• Andrea

trim the tree…

To: The Simple Heart

Ever get overwhelmed thinking about how to decorate a tree? That used to be me some years ago. Aside from being OCD, I was super indecisive and changed my mind all the time. I never knew where to start. Through the years, I have figured out a step by step process that I think is worth sharing. I do this every year, and it makes the activity of decorating for Christmas a little less stressful and a lot more joyful.

Step 1: Assemble and Fluff (if you have a real tree skip this step)

It‘s easy to forget this step when you’re excited to throw on the sparkle. But don’t skip this step! You don’t want to stand back after all the decor and find that there are gaps.

A good way to fluff your tree is to spread all branches in all sorts of directions-Up, Down, Left, Right. The more you spread, the more those gaps will close. If your tree is prelit, make sure to test that the lights are spread out as well and not all gathered in certain spots. I had this happen to me several years when I wanted the grand finale to be when we lit the tree. I quickly learned from my mistake. Check it first, then decorate!

Step 2: Start with the ribbon, beads, or garlands

Thick ribbon and mesh ribbon are my absolute two favorite to add to the tree because I love trees that have a full look! If you’re not into these styled trees, some other great options are beads, organic garlands (i.e. popcorn, dried fruits), wooden or felt garlands. You can even do some of those thinner options WITH ribbon.

TIP: When using ribbon or mesh ribbon, cut into 4ft sections and then string through the tree. That way you’re not dealing with a big roll of ribbon. It’s easier to control in sections.

Step 3: Next up…Ornaments!

Prior to putting up my tree, I find it easier to plan my decor. One of the ways I do this is by planning what main ornaments I will be using for the year. I typically like to use 2-3 colors. 1-2 main colors, and 1 accent color. This year I only went with one main color and one accent. But I picked several different sizes and textures. I highly recommend mixing sizes and textures on your tree! It will really bring out the different colors and embellishments.

When putting on the ornaments, I like to start with one group first. For example for this tree, I put all the big striped red ornaments first, followed by the gold glitter, shiny gold, glittered red, and plain red. Adding in groups allows me to evenly distribute the ornaments throughout the tree.

I also recommend sprinkling in personal ornaments! For me, this is the part that brings back the memories. My husband and I try to collect an ornament everywhere we travel. We also made a tradition of picking one ornament every year for something that we want to remember for that year. I simply sprinkle these in empty spots around the tree.

Step 4: Add some picks!

Over the years, I have found this step to make the difference! Now everyone has their own style and desire for Christmas decor. If you love having minimal decor on your trees, then this is a great alternative to classic ornaments. If you love earthy styled trees, than you can find those earthy twig styled branches (yes they sell those). There are so many colors, styles, and sizes, the variations are plenty! I usually buy mine at Hobby Lobby because of the price. I mean you can't go wrong with 50% off during Christmas. But I know a lot of other home decor stores are starting to sell them.

I simply just stick them inside the branches after my tree has been fully decorated with all the other decor. It is just the sprinkles on the cake. The finishing touches.

Step 5: Skirt and Topper (optional)

The last step before lighting up our tannebaum, is to put on a Christmas topper. We've gone some years without one, and honestly, our tree still looked great! Some years we put on a star, some we don't. It just depends on the year's color/style. FYI: if you have a prelit topper, it is easier to do the topper FIRST before all the other decor, because it usually requires you to plug it in. This way you don't mess up all your decor while standing on a ladder/stool trying to find that dang chord.

For this step I also like to sweep up all the needles that fell and the cover up that ugly stand with my tree skirt. FYI: if you use a tree box, this step should be when you assemble the tree.

Step 6: Light it up!! and TA DA! Ready for Christmas!

’Tis the season to get creative! I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

With love,


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