Christmas is a vital thing for me. In USSR all of the Christmas traditions were shifted to New Year, including the tree and the gifts, and for me it was also close to my birthday. Life in Russia at that time was pretty bleak, but New Year with the tree and the shining ornaments and tinsel and gifts and a big dinner, well, it was magic.
Last year we didn’t get to have a live Christmas tree. We moved the day before Christmas, and there was no live tree to be had. We bought a plastic tree so we would have something up on Christmas.
It about killed me. First, it’s not real. Second, plastic trees are harmful to the environment. While I don’t judge anyone for their choice of tree, real trees grow for several years on a farm, providing all of the benefits to the world that a tree does and at the end they are biodegradable and return back to nature. Plastic, not so much. But anyway, long story short, plastic tree.
This year I got terribly excited about the tree buying. Like really excited. And then Kid 2 came by and said, “You know, we have tall ceilings now and space. We can get a large tree.”
So I called down to New Braunfels Christmas tree lot and talked to a lovely lady named Carol, who told me that they would deliver our tree if we picked one out but larger trees were going fast. I made shiny eyes at Gordon, who dropped what he was doing, and we went to New Braunfels.
Yeah. So this happened.
I may have shot us in the foot here, because despite the fresh cut, commercial mount, and being stored in water at the lot, this noble fur isn’t taking in water. I hope it doesn’t dry out, because everything I’ve read says that drilling holes in the trunk won’t help and making another fresh cut won’t is out of the question. It took four of us to out it up. It still looks pretty fresh, so we’ll see.
Now we have to decorate it and I am reasonably sure that we do not have enough of anything. I will need to buy light and decorations, and that brings about all sorts of questions. Do we do a hodgepodge of multicolored decorations or do we pick a few colors and have some sort of scheme going? Traditional or weird?
Do we buy large ornaments or lots of small ones? Where is a good place for buying large ornaments? Shatterproof of glass? Opinions wanted!
hmmm, good questions. I don’t live in Texas, but would guess any good garden store could offer a lot of goodies to hang on your lovely tree.
Happy early Birthday, and by the way, you look cute in front of your tree, kind of like
a little kid all happy and excited!!
Cecilia A Anderson says
Beautiful Tree! Style–hodgepodge (memories always surface: “kid X made this in 2nd grade”, etc.) If there’s a budget, spend more money on lights. They fill up the space better. Buy whatever ornaments make you smile. (And you’ll be buying more next year, and the year after that.)
+1 It’s YOUR tree, showcase your memories 🙂
Good tip on the lights. I’m also team hodgepodge. “Put together” trees are beautiful but I love all my ornaments and the memories when I put them up.
Good tip on the lights. I’m also team hodgepodge. “Put together” trees are beautiful but I love all my ornaments and the memories when I put them up.
Yes, exactly. If I had more than one tree, I might go for a theme. But I want our memories up, every year, and every year we add another couple of them. My Christmas ornaments are right up there with the CPAPs, laptops, and medications on my evacuation list. (Yeah, I have one. Californian here.)
I don’t remember if you have cats but if you do, get shatterproof. Cats will climb the tree at some point.
Not ours. They have never climbed any of our trees in all the years we had them. 🙂
There is always a first time!
Melanie S says
My cat doesn’t bother with climbing either but he will bat at anything hanging at the bottom. I always have to put breakable ornaments higher up and I have cheap plastic ones for the bottom for him to play with 🙂
We only had one cat try to climb our tree. It was a smaller tree, and fell down. That cat never went near the tree again! We also had an ornament with a bell on it that we hung on bottom branch; it served as our “cat alarm”; they (different cats over the years) did destroyed some soft, hand crocheted Sesame Street character ornaments a relative gave my kids (mostly by disembowelment – cats!). When I was a kid, we always had a live tree (I think it’s spruce that can smell like cat urine – had only one of whatever species it was!); when my kids were young, we had fake trees (some looking less fake than others); while they were in their young teens we started having live trees again, but they always ended up dying on us because no-one remembered to water them! Now it’s just me, and I have a pre-lit fake tree that doesn’t look too fake. It is also something I can put up & take down by myself, and I decorate to please myself as well. I finally found my small box of “Mommy’s special ornaments – FRAGILE!” that had been missing for several years (one good thing to come out of the water leak earlier this year – EVERYTHING got moved two or more times (all of the floors were re-done)). My ornaments now are a mix of: one left from my childhood, some I made in high school craft class, several my mother made for me when she started tole painting back in the ’70s, and a bunch of either gifts or “that’s pretty” assorted styles and types from Hallmark, craft shows, etc. Ilona, I hope your tree won’t dry up on you; I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for what to do. With our smaller trees, we always cut across the bottom one last time before putting it in the stand, and immediately filled the dish with water. That seemed to work, as long as someone remembered to check the water level (the cats sometimes drank from the tree stand, instead of their water dish, so be careful about any additives to the tree water). Most of our cats liked to at least scratch their claws on our live trees – they were strictly indoor cats, and I didn’t mind – better the tree than the furniture!
