I have had as many as 11 to 12 Christmas trees a season. It doesn’t have to be hard and it also doesn’t have to look like your house threw up Christmas unless that is the look you are going for 🙂
This is a fun tree to put up because of the bright colors. I start with shatterproof bulbs in coordinating colors and fill in towards the post of the tree. Next goes floral picks and stems, hang-able ornaments and the final steps are the ribbons and the topper. In my last post I stated I always use artificial pre-lit trees. That way the longest step of stringing lights is eliminated. Then if I can, I fill the tree with floral picks, stems and ribbons, it gives color fills in holes, keeps with a theme and is ten times faster then hanging ornaments. There is less ornaments to break doing it this way. Don’t forget under of the tree, you can place decorations, toys, empty boxes really anything. If your kids are too old for Santa you can place the wrapped presents under the tree. Use lots of tape so they can’t peek 😉 Christmas Trees don’t have to be expensive to decorate. Buy things on sale and after season, make things, be creative. This year the only thing purchased was the port starboard light from Ebay , some ribbon and a few decorating items all on sale.
I try to have the trees match the decor of the room and the interest of the person it belongs to, this is my son’s tree his room is sailing themed and he wants to go to the Naval Academy like his dad. This tree has glass fishing buoys and all our USNA ornaments on it from the Mid-store and the USNA gift shop. I do wish they added more to the collection.
The next thing I like to do is find something unique. I found rather inexpensively on Ebay an old original Port Starboard light. They used to be lit by oil so I knew there would be an opening at the bottom. I used the bulb from another tree topper placed it inside the light and made this one illuminate!
You also don’t have to limit yourself to a pre-made tree skirt. I have used sheers, tulle, table runners, and here I used a tree-skirt as a base just to break up the colors from the carpet, layered burlap and then a fishing net.
Trees don’t have to be large to make an impact. In fact one of my trees in the past sat on the counter of my kitchen and was only 2 ft tall. This is a 4 ft fiber optic tree, you can find great deals especially on the smaller trees after Christmas. I paid $6 for this a few years ago from K-mart. I think it was originally $49.
Think outside the box, sometimes you don’t need a tree skirt or even a traditional topper. My daughters tree is in a base which helps if you have a narrow space that would be too cramped for a tree skirt.
I also like a touch of Whimsy when you can
I also like to try something different on a tree that seems to stay the same. My white house tree is pretty classic, the ornaments are beautiful all on their own, and are the show case of the tree, but I was tired of the same old same old with the ribbon so I thought I would do a criss cross this year. This takes, well it doesn’t take but is much easier with two people so you know which ribbons have to cross.
Up to this point I have talked about how much easier it is to decorate a tree without using a lot of ornaments, however ornaments are beautiful and nostalgic, they are handed down, given as gifts, made with little one’s hands at school and have so many memories and stories behind them- so if you have them display them proudly!
Most of the other trees I can complete in anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours depending on the size and quantity of items going on the tree. Our family room tree however takes me all day to several days depending on whether the rest of the family is feeling the Christmas cheer and wants to help 🙂
Normally I have an order, tree out of the box and set up, fluff branches, garland first if it is going around the tree, last if it is streaming down, then largest ornaments and floral picks to smallest and lastly the topper. This tree breaks all the rules. Once it is up we fluff from the top, put ornaments on the top and then the topper. It is 12 ft tall and we don’t want to keep going up and down the ladder so we start from the top of the tree and work our way down.