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How To Decorate a Real Christmas Tree

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It’s a holiday décor special! Let’s learn HOW TO DECORATE A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE!

If you place a real tree in your home for the holidays, this story, and attached VIDEO are for you. With some simple considerations and a whole lot of memorable moments, we’ll show you HOW TO DECORATE A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE.

Before listing the things we most love about this time-honoured tradition, let’s set the scene: in a perfect world, real Christmas tree decorating would involve the whole family or a gathering of close friends. That said, we believe it only fair to reward your helpers with delicious food and drinks – it keeps enjoyment levels up and complaints down.

If hosting a tree-trimming get-together, we suggest an assortment of easy-to-enjoy light fare like our CRAB DIP, our colossal OVEN-BAKED NACHOS, or our very popular EASY FLATBREAD. Festive drink ideas include PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKES for the kids and more grownup drinks for the adults like a CHRISTMAS COSMO, an ESPRESSO MARTINI or a spiked EGG NOG!

After that, back to the important task at hand; time to show you HOW TO DECORATE A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE!

How To Decorate A Real Christmas Tree


Carol and I had a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of using fresh-cut trees versus artificial ones. We both put freshly cut trees in our homes so we wrote this post with fresh trees in mind. That said, artificial trees are often preferred for folks with allergies and rambunctious pets. Whichever you choose, hopefully, a few of these tips will help.

If purchasing a freshly cut tree, please try to source trees that are grown on an organic tree farm that doesn’t use harmful pesticides. We also like to support tree farms that follow the two-for-one rule: two trees planted for every one cut down. Lastly, what about decorating a living tree? It might be way smaller, but you can care for it indoors over the winter and plant it outside in the spring – just saying! XO

How To Decorate A Real Christmas Tree


Once you bring your tree home, we suggest sawing a fresh cut about 1-inch from the base of the trunk. Bring the tree indoors, immediately set it in the stand, and add water at room temperature. It’s essential to keep the water topped up in the stand as a tree can drink up to 4L of water a day, especially in the first few. Keeping the water topped up will ensure the tree stays fresh throughout the entire holiday season.

After placing the tree in the stand, trim away any rope or twine. This will allow the tree to open, the boughs will come down slightly and the tree will return to its natural shape. We suggest leaving the tree to open for 24 hours.

How To Decorate A Real Christmas Tree


On the following day, add the lights and decorate. When planning for Christmas tree lights, the general rule is to allow one strand of lights for every foot of tree. Of course, you can add more lights too. IMPORTANT: test every strand before you begin.

When adding the strands of lights, always begin with the female end at the very top of the tree. Then, as you work your way down, gently pull the three entwined wires open and then twist them back together around boughs and branches. This keeps the lights in place.

Last thing about the lights – don’t forget to weave them in towards the centre of the tree and back out again. This makes the decorated tree glow from top to bottom, inside and out.

How To Decorate A Real Christmas Tree


In many ways, adding ornaments and decorations to the tree is the best part of the entire process. If you’re decorating your tree with tykes and small tots, it’s not a bad idea to have a camera or your phone handy. Don’t miss this chance to snap those heartwarming holiday pics. “Hey, can someone pass a tissue? My allergies are acting up!”

When adding ornaments, just like the lights, don’t forget to place them deep within the tree too. This adds depth to the look of the tree and it also balances the weight on the tree boughs. I also tend to hang larger, heavier ornaments further into the tree to prevent the boughs from sagging and looking sad.

Part of the beauty of tree trimming is the realization that every Christmas tree has its own unique holiday story to tell. Old, vintage ornaments and family heirlooms remind us of Christmas past, while newer baubles and handmade trinkets keep the present top of mind. We suggest playing your favourite holiday playlist while you decorate and share the stories of what each ornament means.

How To Decorate A Real Christmas Tree


Every tree deserves a brilliant tree topper, something to complete the look. We’ve seen the tops of Christmas trees finished with billowy bows, rock crystal starbursts, a felt elf or an old family heirloom like the slender glass spire we used.

Whatever you decide to use, save the placement of it until the very end, the last thing you do to complete this joyous tradition. In a way, we’d love if you consider the line from the holiday classic and “hang a shining star upon the highest bough”.

Well, these are some of the things we considered when we thought about HOW TO DECORATE A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE. Hopefully some of our suggestions will help bring some holiday joy to your home.

From Carol and I, and the team at Weekend at the Cottage, merry Christmas!


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How To Decorate a Real Christmas Tree


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