Tina in NJ says
You have multiple pets, both feline and canine. Go shatterproof on the ornaments! We tend to collect ornaments on vacation, so we have a hodgepodge of a tree. Hubby likes multi-colored lights, while I like plain white. A couple of years ago, we got a fake tree that cycles through colored and white, blinking and steady. So we can have whatever we’re in the mood for. Whatever you go for, I’m sure it will shine.
Wow that is one enormous tree. I’d stay with the theme and go for big ornaments, think small ones will get lost. Would also go for multi colour as it doesn’t limit your options.
My rule for Christmas trees is make your own. If you are shopping for ornaments and you like it, get it. We have a geeky combination of Star Wars, Disney, annual, and traditional ornaments due to years of gifts from hubby’s mother. She has passed on now, so we have to get our own. Hallmark stores are completely dangerous in this respect, their ornaments are SO gorgeous. The Charlie Brown Christmas ornaments are to squee over. =) Have fun with it!
Not sure if it will help if the tree isn’t really taking in water, but we use a small amount of miracle grow mixed with aspirin for our (much smaller) trees and that helps them last longer.
Don’t know if you have a Tuesday Morning near you or not. Stopped by one near us last weekend, and they had a TON of ornaments, including sets with larger ones. Enjoy your tree, and I hope it stays fresh!
I prefer hodgepodge, personally! Lots of lights. Every year you can buy more, fun ornaments!
Lynn E says
Go for what makes you feel happy. Try adding sugar to the water. Also you look great.
I miss having a tree, mainly for the lights. When we had one up we’d always go with a hodge podge of decorations- more softer and not breakable ones at the bottom levels. Even if the cat didn’t swat one off, it’s easy to brush against the low branches and send things crashing. 🙂 I find so long as you have one unifying thing like all white lights or a garland that’s all the same, it’ll pull just about anything together.
I prefer hodgepodge, personally. Any ornament that makes me smile! I have a lot of ornaments from family passed down as well. I do recommend shatterproof at the bottom – my cats never climb the tree, but just walking under it and batting at the bottom shinies can cause chaos.
gaill kreis says
DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR FAVORITE OLD ORNAMENTS. AND THEN MAYBE MAKE SOMETHING NEW FOR YOUR NEW TREE, OR THE KIDS CAN MAKE SOMETHING.
MY COUSIN HAS HUGE TREE, AND SHE DOES ELEGANT, WHITE AND GOLD ORNAMENTS, LIGHTS ,TINSEL.
bUT THIS IS YOUR TREE,SO MAKE NEW MEMORIES. i THINK iT’S LOVELY .
Wow that tree looks amazing. I like the first option you posted but I’m sure whatever you wind up doing will look great. Enjoy you’re live tree and happy holidays!
Great tree! I personally prefer hodgepodge and LOTS of multicolor lights. And glass ornaments – they get broken occasionally whether you have a cat or not and they reflect the lights! Displaying favorite collected ornaments somehow never looks good in a “color scheme”. But you could get some great picks like the first photo (poinsettias) to add color and fill in space. Craft stores, Target, Dillards (expensive but beautiful things), even Lowe’s and Home Depot display some nice things. Go now! Stuff started going out before Thanksgiving. I always go to Dillards the day after Xmas to see if any of the stuff I was too cheap to buy is still available. Have fun with your tree – envious, no room in my house!!
Also you might try putting boiling hot water into the reservoir. It’s worked a couple times in the past when the cut end just seemed gummed up. Google “boiling water for christmas tree” and you’ll see write-ups on it.
I say hodgepodge as that’s my preference, where the ornaments mean something. And Costco has great shatterproof ornament options, and I *think* they have bigger ornaments too. Live tree is coming to our house in two weeks, it’s baby’s first Christmas and I’m pulling out all the stops. Even if she won’t remember I’ll have photographic evidence.
