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How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Christmas has arrived, well almost, and it’s time to start thinking about decorations. We all know the big one is your Christmas tree, which despite being elaborate with twinkling lights, is actually really easy.

Christmas trees change the whole decor scheme of your house. For a small period of time, they drop in and brighten up the whole place. 

Whether you want something classic like a red and gold scheme, a fun whoville inspired tree like from The Grinch or something pink and sparkly, you can decorate however you’d like.

This quick-and-easy guide will help make sure decorating your tree is an easy and fun-filled afternoon. Just pick your favourite decoration scheme and you’re ready to go.

How to decorate your Christmas tree

1. Set up your Christmas tree

If you’re going to decorate a Christmas tree, then you need to have one first. Picking the right tree is important, you want it to be the perfect size for the room you’ll be putting it in. 

A pencil tree is perfect for a small apartment. A big and tall tree is perfect for a big space, like a 10 ft Douglas fir. But if you have a tiny space and not a lot of room, going small with a table top tree like this adorable 3ft. white tree.

When setting up your tree, it’s easiest to pull all of the branches out of the box and place them in their corresponding rows (they should be numbered, lettered or coloured). 

You’ll want to start at the bottom and go up. Make sure to fan out the branches of each row before you start layering the next row, otherwise it’ll be hard to reach and properly fan out the below branches.

When you get to the top point, you want to make sure that you have branches standing straight up so you can put your tree topper on the tree.

2. Put on the lights

With your tree set up, it’s time to pick out the perfect set of lights for it. Whether you want coloured lights (like these yellow twinkle star ones), a basic string of white lights or fun and funky multi-coloured lights, you can find the perfect set.

Even if you’re using a pre-lit tree, you still might want to add your own lights. Test out the tree with the lights out to see how bright it is and decide whether or not you want extra light. 

Before you hang them on the tree, make sure that you double-check that your lights work. You don’t want to spend all that time putting them on the tree just for them not to work out. 

When you hang your lights on the tree, you’ll want to start at the top and twine them around the tree (in the branches) in a circular motion. You don’t want your rows of lights to be too far apart, but if they’re too close together you might run out too fast. 

With your lights all done, plug them in and make sure they look good.

3. Add your Christmas tree ornaments

The colour of your tree ornaments will really make-or-break your whole Christmas colour scheme. Decorations are one of my favourite parts, but it’s hard to choose them because they’re a bit pricey and you’ll likely be stuck with them for a while.

You’ll want to stick with something that you love. Preferably something less trendy and more classic (and, yes, that does include things like funky pinks and exciting greens). 

Looking for some suggestions? Here are some popular Christmas tree colours:

Don’t be afraid to add a few one-off decorations like a multi-coloured dragon if you’re doing a blue scheme, clear icicles or fuzzy owls. These decorations can help add some personality to your tree.

4. Wrap the tree in garland

Garland serves to wrap up the tree into a fine Christmas decorative package. Most people use a traditional tinsel garland, but you can also use wooden beads or ribbon depending on the look you’re going for. 

Usually this is done after the ornaments are put on as a final wrap. But you could put this on before the ornaments if you really wanted to.

5. Throw on the tinsel

With the garland on, it’s time to add the tinsel icicles. Be careful with this step because they can be incredibly messy, but it adds a certain twinkle to your tree that you’re probably not going to want to miss. 

You’ll want to drape the tinsel over the tree branches. It’ll be reflected by the lights in the tree, creating the perfect Christmas sparkle.

6. Add the candy canes

No tree is fully decorated without some delicious candy. 

That’s where candy canes come in. I used to love the crush candy canes, but I can never seem to find them anymore (grape was my top pick). But there are a ton of different candy cane flavours, whatever your tastes may be. 

Plot your candy canes around the tree, just like you did the Christmas ornaments. 

7. Finish with your tree topper

The final decoration to go on your tree is the tree topper.

There are a ton of different types of tree toppers that you can pick, like a sparkling star or an angel. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want to stick this bad boy right on the top of the tree.

8. Add your tree skirt

With your tree all set up, you’ll want to wrap it with a tree skirt

Why a tree skirt? It helps keep the fake pieces from falling all over the ground, and gives a soft landing to any presents you’ll be storing underneath!

Other tree trimming tips

Pre-lit trees

Pre-lit trees can help brighten up your space—and, to be completely honest, most trees are made with lights built in these days. The can help save you the light decorating step, but if you’re anything like my mother you might still want to add your own lights.

Coloured Christmas trees

If you’re particularly interested in a different decorative colour scheme, you can get a tinsel tree in another colour like pink, gold or blue. If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure that the ornaments you picked fit with it.


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The holidays have arrived and it's time to start talking about how to decorate a Christmas tree. Whether it's your first time or you just need some pointers, we've got you covered.

Do you have any tips and tricks for how to decorate a Christmas tree? Share them in the comments below!

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