Practical Tips for Decorating the Christmas Tree

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I have spent years schooling myself on the ins and outs of decorating a Christmas tree by watching countless hours of HGTV Christmas specials.

I’ve pored over magazines and studied the nuances of the perfect tree.

I’ve read tips like:

string lights on every branch, and put the garland on before you start hanging ornaments on the tree.

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I’ve heard that you should

swag beaded garland and weave ribbon ever so delicately so as not to pinch the branches.

And I learned this year that your supposed to

start with your favorite ornaments first. Then, place the big ornaments on the tree, and last, fill in with smaller ornaments.

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Then, there’s the zig-zag method for evenly spacing out the ornaments.  Oh, and tuck some of the ornaments in the tree to create depth.

The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t have it figured out. What happened to the days of circling the tree as you wind the lights around it?

When I was growing up, we literally threw on silver icicles, added candy canes (that was the very special part that we saved til last), and had four kids worth of handmade ornaments that covered the tree.

I wish I could find a picture of one of our Christmas trees. It was probably ugly as sin. But, not to us. To us, it was beautiful. And it was the same, every year.

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We used to lay under the tree and stare up at the twinkling lights. And we would pull the string on the big red ball and listen to it play silent night as it inched its way back up.

Every year, one of us had a turn at being the one that Dad lifted up to the top of the tree where we’d proudly place the star. Now you can use branches, feathers, berries, and bows. Does anyone use a star anymore?

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Oh, the memories. Christmas was so much simpler then. Of course, my parents would probably beg to differ. I know for certain that sometimes they had barely laid their heads on the pillow before the four of us clambered all over them begging to open presents.

I wonder what my daughter’s memories will be?

See you in class,

Mrs. Hines


  1. Another wonderful post, Sharon!

  2. Beautiful photos, and great tips! We do the candy canes that way too 🙂

  3. Yes, I still use a star 🙂 I remember throwing icicles on our tree too! what a mess, but we loved it.

  4. I think things were simpler before the advent of cable TV. I can admit to countless hours in front of the TV watching HGTV myself. When I was young every family had their own way of putting up the tree or decorating the home, we never questioned if we were doing it right. I can remember a year where the tree was put in a corner and tied to the wall to keep it standing, another where we literally leaned it to the wall and told no one to touch it. but I also have other memories where the tree was my grandfather’s job. He set it up an got the lights on then my grandmother went to town putting her favorite ornaments on. The centerpiece of our decorations was a huge nativity scene. My grandmother bought one piece a year until she had the set it took up the one wall in the house as each piece was a foot tall. My grandfather built the stable by hand. We didn’t compare our tree or decorations to any other, it was the differences and the family time that went into putting the decorations up that were important.

  5. Well, thank you, Pat. I’m truly flattered.

  6. I just may need to throw a few candy canes on me tree this year.

  7. It was a mess, a fun mess!

  8. I love hearing your memories, Lois. I can tell that you hold them dear…thanks for sharing them with me. 🙂


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