Shannon in Texas says
Costco would be my suggestion, too. They typically have big packs of shatterproof ornaments and also thick rolls of wide ribbons. On a tree that size, I would use lots of ribbon as garlands. Also, if it were me, I’d pick up a thick pack of construction paper and some glue sticks. Print out dozens of your favorite pictures, enlarged, and set the kids to work cropping the pics into shapes and gluing them onto bigger construction paper shapes. Bells, stars, all the ornament shapes you can think of. With a fire in the fireplace, hot cocoa and cider, and some good music, you make new special memories putting it together. 🙂 Family, friends, fur-babies, all the most important loves and memories, that’s what I’d decorate the tree with.
Bonus? They’ll stack and pack easily when it’s time to put them away for next year.
Gordon done good, as usual! ??
Shannon in Texas says
Goodness, I didn’t mean to type a wall of text, sorry!
We used to do a 14′ tree. Bigger decorations is the way to go. We actually used the larger outdoor christmas lights. We also decorated it hodgepodge, with lots of handmade ornaments, both from us as kids, and even back to my parents. Do you use the cheap tinsel? It was hard to reach the top, so we would put it on from the balcony. To get the side we couldn’t reach, we’d toss it in the air and blow at it to send it to the other side.
Great tree! I don’t like pladtc trees either. I LOVE the turquoise paint. I vote for tons of white lights and whatever floats your boat for the ornaments. I have cats so I put indestructible oenaments on the bottom and hope for the best otherwise. Go for it! Can’t wait to see the results (please)
Beautiful tree. Lots of lights are most important. Themed trees are pretty but no memories. My brothers and I still talk about my mother hanging ornaments.She hung her favorite ornaments certain places on the tree.
Gorgeous tree! I would suggest just using what you already have this first year. You don’t want to buy stuff under pressure and realize later it wasn’t what you really wanted. Also, with the quantity of ornaments you will need, you can benefit from the after Christmas sales.
Check out Big Lots and Tuesday Morning for good prices and selections. Congratulations on your tree!
My 2 cents: go for a combination of stylish and hodgepodge. choose a central color/theme for ribbon and the larger /main ornaments, but fill in the gaps with memories and more fun stuff. Then it will look more stylish from a distance with interesting individual items that draw you to also look closer. Your space is large enough to do that without looking like a jumbled mess.
Also, don’t feel like you need to fill it all at once. we bought a set of ornaments each year till we had enough. and now just buy a single ornament or two (or the ones the kiddos make for us) to add each year.
I agree you can enjoy your hodgepodge but still have a color theme with garlands or ribbon. It’s the best of both worlds.
Love the tree. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when you’re done.
I absolutley love the Christmas season as well, my birthday is the 20th and all of my cousins usually came to our house for Christmas vacation, so I always had a not party party with lots of people to help celebrate.
Your tree is gorgeous. I say buy both large and small ornaments but with a color theme so it not fully matchy matchy. Though I have to confess I dont have regualr ornaments on mine. Every year we all choose a new ornament, whether store bought or made and hang it on the tree. Some years we end up with 3 or 4 per person. Either from gifts from friends and family, craft days or ones the kids made at school or at extracirricular classes. None match at all but the all come loaded with memories.
Have fun decorating! And do you have a ladder tall enough to reach the top?
Lucretia bell says
If you need quanity and dont want to break the bank, look to thrift stores or the goodwill for ornaments. It is possible to pick a color theme and find plenty to choose from. You may have to hit more then one thrift store to get the selection you need but it is possible. I’d go with both large and smaller size ornaments to help with the over all scale of the space/tree.
H-E-B always has beautiful decorations. If you come to Austin the habit restore on south first has a lot of decorations as well. And Toy Joy has beautiful blown glass ornaments that include all religions and cultures. Make a day of it and visit the new library, I will give you a personal tour. I boycott hobby lobby.
I don’t know if you can do this near you but we get photo ornaments of our kids made every couple of years and put them on the tree. It’s nice to see how they have changed over the years. Maybe you could do a special family tree ornament this year as it’s your first year in your new home? Whatever you choose, enjoy!
