How to Decorate a Christmas Tree Better Homes & Gardens

Embrace the holiday season with festive cheer by learning how to decorate a Christmas tree better homes & gardens. The Christmas tree serves as the centerpiece of holiday decor, bringing warmth and joy to any home. From selecting the perfect tree to arranging ornaments and adding the finishing touches, there are endless possibilities for creating a stunning display that captures the spirit of the season.

When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, there are several key components to consider in order to achieve a beautifully curated look. From choosing the right tree size and shape to selecting a cohesive theme and color scheme, there are countless opportunities for personal expression and creativity. Additionally, proper maintenance and care will ensure that your tree remains fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season, creating lasting memories for years to come.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various tips and techniques for decorating a Christmas tree that will leave a lasting impression on family and friends. With step-by-step instructions for prepping the tree, distributing lights, arranging ornaments, and adding the perfect finishing touch, you’ll be well-equipped to create a breathtaking display that embodies the magic of the holiday season.

Choosing the Right Tree

When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, one of the most important decisions to make is choosing the right tree size and shape for your space. The size of your tree will depend on where you plan to place it in your home, as well as the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. If you have a smaller space, a more compact tree may be necessary, whereas a larger room may accommodate a tall and full tree.

One popular rule of thumb for selecting the right tree size is to ensure that there is at least 6 inches of space between the top of the tree and the ceiling. This allows for ample room for a tree topper and creates a balanced and visually appealing look. Additionally, consider the diameter of the tree and whether it will fit comfortably in your chosen location without overwhelming the space.

In terms of shape, there are various options available, from slim and narrow trees to full and traditional styles. Slim trees are ideal for tight spaces or corners, while fuller trees can make a striking statement in larger rooms. Ultimately, the key is to select a tree that complements your space and serves as an inviting focal point during the holiday season.

Tree SizeTree Shape
Ensure at least 6 inches of space between top of tree and ceilingConsider slim trees for tight spaces or corners
Choose diameter that fits comfortably in chosen locationFuller trees can make a striking statement in larger rooms

Prepping the Tree

Decorating a Christmas tree is one of the most beloved holiday traditions for many families. Before you can start adorning your tree with lights and ornaments, it’s important to properly prep the tree to ensure that it looks full and healthy. Follow these steps to fluff, shape, and get your tree ready for decorations.

First, start by separating and fluffing the branches of your tree. Whether you have an artificial or real tree, taking the time to carefully separate each branch and fluffing them out will give your tree a fuller appearance. Gently pull each branch away from the center of the tree and arrange them in a way that fills any gaps or bare spots.

Next, consider shaping your tree to create a balanced silhouette. If you have an artificial tree with bendable branches, take the time to adjust and shape them into a natural-looking form. For a real tree, use pruning shears to trim any uneven or overly long branches to achieve the desired shape.

Finally, make sure your tree is properly stabilized and secure before moving on to decorating. This is especially important for real trees – ensure that it’s placed in a sturdy stand with plenty of water to keep it hydrated throughout the holiday season.

Ensuring that your Christmas tree is properly prepped will set the stage for a stunning display once it’s time to add lights and ornaments. Taking these steps will help create a festive focal point in your home that brings joy throughout the holiday season.

FluffingCarefully separate each branch and fluff them out for fuller appearance
ShapingAdjust and shape bendable artificial branches; trim uneven branches on real trees
StabilizationEnsure proper stability of the tree using a sturdy stand for real trees

Theme and Color Scheme

When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, choosing a cohesive theme and color scheme can really elevate the overall look. Whether you prefer a traditional red and green color palette or are leaning towards a more modern and abstract theme, there are endless possibilities for creating a beautifully coordinated tree. Here are some ideas for choosing a cohesive theme and color palette for your tree:

  • Traditional: Embrace the classic look of Christmas with a traditional theme featuring deep reds, forest greens, and touches of gold or silver. Incorporate classic elements such as plaid ribbons, wooden ornaments, and nutcracker figurines for a timeless feel.
  • Winter Wonderland: Create an enchanting tree with a winter wonderland theme by using cool tones such as silver, white, and icy blue. Add sparkling snowflakes, shimmering ornaments, and frosted pinecones to achieve an elegant wintry aesthetic.
  • Rustic Charm: For a cozy and inviting tree, consider a rustic charm theme with earthy tones like brown, bronze, and olive green. Add natural elements like burlap ribbon, twine accents, and wooden decorations to achieve a warm and welcoming look.
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Remember that the key to a cohesive theme and color scheme is to choose elements that complement each other while also reflecting your personal style. By carefully selecting ornaments, ribbon, garland, and other decor that align with your chosen theme and color palette, you can create a stunning Christmas tree that captures the spirit of the season.


When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, lighting is one of the most important elements in creating a warm and festive ambiance. Properly distributing lights throughout the tree can make all the difference in achieving a beautiful holiday centerpiece. Here are some tips for ensuring that your tree is illuminated just right:

Choose the Right Lights

The first step in creating a gorgeously lit Christmas tree is to choose the right type of lights. Selecting LED lights can be energy-efficient and long-lasting, while traditional incandescent lights provide a warm and nostalgic glow. Consider the size of your tree when choosing how many strands of lights to use – as a general rule, two hundred lights per vertical foot of tree will provide a well-lit appearance.

Evenly Distribute Lights

To ensure that your tree has an even distribution of lights, start by wrapping the trunk from top to bottom, then work your way out towards the branch tips. As you move outward, weave the lights in and out among the branches, ensuring that each branch is wrapped for an even look. Step back frequently to assess your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Create Depth With Lights

In addition to wrapping the exterior branches with lights, consider weaving strands further into the center of the tree to add depth and dimension. This will give your tree a more full and vibrant appearance when lit up.

