Tis the season for holiday decorations and nothing is more pivotal to the idea of holiday decorations than the Christmas tree. Whether large or small, faux or fresh, natural or flocked; the tree and all that is associated with it is rightfully considered the heart and soul of holiday decorations.
In my house the main tree (one of 4) is always the last decorative flourish to be put on display. And depending on the social calendar I'm actually fond of leaving this important player for a very special Christmas Eve tree trimming party for my very closest friends and family.
Whenever you put yours up, here are my 5 Steps to A Perfect Christmas Tree With Decorations:
1. While other trees in the house may be faux (yes, the ease is enticing) the main tree, whether placed in the living room or entry hall is always fresh-cut. For the best and freshest tree possible I recommend using a tree farm that will cut and ship directly to your home. See the resources below for sites of highly regarded tree farms that ship The additional cost is offset by the longest lying, most beautiful of trees. If you can not bear not picking out your own tree then pile in the car and make an out out of cutting your own. Local and regional tree farms can be found online. Follow the care instructions exactly for the best results with any tree.
2. The sparkle of lights on a tree adds to the magic that will be your holiday centerpiece. Skimping on these is a mistake you should not make. While I'm partial to white twinkle lights (small white or clear bulbs) interesting effects for specialty tree decoration can be realized using red or blue bulbs. Multi-colored light sets (blue, green, red and white) are available but should be used when a very specific effect is desired. While charming to look at, I stay away from old-fashioned large bulbs. They burn too hot and can be a safety issue.
Make sure you have enough bulbs to cover your tree. I calculate a minimum of 100 bulbs per foot of height. So an 8 'tree should have no less than 800 bulbs (eight strands). Wrap each branch with the light strands, starting close to the trunk and working out toward the tips.
3. Establish a theme for the tree. It can be something simple like a color (all blue and silver decorations) or can be more specific like 'Antique Teddy Bears' or 'Hand-blown Glass' decorations. Your tree decorations can grow, as a collection. from year to year or can be mounted as a single event and then stored, recycled or given away once the tree comes down.
4. Know your sources. If you collect antique tree decorations Tag Sales, Garage Sales, eBay, Craigslist and Auction Houses can be great resources. Keep your eyes open year round. You never know when that box of ornaments will cross your path.
5. Keep the theme strong in each room of the house. You do not want to look like a department store, with everything matching exactly but keeping things related (through theme or color) strengntens the decorating idea. Diluting even the best ideas with too many competitive ideas weaknesses rather than strengntens the whole.