Ginny Casano says
Love the tree. We have hodgepodge and putting up the ornaments definitely is a trip down memory lane
Betsy Copeland says
I think of Christmas trees as having the same tradition as weddings…combine old, new, borrowed (or gifted from a friend) & blue….You build memories with the kids and pass on the love. I’ve never been a fan of “themed” trees unless its a 2nd tree
Melanie S says
I think tree decorating is one of those things you just can’t get wrong. It’s too personal. Whatever feels right to you and makes you smile!
That is a massive and beautiful tree. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do with it.
Don’t worry overly about the water intake. I get a noble directly from a field every year. Some years they soak up a considerable amount of water. Other years barely nothing but they all last well through the season. My theory is that it depends on how much water was in the soil before it was cut.
I like shatter proof ornaments from target and hobby lobby, my self. The pets are prone to a bit of nighttime redecorating at night. And I think tons of color and chaos are best. I like a tree to be dripping in ornaments, lights and garlands.
Your tree is beautiful! As a child we always had large real trees and it was so magical. Always decorated in a hodge-podge of small family ornaments, completely sentimental. I like trees decorated for aesthetic value too, but wasn’t introduced to the concept until I was an adult.
HEB has a surprising number of ornament options this year – the big one in Kyle definitely will, not sure about the big San Marcos store. Barring that At Home has an insane amount of Christmas things.
Decorate that pretty tree with the things that please your heart. There are so many interesting and sparkly finds to put onto and into the branches of the tree. Lights, so many lights, in the colors that shine through the clear ornaments and reflect off the shiny metallic orbs. Snowflakes, stars, ballerinas and bears. Then, sit in your chair or lounge on the couch. Illuminate the room at night with only the tree lights on. Sip some wine and decorate the tree to your satisfaction. Enjoy!
Do your childhood memories of New Year’s include watching “The Irony of Fate”? My ex is from Russia and remembers watching it every year. (He sat me down to watch it one year too….but I have to admit it wasn’t really my kind of movie. 🙂
Good luck with your tree decorating, I’m sure it will be beautiful however you decide to decorate it.
I love the tree! We go hodgepodge ornaments (ones the kids, who are now adults, made) and one color of twinkle lights. My favorite ornaments have stories behind them.
Maybe you can get your family together and each make a special homemade ornament to add this year?
The tree is gorgeous. Multi color lights with light display options are always awesome to see . I like shatterproof ornaments because I personally am a menace, but if no two or four legged person fits this description big glass ornaments sound amazing for your tree.
Oh that certainly brings back childhood memories of non-Christmas behind the Iron Curtain. “Father Frost” (the non religious ?) would bring around presents or twigs (if you were naughty) on New Years. Our decorations were these really weird sugar candies in foil wrappers (like in the picture) and cotton spread on branches like snow. But there was always a live tree!
Hodgepodge is my way to go, and small decorations so I don’t leave any “gaps” on branches. But with such a lovely big tree, big ones would make it easier- depending on how much you love decorating/ just want to get it done.
So, I’ve read that if you mix water, sugar, and a little bit of vodka into the tree water, it will help it absorb easier/faster and keep it alive longer. I hope this helps.
What a beautiful tree!!!!!!! So excited to see what y’all finally figure out.
If I may make a suggestion on ornaments… December Diamonds has an entire line of chippendale/hot musclely mermen. It’s hilarious. https://www.diamondsofthesea.com/merman-ornaments/
OMG Bear Merman! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
hahaha I’m so glad someone else found this funny!! I totally want a tree covered in these beauties!! lol
We put bells near the bottom to warn if animals or littles are getting into the tree. I like white lights as they tend to show off the ornaments. You could do one color of big ornaments & then a variety of other kinds.
Angela M says
I’m sure you won’t need my input but I love multicolored lights. Something about them just makes me happy. I’d definitely get shatterproof ornaments with the animals you guys have. Even if they don’t try to eat anything, just walking by or brushing against them can knock the ornaments off. Good luck with the tree! We do fake trees because we’re all allergic in our house to all of the trees.
My family compromises every year and gets two trees. One tree is decorated elegantly and traditionally. The other smaller tree is full of a hodge podge of fun and meaning ornaments. One is on the first floor and one is directly above it on the second. With the blinds on the windows open, it looks like one giant tree from the road.
Your tree is marvelous. We had huge tres like that when I was a kid. Then we moved in a smaller flat with no stairs and balcony…
i’m kind of a Christmas extremist. So I made my first batch of Christmas cookies a few days ago. Only seven recipes…I plan on doing a LOT more. For the tree i like to have only two colors for the balls with assorted garlands and one color light. I add a few items that give a zest of fun. I have several set of different colored balls and I switch each year.
