Each time, when Christmas is approaching, the family will consider the question: how to decorate their Christmas tree beautifully, here we will offer some easy steps for you to reference.
Step 1 – Pick a location
Real or artificial, you need to think carefully about where to position your tree, especially if space is at a premium in your home. Ideally, it will be near a plug socket, to avoid the need for unsightly extension leads, or perhaps near a window so all your neighbors can admire your handiwork.
Re-arrange furniture if necessary and try not to block any thoroughfares. You don’t want wagging tails and little fingers messing with your festive foliage.
If you’ve got a real tree, pick a location that’s as cool as possible (away from radiators and fires ideally). This will prevent it from drying out ahead of the big day.
Step 2 – Measure up
Once you’ve found the perfect space, measure the width, depth, and ceiling height and don’t forget to factor-in the height of your tree stand and your decorative topper too. Give your tree plenty of room so its branches hang freely and you can decorate all around.
Tip: If you’ve got a real tree that’s too tall, always trim it from the bottom so it maintains its triangular shape.
Step 3 – Fluffing
Fluff those branches. Yes, that’s official advice from Christmas experts at John Lewis who say artificial trees especially need serious “fluffing”. (You’d probably need “fluffing” too if you’d been squashed in a cardboard box in the loft for 12 months.)
John Lewis assistant buyer Christmas Scott Bartle advice: “Spend 45 minutes putting your tree together and fluffing the branches to give it that full and authentic look. It’s all in the preparation. If you’ve fluffed your tree and the lights are even, you can’t go wrong.” Simple.
Step 4 – Let there be light
Make sure you spend a good half an hour or so getting your Christmas lights positioned just right. Start from the top and work your way down, weaving them around every major branch and leaving about six inches between the loops.
How many do you need? Mr. Bartle says you can never have too many. “We recommend at least 170 lights per meter of the tree,” he says. “That’s the absolute minimum. Personally, I’d put 1,000 lights on a 6ft tree. The more the better.”
If you need new lights, it might be worth investing in copper wire lights – they’re much less likely to break, give a cleaner, crisper and brighter light – plus you’ll barely notice the wire on the tree.
Tip: Protect your sanity and make sure the lights are working before you put them on.
Step 5 – Colour scheme
Picking colors that go together and staying “on-theme” can be a minefield for the creatively inept. If in doubt, keep it simple.
Reds, greens, and golds fit traditional-style rooms. Use yellow and white lights as LED lights can give a blue tinge. You could go for a wintery look using lots of silver, blue and purple, or for a truly minimalist tree choose just white and silver decorations.
John Lewis has a variety of different themes if you want a starting point, including Ruskin (“heritage patterns, natural motifs and rich colors”); Snowshill (“natural materials bring the outside in”); and Helsinki (“the quiet beauty of the forest”).
Tip: Variety is key – don’t go too matchy, matchy with your theme and decorations.
Step 6 – Garland
Either beads, ribbon or foil, garlands add texture to your tree. Again, start from the top and work your way around. You’ll need two strands of garland for every vertical foot of the tree.
Tip: It’s best to do this before the baubles and other decorations, so you don’t knock them off.
Step 7 – Decorate remaining trees
All the decorations are on and you’re quite pleased with your efforts. Now’s the time to sit back with a cuppa and marvel at your masterpiece, right? Nope, afraid not. If you’re intent on keeping up with the Joneses, you’re going to have to decorate two more trees.
A true three-tree household will have beautifully decorated do-not-touch-for-fear-of-life “show” tree, (usually in the lounge), that can be admired by the neighbors, and under which Father Christmas will deposit his haul.
The second tree will be child-and-dog proof, sitting well out of public view in the family room or play room. The perfect place for multi-coloured fairy lights, tinsel, charming, but slightly scruffy-looking toilet roll angels and garish plastic baubles.
Finally, the third tree (usually potted, about a foot tall) will sit on a windowsill or dresser in the kitchen.