How to Decorate an Artificial Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!
In beauty green will always grow
Through summer sun and winter snow.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How lovely are your branches!

Lyrics translated from the German here.

Yes, I’m one of those crazy people that puts up their tree the day after Thanksgiving. Actually this year it was the day after the day after the day after Thanksgiving. But close enough. One of my family traditions from growing up is to put up Christmas decorations the Friday evening after Thanksgiving, when Black Friday shopping is finished. We would make sugar cookies and hot cocoa, and turn the cleaning & decorating into a party. I meant to do that this year, but Black Friday didn’t end until laaaate and I was so tired, and then Saturday I spent with family (and Mark was feeling too lazy to bring the Christmas decorations up from the garage), so I tackled it on Sunday.

We have an artificial tree. Yeah, I’ll admit it. WE HAVE AN ARTIFICIAL TREE!!! I know lots of people who swear by live ones, for the shape, fragrance, experience and nostalgia, but jeezus. The pine sap? The needles falling everywhere? What happens when the tree gets bumped by curious cats or overeager puppies? PINE NEEDLE SHOWER. I’m already super anal about dirt/leaves/pet hair on my wood floor (Christmas gift idea: a Roomba), the last thing I need is more stuff to sweep up. Not to mention, the only place in our living room that a tree fits is right. by. the. fireplace. Our plastic beauty is fire-resistant=) Beat that. (We’re still smart about protecting ourselves from fires by pushing it way into the corner when we use the fireplace.)

This brings me to the topic de jour:

How To Decorate An Artificial Tree (So That It Doesn’t Look Like Crap)

There are two routes you can take. The first is to completely ignore that it is artificial, and decorate it like a normal tree. Usually trees are decorated to follow a specific theme, like Traditional, Modern, Woodland, Kid-Friendly (it’s a theme, trust me), Candyland, etc.

The “Traditional” style usually features white lights, red & gold & silver ornaments (think santas, cookie cutters, teddy bears, sparkly glass-blown balls, and vintage-looking ornaments), and garlands (gold and silver beads, strung cranberries & popcorn). Oh, also there’s plaid. Lots of plaid!

An artificial tree decorated in a traditional style. Picture from this article.

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Picture from this article.

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Picture from this article.

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Traditional themed Christmas tree picture from this article.

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The “Modern” Christmas tree follows a non-traditional color scheme, like silver & turquoise, celery green & poppy red, or pink & peacock. Modern trees feature white lights, funky ornaments (like multi-colored sparkly ball ornaments, light-up LED ornaments, butterflies, birds, seashells – the sky’s the limit), multi-hued beaded garlands, and tinsel. 

Clock-themed Christmas tree picture from this article.

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Poppy & celery tree picture from this article.

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White & silver themed tree picture from this article.

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Navy blue & sailboats themed tree picture from this article.

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Peacock-themed tree picture from this article.

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Sugarplum themed Christmas tree picture from this article.

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The “Woodland” style Christmas tree is very much in vogue this year. I’ve seen this style at Target, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, just about everywhere! To achieve this style, use lots of “natural” things, like burlap, twine, animal ornaments (I’ve seen birds, deer, rabbits, owls, squirrels, bears, even hedgehogs!), bird nests, berry branches, and LOTS of pinecones!

Picture from this post.

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Woodland themed tree picture from this post.

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Woodland themed tree picture from this article.

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Okay, so those are all things you can do to HIDE the fact that you have an artificial tree. What if you love your artificial tree, and don’t care who knows it?

Embrace the artificial.

For example:

White tree picture from this article.

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White & turquoise tree picture from this article.

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Monkey themed tree picture from this article.

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Rainbow themed picture from this article.

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Blue Christmas tree picture from this site.

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Pink Christmas tree picture from this post.

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Christmas tree picture from this site.

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Christmas tree picture from this site.

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Pink tree picture from this site.

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So what do you think? Have you chosen a style for your Christmas tree yet?

(I’ll reveal our Christmas tree in a later post… I have a few minor tweaks planned first^_^)

xo,

7 thoughts on “How to Decorate an Artificial Christmas Tree

  1. my Christmas tree theme this year: Au Naturel. Except that it’s artificial. And does have lights. We did put ornaments on it, but dammit, I am so tired of how hideous the tree looks, having ornaments only where Henry can’t reach them {I caught him using the handle of the broom this morning, trying to knock ornaments off}, that I’m so tempted to just take them all off. We’d have a pretty, naked tree and white lights…and nothing else. Maybe I’d add a bra and panties for modesty. :P

    In my dreams, though, in which I have a toddler-repellent tree, I’d have either the third Traditional or first Woodland tree. Sooo pretty!!

    • Bahaha! Thinking about Henry trying to knock off ornaments with a broom is hilarious! (although I bet it wasn’t so funny at the time) If the half on/half off ornaments bother you that badly, yes just take them off! Your tree will still twinkle as merrily without them:)

      Do you have the space/budget for a small, homemade countertop tree? You could still display your favorite ornaments, well out of Henry’s reach. You could even stretch a length of twine across the top of a wall or over a doorway, and hang ornaments along it.

      Your stories are making me glad that my puppies aren’t even a foot tall, and have yet to master grasping broom handles… LOL

    • If you can find an old wooden square playpen, put the tree in it and the gifts in the playpen! Decorate the outside of the playpen with “childproof” ornaments such as felt trees with removable ornaments so that the young ones can enjoy!

  2. With a curious toddler and a baby just beginning to crawl, it’s definitely a counter top tree for me this year! I have a small table in my living room that will be just right for it once I’ve cleaned off the books and crafty stuff. . . however, I’ve yet to select a tree or choose a theme! Must start thinking soon but my first holiday project is going to be to deck out the front porch for the season. Hopefully this weekend! :)

    • Good luck! I absolutely love getting home after a long day at work, to see my porch lights & decorations twinkling merrily:)

      Lots of nurseries (I think even Lowes) sell potted “mini-trees” specifically for the Holidays – you keep them inside like a houseplant (decorated for Christmas, naturally!) and then plant outside in the Spring. It’s eco-friendly and a good conversation starter, too. Of course, if I tried that I’d have killed the tree by Spring.

  3. We have an artificial tree! Despite my “Oh come on let’s make it a family tradition and go cut one down” my husband is like “Look I love Christmas Vacation and we have the t-shirts but here’s your axe go crazy if you want”. Same reasons. Needles. Live needles. Kids. I don’t know what a glass ornament is again. Mine is a mix of traditional meets modern. Red, white and silver. I have to make a topper for it b/c I cannot for the life of me find one I like.

    • Artificial trees unite! My husband and I were the opposite- he had a lovely family tradition from his childhood of going to a Christmas tree farm and tagging one, and then going back to cut it down and haul it off themselves. I love the concept of that, but just can’t make it happen. I really can’t.

      Give it a few years and I’m sure you’ll be able to bring the glass ornaments out again! This year the only one who has broken an ornament is me… I overloaded a branch and one fell right off:( Boo.

      My mom has a tree topper that is a linen & straw angel, A friend gave it to her years ago as a souvenir from someplace in Europe. I wish our topper had a cool story, but it’s just from Big Lots! LOL.

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