I definitely prefer hodgepodge! I think coordinated trees are beautiful, but not for me. I like lots of color! Shatterproof ornaments aren’t actually shatterproof. My oldest son is on the spectrum and has an obsession with balls and spheres of any kind. They break quite easily in my experience.
The tree is stunning! Happy holidays!
Brittany V. says
That… is Christmas Tree goals. We’re getting ours this weekend and I shall do similar puppy dog eyes for a larger tree with our vaulted ceiling.
Decorating wise, for us it’s the colorful and crazy the better. We have breakable ornaments, plastic, and memorable ornaments we’ve been given or have bought throughout the year.
Such a beautiful tree! I vote for weird all the way! Our tradition involves everyone getting a new ornament each year to mark a milestone, a particular interest, or trip taken so our tree is a hodge podge of memories. It also serves as a starter tree for the wee ones when they have trees and homes of their own. Happy Celebrating!
Yes! We do this too where every year we go to this insanely posh department store in London (greengrocers to the Queen!) and their winter wonderland of a Christmas decoration department and buy just one bauble that reminds us of the previous year. One is all we can afford lol, but it’s always such fun to remember previous year trips and the excitement in choosing every time we decorate. https://www.fortnumandmason.com/t/categories/christmas/gifts-and-decorations/decorations
Everyone should have a ginormous tree at least once, and you certainly have the space for it! My preference is for hodgepodge, because we have generations’ worth (grandparents, parents, our personal childhood treasures, and those we’ve acquired together) and each sparks a memory. Your family has built memories together and it’s fun to remember them as the ornaments go up.
But if you want to go elegant, restrained, and themed, pick a color scheme and then wander the home improvement and craft stores. The downside to that is time; it takes much longer to decide on and then set up a theme than it does hodgepodge 🙁
You might try local hardware stores if there are any in your area; I just scored several strings of the old-fashioned opaque bulbs yesterday at mine. Several years ago our old lights finally died and I couldn’t find replacements anywhere, but we will have lights this year! I’m so pleased.
Have fun with it, whichever you choose! You can always decide differently next year.
Wowsers!! That is a huge tree!! Have fun decorating. Some years I like to do a theme but I think the best thing about the tree is that it becomes a history of us, in that we/I will get (or make) something special/quirky/unique that reminds us of special events or milestones in the year just gone so it creates some beautiful memories. I have some special ones dating back to childhood ? ? ?
I freaking love your tree. If I had tall ceilings I would join the tall tree club too lol. I favor hodgepodge trees myself because I like all of the crazy. Lots of memories, favorite funky ornaments, etc. As far as lights, I remember from my childhood watching a decorating program that had an episode specifically for Christmas trees. They placed white lights in the middle of the tree, wrapped around the trunk, to add depth and then placed colorful lights on the rest of the tree. My stepmom latched onto this concept and it now has become both a family joke and tradition. She even went so far as to remove all decorations one year when she realized the white lights had been forgotten. As for ornaments, go with what you like! We have a mix of shatterproof and glass. This year we will use fewer glass ornaments because we have 2 new kittens and I have a feeling that one will LOVE the fresh tree.
Love your live tree. Don’t forget to keep the room cool – even if it doesn’t take much water – as I have found a cool room makes them last a little longer. And it will be extra special in the evening if you guys curl up in a blanket together sipping hot chocolate and watching the lights blink.
Any way a tree is decorated is beautiful.
You are lucky with the cats not playing in your tree – mine always used to try.
Keep your plastic tree. One of these years – in the very distant future – you may need it again. It never will be as nice as a real tree but you won’t have old pine needles either. When I use mine I usually get a pine scented candle to burn.
My 2 cents… load up on lights right now. Go crazy get all white.. get twinkles.. get colours and then AFTER christmas when all the decorations etc go on sale load up on them. Plus the lights will really fill things in for this year. And if you still have the icky plastic one you could set up somewhere else you could possibly do 1 homemade/crazy tree and one more formal tree?
It’s your tree. You could do whatever strikes your fancy, especially if budget is not a problem.
Personally, i would prefer big decorations since it is a big tree. Have fun with it!??❤️
I really liked a tree in a mall decorated with big poinsettia flowers (fake obviously). It takes a bigger tree than we ever get.
That is a monster tree!! I am very jealous, but i would always say never go for matching ornaments!!
