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How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro

An elderly lady decorating a live Christmas tree with white and gold ornaments

Is it time to redecorate your Christmas tree? Maybe this is the first year you will buy a Christmas tree. Before running out to the store and grabbing the first thing you see, there are some Christmas tree essentials you must know.

Live Trees vs. Fake Trees

If you can't decide between a real or an artificial tree, here are a few things to consider.

Live Trees

a live Christmas tree cut down adn wrapped up laying in a wheelbarrow ready to be loaded onto a car to be taken home

If your family honors the age-old tradition of heading down to the tree farm and cutting down a fresh tree, then switching to an artificial tree just isn't the same. This fun family activity is a great way to get the kids involved and spread some holiday cheer. Live trees also offer a warm aromatic smell of pine-needles that fills your home all winter season.

If you decide to purchase a living tree, you'll need some extra supplies. A standard tree stand supports trees up to seven feet tall. If your tree is taller than seven feet, you'll need to look for an extra-large supportive stand. Use a stand that fits your tree. Cutting down the side of your tree's trunk to fit your stand will damage the tree's water intake causing your tree to die sooner. 

Like any other live plant, you'll need to water your tree regularly. Look for a tree stand that has an adequate water holding capacity. Trees with a trunk with a diameter of about one inch will intake about one quart of water a day. Cold fresh water is the best way to keep your living tree living and fragrant.

Artificial Trees

A store display of artifical Christmas trees

Fake Christmas trees are a budget-friendly way to bring the joy of Christmas home. The cost of an artificial can be more expensive than a real tree at first, but if you plan to keep and use it for a few years, it is more cost-effective. Artificial trees usually come with a stand and do not require any water, trimming, or maintenance, making them a great hassle-free option.

Nowadays, you can create a customized Christmas tree! There are many different artificial tree options, from pre-lit to unlit trees, colorful or traditional green, fake snow or none, and even pre-decorated trees. Look around till you find the tree that fits your family's needs.

After purchasing and setting up your tree, the next thing you'll want to do is decorate it! Before you start throwing ornaments and candy canes on your tree, you'll want to add lights.

LED vs. Incandescent Lights

Incandescent Christmas lights tangled up on an isolated on a white background

The main difference between LED and incandescent lights is that LEDs use about 90% less energy than incandescent lights. LEDs also remain cool to the touch and don't heat up like incandescents, saving your tree from possibly catching on fire. LEDs are also very durable compared to incandescents that are made from glass.

The color of your Christmas lights will depend on the theme of your tree and decorations. Some people like to coordinate colors, while others have spontaneous colors flashing in a different array of patterns. LEDs now push out brilliant color output that is indistinguishable compared to incandescent lights—making LEDs the choice for many holiday enthusiasts.

Balls, Bows, and Ribbon

a close up of blue Christmas ornaments hanging from a Christmas tree

Now you're ready to add the ornaments. There are many different styles of Christmas ornaments out there; it can be overwhelming. Many ball-style ornaments are now made of shatter-proof plastic compared to earlier ornaments made from glass. This feature saves ornaments that are accidentally knocked off the tree by children and pets. Ball ornaments practically come in a variety of colors and styles. You can even decorate ornaments yourself!

Skirts and Collars

a maroon traditional tree skirt underneith a lite Christmas tree

What is a Christmas tree collar, you ask? Compared to the traditional tree skirt, a tree collar is a decorative cover for the base of your tree. Like the tree skirt, a tree collar is meant to cover up the tree stand. There are many ways to make a tree collar, or you can purchase one from the store. They come in many styles, from wicker to hammered metals, and they complete your tree from top to bottom.

Contrary to tree collars are tree skirts. These traditional fabric skirts also cover the base of your tree stand. They fan out around the bottom of your tree to hold your presents. 

Tree Toppers

A young lady standing on a ladder adding a brightly lit star to the top of a decorated Christmas tree

What should go on top of your Christmas tree? Like everything else on our list here, tree toppers come in many different shapes, styles, and designs. Choose from the traditional angel or upgrade to a modern star or bow. Whatever you decide to go with, make sure your tree is sturdy and strong enough to hold up your topper. You don't want your topper to topple over.

Now that you've tackled the Christmas tree essential, you are ready to go out and stock up on everything Christmas! 

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.