Decorating Christmas trees is a time-honored tradition, dating all the way back to 16th century Germany. To this day, one of the most magical things about the holiday season is catching glimpses of beautifully decorated Christmas trees twinkling in windows. If you want your Christmas tree to "sleigh" this year, you might be a little intimidated by what you've seen on Instagram and the like. But believe it or not, Christmas tree decorating doesn't have to be a chore. With a little know-how, you can have a perfectly decked out tree of your own in just a few simple steps.
First things first: decide where your tree is going to go. Your tree will be the star of whatever room it's in, so a little furniture rearrangement might be in order. You might even want to set it in front of a street-facing window to add a little sparkle to your neighborhood.
Though it's tempting, don't place your Christmas tree near the fireplace—or any other source of heat, for that matter. Space heaters, air vents, and radiators will dry out your tree, shortening its lifespan and creating a fire hazard.
If you want to keep your Christmas tree looking flawless for as long as possible, don't forget to water it. Trees can go through as much as a gallon a day, so keep those refills coming!
Nothing kills the festive spirit quite like bringing home the perfect Christmas tree, only to find out it's too big to fit in the room.
Measure the height of the ceiling and the width of the space you want your tree to go to determine how tall and wide it can be. And don't forget your tape measure when you go tree shopping either, or "yule" be sorry! Christmas trees notoriously look a lot smaller on the lot than they do inside.
As a rule, you should allow a minimum of six inches between the ceiling and the top of the tree, taking your tree topper and stand into account.
Every species of tree has its pros and cons.
There's no point in decorating your Christmas tree to perfection if it's not going to make it to Christmas.
We've all seen Christmas trees that are snowed under several decades' worth of sentimental baubles. While a little nostalgia never hurt anyone, if you want your tree to "spark joy," it's better to go with a cohesive theme that's meaningful to you.
Get inspiration from a place, such as a forest, the beach, or your favorite city—or a passion, like music, sports, or travel.
Don't force yourself to stick to the traditional Christmas palette of red and green, either. The most stunning trees have a narrow color palette of two to three colors which coordinate with your existing home decor.
Whatever you decide, don't forget to include plenty of metallics for sparkle.
There are two main types of string lights.
Whatever lights you go with, make sure they're on a green wire, so they blend seamlessly with your tree color.
Christmas lights are the first decoration to go on your tree, and how you hang them can make the difference between ho-ho-ho and ho-hum.
Christmas tree garlands are the second decoration to go on the tree after the lights.
Now that the lights and garlands are on, here comes the fun part.
You can't go wrong with a classic star or angel on top of your Christmas tree. But if you want your topper to be a real show stopper, aim for something personal or handmade that matches the theme of your tree. For example, if your tree is beach-themed, consider using a starfish. Have fun with it!