Christmas Tree Decoration Guide

Planning to get the Christmas Tree

White and red make bold accent colors for any Christmas tree.

It is a thrilling moment when the Christmas tree is set up, for it is the centerpiece of the home Christmas celebration. Yet, every year life seems to become more and more hectic, time begins to run out on the countdown to Christmas and you may not have given any thought as to how you intend to dress and display your Christmas tree.

Never fear, our Christmas tree decoration guide covers all the necessary considerations from choosing the type of tree you want, to fresh decorating ideas and reminders of how to look after it.

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Finding the Perfect Christmas Tree begins a quest for some of us. Others prefer a simpler approach. You may already have an artificial tree in which case you don’t need to consider this point. If you are a traditionalist and prefer a live tree, there are several options for you to choose from. If you have the time, you might want to plan ahead a visit a specialist grower or tree farm to select and cut your own special tree.

Christmas tree growers typically offer you to choose from several species of Christmas tree in a huge variety of sizes from 2ft to 10- 12ft. You will also be able to stand back and inspect the tree’s shape, form and color before making your final choice.
If you don’t have time for this, you will probably have to buy a tree from a high street shop or street seller. To help you with your decision, check out our detailed Christmas Tree Guide to find out about the different types of Christmas tree.

Caring For Your Christmas Tree

Remember to water the tree if at all possible. It was once a living thing and its sap will only nourish it for a short time. Many Christmas tree outlets sell purpose-made tree stands, which hold water, where the tree trunk can be clamped between “teeth” by standing on a pedal or lever.

Candy canes are always a favorite, tasty and inexpensive feature on a family Christmas tree.

Container Options for Your Christmas Tree

Toddlers are fascinated by the lights and glittering decorations as well as animals, so it is as well to consider how the tree is contained. You don’t have to be boring. We’ve got some imaginative ideas to help you mask the inevitable soil- or stone-filled bucket with something other than a last minute piece of crêpe paper.

  • Seasonal colored cloth – Drape a large tall basket with seasonal red and white thick colored cloth in a swaged fashion and knot it on the side; a very effective look that only takes minutes to achieve.
  • Jute hessian – Use jute hessian to cover an old bucket. The lovely earthy color and natural fibers combine wonderfully with the tassel from a curtain tie-back that also can be found made in jute. Twist a long narrow strip of hessian around the top of the bucket or use anything in the same color, such as a clothes line made from natural fibers or a short piece of rope would be just as attractive.
  • White and gold paper – On any suitable tree container, even an old coal holder, wrap good-quality, thick white paper to cover the surface. Pretty it up with a wide, wire-edged white and gold ribbon tied in an attractive bow.
  • Terracotta – Use a sizeable garden urn made from plastic but with a convincing terracotta finish. Make sure it’s large enough to disguise whatever packing you need to use to anchor the tree.
  • Enamel tin – An old enameled bread tin, painted in sage green and white, is perfect for a smaller tree. A checkered effect looks great in a contemporary setting.

Christmas Tree Decorations

Once you have the Christmas tree lights untangled, tested and placed on the tree, it's time to focus on the decorating elements. In part this always depends on your existing store of ornaments, but you can also mix things up with different garland, ribbons, a new tree topper, homemade ornaments, etc.

Christmas decorations are now big business and it’s no longer a seasonal trade; some Christmas shops stay open all year round. So there’s every opportunity to build up a treasured collection of glittery baubles and other trinkets. Once you’ve amassed many different tree decorations, you can play it two ways.

Either mix and match baubles, stuffed and embroidered shapes, beaded decorations for an eclectic, global look. Alternatively, choose a theme each year and use just part of your collection. A single color could be a starting point, or you might choose a particular shape or motif as the basis for a decorating theme.

Baubles, beading and tinsel are only the starting point for a collection of Christmas decorations. More and more ornaments come onto the market each year, allowing you to add to your treasure chest of decorations. Look out for unusual wooden figures, paper ornaments and other novel decorations at Christmas craft markets and fairs: a great many are made in Eastern Europe, though some come from as far away as Sri Lanka, India and Japan.

XMAS Tree Decorating Themes

Today’s Christmas tree can be dressed in so many ways. Some like to hang a diverse assortment of ornaments, glass balls, jolly Santa Claus figures, felt mice, and yards of colored lights, all collected over the years.

Others prefer to restrict their decorations to a particular theme, embellishing the tree with only white paper doves, shiny foil fans, or beach-gathered shells; these trees are especially elegant and sophisticated even when the ornaments are simple paper cutouts.

The purists may forgo any adornment at all. To them, the sweet spicy scent of the pine boughs and their velvety green beauty are adornment enough. However you choose to decorate it, the Christmas tree is a wonder and delight to look forward to every year. Here are some ideas:

An all gold or silver tree is elegant. Here pewter is used to give a warm sheen to the Christmas tree and setting.

  • Traditional Tree – A traditional-style Christmas tree can take plenty of decorations, but resist the urge to overdo things or you will conceal the shape and color of the tree itself. Think along the lines of baubles in three different sizes but the same shade of rich scarlet. Supplement them with tiny white crackers, fairy lights and the occasional discreet sparkle of gold.
  • Bows – For an elegant, festive and very subtle look simply tie shimmering ribbons in large double bows. A very effective look on a smaller Douglas fir tree in a country setting.
  • Gold and Silver – Gold and silver can make a shimmering spectacle beautifully suited in modernist styled surroundings. Adorn the tree in plenty of fairy lights to set of the sparkle of the ornaments. Look for gigantic silver and glass ornaments such as silver stars, glass globes and crystal icicles. Match it evenly with anything gold like large golden pears and golden baubles.
  • Natural Ornaments – Nature is a limitless source of Christmas ornaments: Thistles, yarrow, ram’s horns, spiral tops, lotus pods, shells, dried leaves and cane fruit can be sprayed gold or silver and transformed into lusty sculptures. You can make natural-looking decorations also wrapping hops and honey suckle vines into small circular shapes. Be inspired by your kitchen too! Dry cut oranges, lemons or pink ruby grapefruit in an oven for 1 ½ hours at 250degree Fahrenheit. You can also cook some cookies and hang them on ribbon for a tasty treat on Christmas day.

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