By following these tips for evenly distributing lights on your Christmas tree, you can create a warm and festive glow that will be sure to brighten up your home during the holiday season.

Ornaments and Decorations

Decorating a Christmas tree is one of the most enjoyable and festive holiday traditions. When it comes to selecting and arranging ornaments, garland, and other decor for your tree, the possibilities are endless. The key is to create a cohesive and visually appealing look that reflects your personal style and fits with your overall theme and color scheme.

When choosing ornaments for your Christmas tree, consider mixing different sizes, shapes, textures, and finishes to add visual interest. Start by selecting a variety of basic ball ornaments in your chosen colors, then mix in some special or unique ornaments that reflect your personality or interests. This could include handmade ornaments, sentimental pieces passed down through generations, or themed ornaments that tie into your overall decorating theme.

In addition to traditional ball ornaments, consider incorporating other types of decorations to add depth and dimension to your tree. This could include beaded garland, ribbon or tinsel, floral picks or sprays, and even small decorative items like birds, butterflies, or snowflakes. Be mindful of spacing out the different elements throughout the tree to create balance and visual appeal.

When it comes to arranging decorations on the tree, start by placing larger items closer to the center of the tree and working outward with smaller items. Step back frequently as you decorate to ensure that everything is distributed evenly and there are no bare spots.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange as needed until you achieve the perfect look for your tree. By following these tips for selecting and arranging ornaments and decorations on your Christmas tree, you can create a stunning centerpiece for your holiday celebrations that brings joy and beauty to your home all season long.

Tree Topper

When it comes to decorating a Christmas tree, the tree topper is the final and most prominent piece. It serves as the perfect finishing touch that ties together your entire tree’s theme and color scheme. Whether you prefer a traditional star or angel, or want to try something more unique, there are countless creative ideas for adorning your tree.

Here are some creative ideas for the perfect finishing touch to your tree:

  • Classic Star: A timeless choice for many, a classic star tree topper adds a touch of tradition to your holiday decor. Choose from a variety of styles, such as metal or glittery options, to match your overall theme.
  • Unique Ornaments: Consider using an oversized ornament or even a group of smaller coordinating ornaments as an unexpected and eye-catching tree topper. This can add visual interest and personality to your tree.
  • Nature-Inspired: For a rustic or natural theme, consider using a large pinecone spray painted in metallic colors, or even a small bird’s nest adorned with berries and greenery.
  • DIY Creations: Get crafty and create your own one-of-a-kind tree topper. From handmade paper stars and ribbon bows to fabric flowers and wooden cutouts, there are endless possibilities for personalized touches.
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No matter what style or theme you’re going for this holiday season, the right tree topper can truly elevate the look of your Christmas tree while adding that special touch that makes it uniquely yours.

Remember that how you decorate your Christmas tree will set the tone for your holiday celebrations at home.

Maintenance and Care

After putting in the time and effort to select the perfect tree, fluff and shape it, and decorate it with a beautiful theme and color scheme, it’s important to ensure that your Christmas tree stays fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season. Proper maintenance and care will not only keep your tree looking its best, but also help prevent any potential safety hazards.

Watering Regularly

One of the most crucial factors in keeping your Christmas tree looking fresh is watering it regularly. A well-hydrated tree not only looks better, but also reduces the risk of fire. Be sure to check the water level in the stand at least once a day, and never let the water level fall below the base of the trunk. Fresh water is essential for keeping your tree green and healthy.

Placement and Temperature

Where you position your Christmas tree can also impact its freshness. Keep your tree away from heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, or heating vents, as hot air can dry out the branches. Additionally, maintaining a cool room temperature will help prolong the life of your tree.

Regularly Checking Lights

If you’ve adorned your Christmas tree with lights, be sure to regularly check them for any signs of wear or damage. Faulty wiring can pose a fire hazard so it’s important to replace any damaged light strands immediately.

By following these maintenance and care tips, you can ensure that your beautifully decorated Christmas tree remains fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season. With proper attention and care, your tree will continue to bring joy to your home and create lasting memories for years to come.


As the holiday season approaches, there is truly nothing quite like the joy of decorating a Christmas tree. From choosing the perfect tree to selecting a cohesive theme and color scheme, to adding the finishing touches, every step of the process is filled with festive spirit and anticipation. The memories created while decorating your Christmas tree are cherished for years to come, and it becomes a beloved tradition for many families.

When it comes to creating a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, it’s important to remember that there are no strict rules – only guidelines and inspiration. Whether you prefer a classic look with traditional ornaments or a modern aesthetic with chic decor, the key is to infuse your personality and style into your tree. In the end, it’s all about creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your home during this special time of year.

In addition to contributing to the overall festive ambiance in your home, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree has the power to evoke cherished memories and create new ones. Whether it’s reminiscing about where certain ornaments came from or starting new traditions with loved ones, the act of decorating a Christmas tree brings people together and fosters a sense of nostalgia, gratitude, and joy.

So this holiday season, embrace the opportunity to create an enchanting display that will bring cheer and happiness to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Correct Way to Decorate a Christmas Tree?

The correct way to decorate a Christmas tree ultimately depends on personal preference, but some general tips include starting with lights first, then adding garlands, ornaments, and finally the tree topper. It’s important to evenly distribute decorations and step back occasionally to assess the overall appearance.

What Color Ornaments Look Best on a White Christmas Tree?

When it comes to decorating a white Christmas tree, the best color ornaments are often ones that create contrast and pop against the white backdrop. Bold colors like red, green, and blue can look stunning on a white tree, as can metallic ornaments like silver and gold. With a white tree, any color can stand out beautifully.

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