A guide to Christmas decorating

To say that I am really into Christmas decorating is a bit of an understatement. Here are my top tips.

Start with as perfect of a tree as you can. If it’s a fake one, invest in a good quality one and fluff, fluff, fluff. If you are getting a real tree, keep in mind that not all firs are equal. I love Balsam fir for their scent, noble fir is sturdy and frasier firs have better needle retention but that also depends on how the fresh the tree is.  

Decide on a theme. I used to just buy whatever looked cute and then bring it all out in December and basically cover the house with all things Christmasy. More is more is more. I was never really happy with the end result until I started coordinating the rooms and working around a theme. It needn’t be too elaborate, you could just pick color scheme: green and gold, classic red, pastels. Or you could pick an actual theme such as Country Christmas, Candyland or Woodland, etc. 

Classic red theme. Looking back, clearly needed more red poinsettias around the tree.

IMG_2883 2
Candyland theme: I made some of the bigger ornaments, candy underneath the tree are small beachballs from Walmart wrapped in a cellophane.
Adjacent breakfast room: candy wreath, red and white striped lollipop placemats from Pier1 and pink-red roses carry the theme over.

Make sure you have all you need handy. Here are some essential holiday decor accessories:

  1. 3M hooks every size and shape. These are easily removable without any damage to the walls and come super handy in hanging wreaths and other decor.
  2. Extension cords: different length, preferable white. Don’t forget outdoor extension cords. 
  3. Tree light extension cord: find it here for $7.99. This snakes up the tree in the middle, has 9 plugs in it making it much easier to plug in all lights. 

4. Timers, both indoor and outdoor ones.

5. Garland hooks and ties. I love these Haute Decor garland ties, they look realistic and are great for tightening branches, ornaments, lights. 

You can use twist ties in different colors or plastic bannister hooks. 

And then go forth and decorate. Some rooms may need nothing more that a candle or two and some live Christmas greenery in a vase or bowl of special ornaments. I have some from my grandparents and I bring those out every year in a crystal bowl. I remember seeing those on a tree when little and it makes me nostalgic for the Christmases gone by and sad that they are no longer with us. 

Here’s the order of decorating a tree:

  • lights
  • picks – picks are branches evergreens or sticks or holiday sprays. I like to add evergreen ones to the areas that look weak or out of proportion. 
  • ribbon – start from top. Its an inexpensive way to cover a lot of a tree and tie in the colors of your theme.
  • large ornaments go toward the center of the tree, try to place them in the natural holes and gaps.
  • then add the ornamental and more festive sprays and smaller ornaments

I step away and come back a bit later, the whole process takes me about a week if I am really organized. I’ll change my mind, move stuff around and make the inevitable emergency Michaels runs. Btw, all their holiday stock in 60% off so if you need anything, now is a good time to go!