There is a town near my childhood home where most people every two or three years replace their colour co-ordinated ornaments with a brand new scheme depending on the ‘fashion’. It depresses me.
Christmas trees should be a record of family, friends and memories that grows and changes with you. We have ornaments from when my sister (12 years older) was a little girl and they mean just as much as the new ones my parents buy every year. One or two special ones added each year and soon you will need a second tree. (we did)
Can we have pictures when its done?? XX
I totally agree! Old and cherished ornaments are great!
MK Johnson says
Bill G says
It’s a lovely tree, and I hope it doesn’t dry out badly. Happy Birthday; belated, early or anything else. Decorations? I’ll give the advice given to Sergeant Studenko (sp?) in the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke: “Just go for it.”
Sorry, can’t help with the where… It’s a fab tree so whatever you do, being the creative beings that you are, it will look amazing. ?.
Love your home. Can’t believe it’s nigh a year. Need to make the most of every day!?
Liz Mansfield says
I like a ‘natural ‘ tree, dried orange slices and bundles of cinnamon sticks with jute ribbons, sisal to tie things on. Interspersed with gold and silver ornaments but nice small ones……then of course around the back, massive card and glitter monstrosities made by the kids at school ?,salt dough bells and balls with tinsel glued around them and various hideous but beloved soft toys…..but at least the bit i can see us tasteful but I wouldn’t have it any other way, oh, and those kids are now 31 and 33 with families of their own.
Don’t listen to others, just do it so you smile every time you see it ?
Wow! I haven’t looked this year, but in past years Costco has always had packages of large ornaments.
Also, maybe icicle lights? They’ll take up more space, but I don’t know if they’ll work on a tree. Good luck!
James B Franks says
I have a ton of inherited ornaments so my tree is always weird.
If you have almost enough already and just need to fill in some gaps, you could get some pinecones and paint them with glitter.
Yay for cones, they always look good! Even without glitter.
Marsha Sensel says
Lots and lots of lights and then whatever ornaments you love. I wouldn’t worry about filling up the tree this year. Whenever I’ve been short of ornaments I fill in spaces with candy canes.
Wow! For a minute I thought I got a weird crossover post. I mean, Pokémon is so not on par with the usual apocalyptic zombie killing motifs that you’re interested in.
I vote for a traditional tree. Unless you have a certain theme that you think will work, like a IA books tree…. that would be to die for.
I personally think hodgepodge trees are the Best because they always have more character. Here is ours from last year you could see it from the street THROUGH the blinds!
I like hodgepodge
Hope u send a pic when it’s decorated however you decide
A fir salesman once told me to put lots of sugar in a glass of water, stir it until it’s all melted, then soak some cotton and put it on the cut every day. I didn’t try it with the tree, but I’ve put a spoonful of sugar grains into vases of cut flowers many times and it definitely works. Flowers look fresh and last longer.
Sugar is good, and oddly so is aspirin. Which thins blood and evidently helps a tree suck up water too
Wow, your big tree is perfectly sized for the space! Some streamers, bows, or flower bundles will help fill in some of the space and decor is a personal choice.
A few years back my neighbor came over and asked me if I had any extra lights. She had seven strings on her tree which was half the size of yours. It was so bright you could not even see the tree shape for the eye searing blaze of lights and could have been used as a guide to land an airplane.
No matter what, enjoy the process!
Yvonne A says
Make this which make all of you happy.
I like a few color theme and a warm light, can be in color but not blink. (I hope I used the right words in english). But multicolor can be nice too
When my home was built we went crazy and got a 18 ft tree the first year. Let me tell you it took days and 3 ladders (different heights). Ribbons & deco mesh are your best friend. I use fake flowers to take up space. Ornaments I found that shatterproof are the way to go but having sentimental items which were usually glass are a great touch. I like using “door knob” decorations you find from dollar tree great ones to use when you have a large tree. Lights were always a pain point for me so I always delegated that to someone else to do. Have fun and enlist as many people to help.
Does Grandpa Frost bring the presents in your home?
I like different size ornaments – the largest at the bottom, and gradually smaller and smaller ones, with the tiniest at the top.
What I learned from helping a White House decorator as a volunteer fir a historical tour of decorated homes (Candlelight Tour in Fredericksburg, Virginia): It’s good to get what I call anchor decorations, larger ornaments (baseball to softball size) that have consistency in style and color. Place some of those deeper in to make the tree have nice depth. Space these anchors relatively evenly across the tree. For complementary anchors think if any combination of garland, bows, fake flowers, a secondary set of anchor ornaments, etc.
