The Magic of a Christmas Tree: Choosing, Decorating, and More - Home & Texture
Decorate Christmas Tree Guide

Everything You Need To Know About Choosing, Decorating, and Maintaining a Christmas Tree

December 2, 2023 at 6:40 AM PST

The holiday season is upon us, and one of the most enchanting aspects of this time of year is undoubtedly kicking things off with a Christmas tree. The sight of a beautifully decorated tree can instantly liven up the mood of your household, and it’s no wonder that it’s the focal point of holiday decorations. Here’s your guide to perfectly execute selecting, decorating, and maintaining your tree so that it becomes the magical centerpiece of your holiday celebrations.

Photo credit: Cameron Stewart

1. Know your options.

The choice between a fresh-cut tree and an artificial one can significantly impact your holiday experience. Here’s a breakdown of both:

  • Fresh-Cut Trees: There’s nothing quite like the authentic scent of a fresh-cut tree. You’ll have the pleasure of choosing from a variety of species, each with its unique charm. Consider the aromatic Douglas Fir, the elegant Fraser Fir, or the classic Scotch Pine, among others.
  • Artificial Trees: If you’re seeking a reusable, low-maintenance option, artificial trees are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. Whether you prefer a traditional look or a pre-lit tree that saves time on stringing lights, there’s an artificial tree to suit your taste.

2. Measure your space.

Before you set out on your tree shopping adventure, it’s important to measure the space where your tree will take its pride of place. There’s nothing more disappointing than bringing home a beautiful tree only to discover that it’s too tall or wide for your living room. Also, remember to account for the tree topper and tree stand when taking measurements!

3. Check for freshness.

For those choosing the route of getting a fresh-cut tree, freshness is key to a long-lasting and vibrant display. To gauge the freshness of a tree, run your fingers gently along the needles. They should feel pliable, and the tree should sport a healthy, vibrant green color. Give it a gentle shake; if an excessive number of needles fall off, it may not be as fresh as you’d like.

4. Gather your supplies.

To embark on your decorating journey, gather all your supplies beforehand. This includes lights, ornaments, garlands, and a tree topper. Having everything at your fingertips will streamline the decorating process and ensure a cohesive and visually appealing result.

Photo credit: Aurelio Arantes

5. Add lights first.

Begin the transformation of your tree by stringing the lights. Starting from the bottom and working your way up, ensure an even distribution of lights throughout the tree. Consider using LED lights, which are energy-efficient and come in various colors for endless combinations to create your desired theme.

6. Add ornaments and garlands.

Now, the real fun begins—hanging ornaments and garlands! To create a visually captivating tree, mix and match ornaments of different shapes, sizes, and colors. This eclectic approach adds depth and personality to your tree. Don’t forget to add garlands to fill in any gaps and create a cohesive look.

Child adding a top to holiday tree
Photo Credit: Pexels

7. Top it off.

The crowning glory of your tree is the tree topper. Whether you opt for a classic star, an elegant angel, or something entirely unique, make it the pièce de résistance of your tree. It’s the finishing touch that elevates your tree to a work of art.

8. Remember hydration is key.

To keep your fresh tree looking its best throughout the holiday season, you must keep it well-hydrated. Place them in a sturdy tree stand with water and check the water level daily. This prevents the tree from drying out prematurely and ensures that it remains fresh and vibrant.

9. Keep it safe.

Safety should always be a priority, especially if you have pets or small children in your home. Make sure your tree is securely anchored in its stand to prevent any accidents. For added stability, consider discreetly using fishing line to anchor the tree to a nearby wall.

10. Dispose responsibly.

Many communities offer recycling programs that can turn your tree into mulch or other environmentally friendly products. Check out what’s local in your neighborhood, or, if you’d prefer to keep it simple, watch your inbox—or mailbox—for instructions from your HOA or housing complex.


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