I have learned this step by trial and error. Personally, I don’t like lying flat on my tummy after the tree is completely done, trying to button up a tree skirt, fighting all the lower branches of the tree and getting them all messed up again.
2. Shape, shape, shape. Shape, shape, shape. Shape your branches (singing real loud to the tune of Shake Your Booty).
There was a time when I only used live trees. When the artificial pre-lit trees came out, I bit the bullet and plunged right in. And I’ve gone through quite a few in my lifetime.
If you have a live tree, let it sit in the stand a day before you decorate so the branches can fall in place. For the rest of us, shaping is THE MOST important step. Yes, it takes a while. But it’s totally worth it! As soon as the bottom is snugly in the stand, I drop one hinged branch at a time (and if another accidentally drops, well, I just stick it back up). and I shape each sprig on that branch – up, down, sideways – to make it look almost like a real tree branch.
3. Layer the ornaments.
Start with the largest ornaments and put them way back in the branches. Fill in those holes that no amount of shaping can cover. When I was young and had no sense . . . I just hung those ornaments on the tips of the branches. No, no, no! Layer, my friend, layer! Layering is what gives the tree that full look. Fight that tree and make it come into submission.
Oh, and one other thing, there is no such thing as too many ornaments or too many lights. Well, I guess there may be, but I’ve yet to see it. When I see a good tree gone bad, it’s usually because the branches have not been shaped AND/OR the ornaments are not layered and there are not enough ornaments.
Remember, always hang the larger ornaments first so that you can spread them around the tree evenly.
Helpful Hint: My tree in the great room is the family tree. When my kids were growing up, we would put on the Christmas music, break out the hot cocoa, (you can find my easy homemade hot cocoa recipe here), and spend the evening decorating the tree. This is the tree with all the homemade ornaments, the special memory ornaments and the lower branches have unbreakable ornaments just in case one of the grands wants to redecorate the tree.
If you’re stringing your own lights, begin at the bottom and start from the inside and work toward the outside, wrapping the lights around each branch. It does take a while, but the end result is beautiful!
The white tree in the dining room is mine – all mine!
That’s it! Oh, yeah, one more thing, here’s some pictures of some Christmas trees I’ve decorated.
Do you enjoy decorating the tree? Do you prefer real or faux? I love the smell of a real tree, but enjoy the convenience of a fake one!