12 Days
Since the Christmas tree is the centerpiece and focal point for parties and family gatherings, it makes sense to spend a little time making sure it shines. Here are 12 great ways to enhance your tree.

White Christmas Tree

1- Use an old sheet with furniture slides under your tree stand to move the tree more easily and help catch any shed needles from both real and artificial trees. (fold over the edges and tuck underneath tree skirt…. then unfold and use for cleanup after Christmas)

2-Both artificial and live trees, require “fluffing” before decorating. Flatten branches on artificial trees to accommodate larger ornaments. Live trees may require a bit of trimming to create these pockets.

3-Bend artificial branch tips slightly upward to support ornaments and to mimic a tree’s natural growth pattern.

4-If you still string lights on your tree, consider white lights for “themed” trees. But for depth and visual interest on family-style trees, layer white lights inside the tree while stringing a few colored lights on the outer branches.

5-Consider inserting sturdy willow or similar branches spray-painted white, silver or gold into the tree at regular intervals. Not only will they add movement to the tree but create perfect showcase branches for those “special” collected ornaments.

6-Color themes can serve as a base even for family-style trees. Pick 3 coordinating colors like cream, red and copper and then mix in collectible ornaments after the “filler” ornaments are placed.

7-Decorate the tree starting with lights, then ribbons and garlands, then any floral embellishments ending with ornaments starting with the largest and then adding progressively smaller ones.

8-Tuck larger ornaments back into the tree to create layers of depth. Just as garlands should gently swag between branches, ornaments shouldn’t look like they’ve been poured over the tree only resting on branch tips.

9-Following your color theme, use a variety of ornament shapes, sizes and textures for visual interest. Icicle style ornaments should always be left for outer-most branch tips so they swing freely.

10-While many families nostalgically save the tree topper for last, I suggest placing it first. Especially if the tree is of any size, it will be easier to anchor it in place without worrying about damaging your fully decorated masterpiece.

11-Heirloom toppers can be given even more presence by adding bows, streamers, sparkling picks, branches and other items that protrude from the tree and create a fireworks effect at the top of the tree.

12-After the holidays, disassemble your creation the the same way you assembled it but reversing the steps. And don’t forget to recycle cut trees by locating a center near you. Many municipalities have programs to mulch discarded trees or use them for habitat creation.

I covered these same tips in a segment filmed for ReStyle in 2009. Click HERE to enjoy!