Then bring in any array of other ornaments you want. Make sure they speak to your anchors (i.e. color wise they dont clash).
I have a Nutcracker themed tree, because mom read ETA Hoffman’s story to me every year, we would see the ballet, and I used to dance. Personally my anchors are red & gold shatterproof bulbs, plaid bows, red wood garland, and red candy hearts. Then I have various nutcracker ornaments from victorian paper ones, ceramic ones, doll ornaments, nutcracker soldiers, etc.
+ 1 for KC suggesting anchors, but they go up third after the Tree-topper and the lights. Position the tree where you want it and mark (with a bow) which side/part of the tree will be the focal point. Move the tree where you have access, by ladder, to all points of the tree. Put the Tree-top decoration on first, facing 180 degrees from the focal point. Anchor the Tree-topper well so it won’t fall or slip when you move the tree to its permanent position. For the big tree, it looks like twenty strands of lights might be enough. Buy a bag of green, black or brown twist ties to help keep the wire along the branches. String the lights second, because you have to wrap the wires around the branches and the tree trunk. Don’t just string them around the tree on the outside of the branches, because the wire will be in the way. The lights will take an hour or two on that big tree you have. Test the lights, are they in the right place with the right colors. Once you are satisfied the lights are where they belong, move the tree into its permanent position. Put the large anchor ornaments where they have the most effect. Put them up by colors and types, that way they will not be bunched in the same area of the tree.
Its been decades since I have been to Nurnberg’s Kristkindlesmart. That was my family’s favorite place to buy decorations. You will have to check, their decorations may be made in China by now. My German relatives recommend Prague, St. Petersburg and Milan as good places for top-of-line decorations. I haven’t looked at any of them. A friend recommended Museum stores.
Next year go to a tree farm during the summer and pick your tree. It may still have some pruning marks. Good Luck, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.
PS: Your description of the Smoker and its results, prompted my to purchase one. Thank you.
The front of Tree Topper needs to face the viewer away from the focal point.
We are totally hodgepodge tree people. I love looking at all the weird, rando, sometimes ugly, oranments that grace our tree. It will never look like a beautiful store catalogue tree, but it will always be a true reflection of us and our quirky tastes.
If I had that giant tree I would: buy some boxes of big ornaments (shatterproof cause 4yr old and dog), get 2x as many regular sized oranments, a couple rolls of ribbon from costco (or lots o’ garland if that’s your jam, I also like the long strands of beads…), TONS of lights, stuffed animals (because moose or polar bears looking out between your braches will be cute af), then I would buy each family member a new oranment to celebrate the first jumbo tree.
Congrats on it’s epicness!
Oh yeah shatterproof is KEY. My cats think Christmas was INVENTED for them. They crawl inside the tree and lurk. I mean, really , shiny strings, balls and a tree to climb? What’s not to love if you’re a cat?
Natasha Johnson says
Lol I had two cats when I was younger each morning we would find the ornaments scattered and two heads poking out of the tree.
For a first big tree you might want to consider hiring some pros. In our community that’s pretty much a given. They measure advise how many of what size how many yards of lights will deal with power hook up issues extension cords the whole shooting match. As my life sharply changed I don’t do indoor trees anymore. I have small native tree slightly decorated by front door. Inside some of my 80 nutcracker and my Christmas houses go up and everything stays up until late Jan. Always do more of winter theme with lights. Our winters are dark grey for 3-4 months and lights of all kind help.
Wow – what a tree! I would go to the Dollar Stores / Kmart etc for basic ornaments – solid color ones in multiple colors and then fill it in with your current ones / eclectic ones. I would do the tinsel garland in one color though.
Like decorations in your home they are personal and looking at them should give you pleasure. So whatever you would sit back and look at that would make you go “ahhhhh” is what you should do.
I see designer rooms in magazines and though they are visually pleasing I would not live in one of them as they don’t have personality or “soul”. For me it is the same with the tree.
It looks so promising! It begs for a train around it
That tree is a dream come true. I love it.
I have the unique possibility to decorate all kinds of ways. So I have one screaming colorful. one (the biggest) more classic in red. one in gold, white, black & taupe.
I do so many because I need to decorate my store 😉
But one thing stays the same. Some people use one size balls or bottum big and top small.
