Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, your branches green delight us.

The traditional time for putting up Christmas decorations is the 1st day of December. However many people are starting work on this project from mid November, simply because they need more time to present their home well.

For some people, Christmas decorations are as simple as a putting up a Christmas tree and a festive wreath on the front door. For others, like my family, decorating the home for Christmas is such an important family tradition that the decorating is a well organised and thorough annual event which all of the family participates in.

Christmas really is the time to "deck the halls with boughs of holly" and transform your home in preparation for receiving friends and family, and most of all for the "Night before Christmas". And forget about minimalist design.... we don’t apply that theory to Christmas in our house!!

The Christmas tree has become one of the best know festive symbols and here in our home, we treat the trimming of the tree as the catalyst to the rest of our Christmas celebrations.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Chances are that decorating a Christmas tree is no mystery to you. But wouldn't you like to know a few designer tricks?

When I was younger, during the BC phase (life before children), I worked for quite a few years as a Visual Merchandiser for MYER (large department store). Apart from implementing the windows and point of sale displays, a considerable part of our job was assembling Christmas throughout the store. I don’t need to tell you that it was a mammoth job that was prepared for many months by a team of people before the actual installation date. I have very fond memories of those days and they are probably largely responsible for my addiction with Christmas decorating now. I couldn’t even estimate how many huge Christmas trees I have decorated, how many metres of fairly lights I have strung, nor would I hazard to guess how many glass ornaments I have broken – those BC days were back in the 80’s before plastic baubles were used. One year a ‘power to be’ in his wisdom, decided that we would hire a warehouse outside of the store to prepare and dress all the trees and wreaths. So there we were for many weeks working everyday in amongst a forest of artificial fir trees; stringing lights, hanging decorations and tying beautiful bows. Then came the day we had to transport all of our dressed trees to the store. Now you have to remember here, that department stores have very high ceilings and the display trees are proportioned to suit. Didn’t someone in management realise that before they decided to work outside the store? How exactly were we to transport them? That was only the first hurdle – can you imagine transporting a hundred or so trees and wreaths with glass balls attached. It was a huge disaster and very messy!!

Anyhoo, back to trimming the tree. The secret to creating lushness and drama is in the layers.

First the lights...

We start with the lights. Sparkle and shine comes primarily from the tree lights. Faceted glass bulbs will refract more light and appear brighter. Small twinkle lights and coloured lights also have impact when you layer several strands and pair them with ornaments that have reflective surfaces. To illuminate the tree from the inside out, string lights around the trunk and the branches. Starting at the base of the trunk and working up, wrap the lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.


Don't skimp on lights! For every vertical meter, use a strand of 300 lights. And don't be afraid to mix and match lights. There's no rule stating that you can only use one kind.

A background of white or clear lights can be highlighted with strands of coloured lights that wrap the outside of the tree. Experiment with different lighting schemes until you get one you like.

This year I have used fewer lights (just the one strand of 300) and the reason for this is the location of our tree. I’ve had to place the tree in a corner of the room right beside out TV and I know from past experience the glow of a well lit tree can interfere with TV viewing. Usually I like my tree to be a showpiece and displayed in a prominent position, but you’ll see later on in this post why our tree has been placed here.

Second, the garland…

There are no firm rules when draping garlands on a tree (as long as you don't create a sausage effect, with branches bulging between tightly-cinched garlands). Start at the top, stringing less garland, and work your way down, increasing the amount of garland.

Thin bead garlands look best swagged from branch to branch; thick paper, ribbon or foil garlands look best wrapped loosely around the entire tree. Use a variety of garlands, from plain to fancy to avoid a busy look.


Third, the baubles…

To showcase your baubles, start with the most important and larger ones, spacing them evenly apart. I’m using a gold and burgundy colour scheme for this tree, so I started with my large gold balls.


Fill in around them with medium and small sizes, balancing the overall look.


Finally, the ornaments…

Next comes the ornaments – I started with gold bows and gold gift boxes.


Then add specialty shapes, such as handmade ornaments, unusual shapes and trinkets.

Create depth by hanging some ornaments closer to the trunk.

Finish with your tree topper, be it angel or star.


And here’s the reason why our tree is stuffed into a corner of the room this year…


Note the barrier around the tree – that’s to keep our 16 week old puppy ‘Milly’ from destroying our tree.

The rolled up newspaper seems to be a good deterrent too! However, there were a few issues during the trimming of the tree…


Isn’t that such a guilty look!

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We let Milly keep the green tinsel after she ran off with it. At least it kept her busy for an hour or so and gave us time to do some serious decorating.


This weeks Friday GIVEAWAY has been very generously gifted by Michele at Paper Tree Designs. Michele has packaged up a selection of her beautiful Christmas party pegs, Christmas cards, a garland and a set of Christmas magnets to be gifted to one of my lovely followers on Friday.

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(Photos from Michelle’s Etsy store)

Michelle will be popping in on Friday for a guest interview about buying and making handmade, but if you can’t wait until then you can check out her beautiful paper wares at  Etsy, Made-it and Blue Caravan.

For more fabulous ideas check out Amy’s Christmas link up here.


I hope you all enjoy your Christmas decorating.

Hugs ~ Kerryanne