This article is a crash course in how to decorate a Christmas tree. Your first step is to choose either a natural or artificial tree. Keep in mind that a natural evergreen tree only comes in one color – green. Artificial trees however are now sold in practically every color of the rainbow. Just remember, whatever color you choose will become your canvas for adding more color in the form of garlands, tinsel and decorations.
Your second step is deciding which color schemes go best with what color of tree. Green Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, look best with primary colors such as green, blue and red. White Christmas trees look best with a red theme, pink theme, a gold theme or a silver theme or any combination of the above. Blue Christmas trees look best with gold or silver decorations. Red Christmas trees look great with green or pink decorations.
The third step in this course about how to decorate a Christmas tree is about lighting. If you are going to buy a natural tree you will need to buy a strand of bulbs or diodes. Traditional strands of Christmas bulbs come in a variety of decorative shapes and sizes including the vintage egg shape, tiny twinkling lights and rope lights. However if you buy an artificial tree you may be able to get one that is prelit. The prettiest prelit Christmas trees boast fiber optic needles that give the tree a glow of its own. Especially gorgeous are the white Christmas trees that boast fiber optics at their tips. These trees remind many people of angel feathers.
The fourth step is investigating the types of decorations that are available to you. The most basic is the garland. A garland is simply any kind of strand of objects that can be used to circle the tree. You can make a garland yourself out of cooked popcorn, holly berries or candy. You can also use a long length of ribbon and attach bows to it. Of course there are all types of garlands available commercially on the market. Most popular are the garlands made of furry bunches of white or gold tinsel. Red and green tinsel garlands can look especially nice on white Christmas trees.
If you are traditionally minded you might want to consider decorating your tree with glass Christmas balls. These are either hand blown or created in a factory. Many of them are painted and decorated with glitter. You can buy these as globes, flutes, tubes and also in the shape of musical instruments, angels and other Christmas themes. However if you have small children, you might want to opt for the plastic versions of these decorative balls as they don’t shatter if they fall off the tree.
An important tip to remember when decorating trees with glass balls is to place the larger ornaments at the bottom of the tree and the smaller ones at the top. This helps keep the total effect of the tree in a pleasing proportion to the decorations.
Of course, Christmas decorations don’t have to be expensive. You can make your own out of paper that is cut into the shape of snowflakes and other Xmas themes. Candies (especially the candy cane), apples, oranges and cookies (especially gingerbread cookies) can also be used as Xmas decorations. Red Christmas trees look especially good decorated with white shortbread cookies decorated with glitter. White Christmas trees look great decorated with home made presents made from tiny boxes wrapped in shiny foil.
Another decoration to consider is tinsel. Strands of tinsel can be hung from the branches to simulate icicles. One tip when hanging tinsel is to hang it in clumps from the edges of the branches. Hanging single or just a couple of strands all over the tree makes it look messy.
The fifth step when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree is to choose some kind of tree topper. Commercially you can buy tree-toppers in just about every Christmas motif imaginable including angels, snowmen, teddy bears and of course, the Christmas star. You can buy Christmas tree toppers that glow with fiber optic diodes that twirl, play tinkly music and blink on and off. However it is not hard to make your own Christmas tree topper. Perhaps the simplest version is a cardboard star that is wrapped in tin foil. Sometimes the home made decorations and tree toppers have more sentimental value than the store bought ones.
The sixth step in this crash course on how to decorate a Christmas tree is to make sure you disguise the base of the tree with some kind of Christmas tree skirt. This is simply a mat that is draped around the base and on the floor. It can be made out of shiny or velvet fabric or you can buy commercially made ones that feature Xmas motifs in stores and online. Some tree skirts can be quite ornate, decorated with sequins and embroidery. However their original function was to catch the candle drippings from candles on the tree and catch any dropping needles from natural Christmas trees.
Another interesting addition, especially if you are a Christian is to place a small nativity scene beneath the Christmas tree on the mat. You can buy Christmas nativity scenes made of wood, metal or plastic. Also popular is a toy train set that runs in a circle around the Christmas tree.
A seventh and final consideration when it comes to how to decorate your Christmas tree is a practice called flocking. Flocking is fluffy white stuff, kind of like silly string that is sprayed all over the tree to simulate snow. This gives just about any tree a real 50′s or country style feel and it is very unique to tree decorating traditions in the United States and Canada. However it is not recommended for artificial white Christmas trees as the effect would be a little bit of overkill.