making it through the holidays - decorating the tree

I have to admit that I am somewhat of a Christmas Tree snob. I used to insist that only LIVE trees would pass over the threshold to my home... but over the years... with the lack of time and the ease and beauty of the new pre-lit artificial trees... yes, I have weakened.  Actually, it's amazing how wonderful and life-like the artificial trees have become... I bought one last year and I actually had to step up to the display and touch it to confirm that it was artificial.

Not only do I insist on the life-like quality of my trees... over the years, I have collected an assortment of Christmas trees with various themes throughout my home.  I just can't seem to get enough Christmas decorations and the atmosphere it creates with all the glitter and lights. 

Now, to the fun part.... the actual decorating of the tree.  Where to begin? 
I prefer a Christmas tree with some sort of theme, whether it be colors, lights, or decorations.  For example, I have a Boyd's Bear Tree in my Dining Room, a Beaded Fruit Tree in my Music Room and a Memories Tree in my Family Room.

Here are a few more themed trees to get you inspired and started on Christmas in your home.

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Nothing says Christmas like an evergreen covered in scarlet-red decorations. Carry the festive color throughout your home with bold candles, decorative ribbon, and festive china. 

The little ones will love helping you decorate a tree that's just for them (Norfolk Island pine is used here). Try hanging homemade gingerbread-man ornaments (made of felt, buttons, rickrack, and candies) and strings of gumdrops as garland.

The Western theme seems to have taken over the interior design industry lately.  For a Western themed Christmas, purchase several prominent cowboy-style ornaments, and then fill in the rest of the tree with traditional lights and solid-colored ball ornaments. Finish off the look with rope (for garland) and a cowboy hat topper.

 This simple, timeless design will never go out of style.
Tip: Instead of purchasing individual ornaments, opt for boxes of multiples in one color and put the money you saved towards more gifts.

Energize your seasonal decor with Dr. Seuss–inspired colors and styles.
Tip: If you travel frequently during the holidays, skip the fresh garland and tree and go for the artificial versions. Tinsel trees and feather trees are sophisticated options.

Introduce a fresh color scheme to your holiday decorations (cranberry, robin's egg blue, and chocolate), and repeat the colors for maximum sparkle.
Tip: Before adding ornaments, look at the lit tree at night so it's easier to see where you need to add or take away a strand.

To make your tree especially meaningful, look around your home for personal collections to use as ornaments. Here, family heirlooms, such as silver baby cups, create a silver-themed tree.

Take the tree outdoors! By mixing multiple trees in varying sizes with garland, seasonal plants (such as poinsettias), and wrapped boxes, you can create a festive backdrop for an outdoor holiday gathering.
Tip: Keep your setup safe from the elements by staging it in a covered area.

Use what you already have to inspire new looks. The decor for this tree began with a butterfly-patterned piece of china from the homeowner's collection. The plate's pinks, reds, yellows, and greens dictate the color scheme for this holiday home.

Fashion a farmstand vignette by trimming a small potted evergreen with country ornaments and a braided-straw star topper.
Tip: Use vintage kitchen items - such as metal canisters, egg crates, and rooster figurines - to round out the display.

The only rule for tree decorating is to create a look that is special to you and your family.
Tip: Start a holiday tradition this season by purchasing a new ornament every year that reflects each family member’s hobbies, favorite color, or personal interests. This will make your tree even more special as the years go by.

How about a little more inspiration...

This post is one in the series - Making it through the Holidays.
See the whole series with the links below: