Organizing Christmas Tree Decorating

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated November 26, 2019)

Before I even start to decorate my Christmas tree I take time to decide on a plan, remembering that a plan will cut down on my frustration and stress level. I ask myself questions like "How many trees will I be putting up this year?" "What rooms will have a tree?" "Will they be themed trees?" "What trees will I be getting help to decorate?" "Do I have enough decorations for my trees or do I need to buy more lights, ornaments, garland or ribbon?"

The planning has begun. With paper and pen in hand I look at what rooms will be decorated. On the top of the paper I will write the room name, the theme that I'm using this year for that room, and also whether I'll be decorating this tree by myself or if others will be helping me. If others will be helping me I note what I want to do myself and what do I want them to do. At the bottom of the page I write what I need to finish the tree off.

I put down on paper how many lights I will be using for that tree. I use a basic guide that for every foot of tree height I will use approximately 75 lights, so for a three-foot tree I will use about 275 lights. This gives me an idea of how many lights that I will need. On some trees I like lots of lights to make the tree come alive; if I want a softer look I use fewer lights.

When it comes time to decorate the tree I like to decide if it will be a live tree, a cut tree, or an artificial tree. Before actually deciding on the tree I look at how much time I will have to care for it. Live trees and cut trees do take some time in prepping the tree before decorating. Live trees and cut trees need to be watered several times each day for the first couple of days, which requires more time.

After I decide on the type of tree that I am going to use I decide on the type of lights that I want to use and the effect that the lights will give to the tree and the room. It's then time to put the lights on. (I always put the lights on first.) Beginning at the bottom of the Christmas tree I start stringing the lights on the inside of the tree working my way to the outer parts of the tree. I keep repeating this process until I am at the top of the tree.

Now the next step is deciding on whether to put on the garland or ribbon. I start at the top and work my way down the tree with either the ribbon or the garland. If I am using ribbon I use the kind that has wire in it. Starting at a point at the top of the tree where no one will notice I tuck the ribbon into the back of the tree limb, usually wrapping it around the tree limb a couple of times. By wrapping the end of the ribbon around the limb of the tree usually has the effect of tying the ribbon onto the limb. Now I loosely wrap the ribbon around the tree itself until I run out of the ribbon. If there is more of the tree to do I tie the next piece of ribbon onto the tree in the same manner as before.

If I am going to use garland I start at the top just like the ribbon and tie it onto the tree in the same fashion, working my way down the tree. Depending on what The type of garland I am using determines how I will string the garland. If the garland is of fabric or foil I will loosely wrap the garland around the tree. If the garland is bead like I will make the garland swag from branch to branch.

When it is time to place the ornaments on the tree I place the ornaments on the branches both inside the tree as well as on the outer branches, with the larger and heavier ornaments toward the bottom of the tree. This approach adds dimension to the tree. If I am using a theme for the Christmas tree I will place solid color ornaments between the themed tree decorations to help the themed ornaments stand out.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...


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