Decorating a Christmas Tree is a time honoured tradition in many families including ours and before having kids Amanda and I both made a big deal out of the decorating of the tree and now that we have kids the excitement surrounding the tree decorating has only been amplified. Now while I have seen quite a few Christmas Trees brightly lit in many windows around the city our family tradition is to wait until December 1st before decorating the house and the tree and no matter how much our kids beg us to put the Christmas tree (as early as November 1st) we don’t budge.
Our family has never been much for rules when it came to decorating the tree instead opting for putting as many lights and decorations on that won’t make the tree buckle under the weight. As a funny side to this philosophy before Amanda and I had kids we had our dog Riley and our two cats and Riley as a puppy was extremely hyper and this led to a lot of trouble including one incident surrounding Christmas that I’ll never forget. I was coming off of a midnight shift and Amanda had gone in to work already leaving Riley alone in the house with the tree for a maximum of around 15 minutes. This was all the time Riley needed to knock the tree over, bust up a bunch of ornaments, chew some light cords in half and make a general mess out of the place and all the decorations we had put so much work into and while that tree had seen better days we were able to get an additional year of use out of it before upgrading to a new artificial tree.
We have never been a family to follow what the advice of others when it came to decorating the tree, it’s hard not to admire and be jealous of those professionally decorated trees for the pure beauty they posses but in saying that it’s hard to beat the feeling you get from looking at your family Christmas tree and remembering how much fun it was to have everyone involved in the decorating of the tree and while our tree may not be as perfect or as well lit as those trees the memories we make and the time spent together makes it the most beautiful tree in the world.
As I mentioned we don’t follow too many rules when it comes to decorating our tree but over the years we have learned a few things about trimming the tree that may save you some time and headaches when it comes to your decorating this year.
- Make sure your tree is stable and fits into the room you want it in as you don’t want a repeat of what happened to the Griswalds.
- Purchase an outlet with a remote on it so that you don’t have to climb behind the tree and plug the lights in every time you want to light the tree.
- Start with the lights first, working your way from the inside out and trying for a full tree coverage. The lights are the task I dread the most as I always make a mistake at first and usually scratch my arms up on the needles as I work the lights in and out of the branches.
- Now add the garland, this task is reserved for Amanda who curses it out until finally settling on a look that she is happy with.
- Don’t place your ornaments all at the front of the tree, disperse them within the middle to fill out the look of the tree as our kids are the ones who do this job we end up with the bottom front half of the tree decorated and not much else. We then do some re-arranging to fill out the tree to maximize coverage.
- Place ornaments near lights to allow for the ornaments to reflect the lights
- Finish by placing the skirt around the tree
- Now step back, light the tree and enjoy the time you spent with your family
In case you are still in need of some tips and are looking for some expert advice we have compiled a few links and resources below that may help you get the perfect look to your tree this year.
- How to light your tree
- The Christmas Place has some great tips on everything from what lights to choose to lighting the tree here
- Starting with a theme is the recommended approach here
- A great visual tutorial on how to decorate your Christmas tree found here
- Many tips on how to make your Christmas tree look professionally decorated can be found here
We hope that some of these tips and tricks will come in handy for you when you and your family tackles the decorating of the tree this year and we would love to know any tips that you have for decorating the tree.