Have you started feeling the Christmas cheer yet? In the streets, merchants are hanging their wreaths and lights, and tree farms are popping up on every corner, spreading the smell of Fraser Firs around the city. Roasted chestnuts are sizzling in every food vendor's cart, the first snowflakes have reared their head, promising a first snowfall—every year more magical than the last. At home, you may have popped in your favorite Frank Sinatra Christmas album, started burning your favorite holiday candle, or already rewatched Love Actually already. All that's missing is a lit-up Christmas tree.
While decorating a tree is not quite as seamless as tuning into your favorite Spotify playlist, we promise you can get your tree up and trimmed in one weekend afternoon—and we're showing you how step by step. All you need is great holiday music, spiked eggnog, and a few trusted tree trimming essentials. Don't delay until the last minute; your very own winter wonderland awaits.
First things first, secure your tree while ensuring that it's standing perfectly upright. Then, fill the stand with water—you'll want to refresh the water every day or so, just as you would water a plant.
Hide your unsightly tree base with a pretty tree skirt. If you don't have one, re-create the look with a few sheepskin rugs or a couple yards of burlap.
Wrap string lights around the tree, starting from the top. If your tree is green, choose lights that have green wire—this will camouflage the electrical wires and make your tree shine. (If you're going to add a light-up star later, make sure the top end of your wire includes an outlet—more on that later.) Hook up additional sets of lights as needed until you reach the bottom, and make sure all your lights match each other. We personally love the look of warm, incandescent white lights.
Pick a garland that will set the tone for your tree's color scheme. We love using two- to three-inch ribbons, but a pom-pom garland can give your tree a more modern look. Again, start from the top and work your way down, wrapping the garland around every four to six inches until you reach the bottom.
Choose two to three colors for your baubles in a couple of different sizes—together with the garland, the baubles will set a base for the rest of your ornaments. Hang them so they are proportionately distributed throughout. This will create continuity and allow your special ornaments to shine.
This is the fun part—get out all your ornaments you've collected over the years, and decorate the rest of the tree. Make sure to include souvenirs, collectibles, even candy canes, fresh (or fake) flowers, and tinsel. This step gives your tree personality so make sure your ornaments truly reflect you and your family.
Using a step stool, hang the tree star at the top. This is your showcase ornament, so make it extra special. Place it on top and, if it lights up, hook it into the top outlet end of your string lights. If the outlet isn't at the top, you'll have to rewire the entire tree!
Last but not least, arrange presents underneath the tree, starting from the biggest to the smallest. Choose wrapping paper and ribbons that complement the colors in your tree for a put-together look, and add more as they are ready throughout the holiday season.
Once your tree is done, enjoy it! But don't forget to turn the lights off every night and water it every morning.