I, for myself, enjoy the decorations wild. So I have big and small all over the place and it looks great. And the most important thing, lots and lots of lights. My 3 meters tree carries a load of 3.500 LED lights.
I didnt find my pictures of the other trees, but the big one is online on my site (my store).
One in daylight:
(you may have to scroll a little bit to reach the part with the tree 🙂 I went a little overboard with christmas decoration pictures in that post 2 years ago ;P)
One by night:
This year happend what you see in attachment 😉 the trees come out this weekend :D.
I wish you all the best with your tree and a lot of fun and nerves in the decorating war. I once decorated a tree similar to yours, standing on the outside of my store. It was painful as heck, still fun and my mom had to dangle halfway out from a window in the second story to get the lights all around (imagine a upsidedown cowgirl swinging her lasso-lights, catching the tree-cow). But it was worth it, the tree was fastastic and we looked like porcupines.
BTW if you want to crack it up a little. One year, we put our tree on a rolling board, bc we couldnt get out on the balcony otherwise. So my mom and I thought it would be fun to put a cord on it and secretly put the end near the table at dinner with our guests (grandma and my best friend).
It was hilarious, all the way, I pulled the cord, the tree rolled dramatically over to us and while my grandma screamed, my dear best friend sprinted in a dead run to save christmas (which was impressive bc she had the furthes away) 🙂
I can’t wait for “Christmas tree part II”
Thank you so much
by the way:
those shoes are for cutlery
Ooooh! A lovely, lovely tree (and great location for it). With such stunning bright-coloured walls you could go for a hodgepodge of bright colours or a metallic (silver/gold) theme…. but lets face it – it will look wonderful whatever you choose.
No tree for us this year, but I am hoping to persuade family members to help me make some new, personal decorations from salt dough, which we will then bake, paint and varnish (they will then be hung on a bower of foliage from short ribbons). Together with bought baubles (so that there is a mix of ‘flat’ saltdough and round decorations), it can look lovely, with the bonus that saltdough is pretty tough as long as it does not get wet. I keep favourite ones and bring them out again the next year.
For the craft-orientated, there are lots of instructions on the internet about salt dough….
The best advice I have received about tree decorating include:
– wind a set of warm-coloured LED fairy lights up the tree, near the trunk. It really makes the tree glow;
– don’t hold back on the fairy lights elsewhere on the tree: you need more than you think (50-100 lights per foot of tree, depending on how sparkly you want it), and;
– place favourite decorations at eye level.
The most important question is: do you have cats? If yes, unbreakable ornaments and ribbon are a good thing.
Given it’s a giant tree I would say you need a mix of at least some BIG ornaments and then you can still throw in smaller ones. I think you need some big ones to balance out the scale because I think it might look funny with nothing but little ones on a tree that large but I still like the little ones and I think the variation in size creates visual interest. And ya know as completely beautiful as the perfectly coordinated commercially decorated looking tree is that’s never what I personally want in my home. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s beautiful but my home tree I want at least some unique, personalized ornaments on my tree. Just a sprinkle so it’s mine. And they sell amazing, beautiful, giant coordinated sets of ornaments at Costco for very reasonable prices. You’d probably want a couple of those just to get the party started bc you have so much ground to cover. You’re also going to need ALL the lights. I’m also a huge fan of spiraling wide, wire edged ribbon, twisted around and down my tree. If you’re a sparkly garland person on a tree that big you could alternate it w the ribbon for an extra texture. Either way HAVE FUN!!!
30 book a month reader says
It depends on how much your animals are going to like this tree! If they love it you better buy plastic
Absolutely love your tree. I’m pretty sick with envy right now. I’ve never had a real tree so no advice forthcoming on how to keep it alive. I much prefer a colourful tree, mishmash of colours and coloured lights.
Gorgeous tree. Just be fanatically cautious about electricity if it won’t take up water. Two families of kids died with their grandparents in a fire caused by a huge tree like that a couple of years ago. It caught fire when everyone was asleep and went up so fast it took the house, which was huge, with it. No one got out. It was horrifying.
With that caveat, I would go for some large ornaments and trimmings for scale, and your usual ones for love. The background color in that room is lovely. Maybe try to play off that a little?
Although as someone earlier noted, it might not take up water if it’s already well hydrated. Maybe monitor the needles to gauge dryness.
Go for weird every time! My tree has decorations my children made, ornaments I bought for them over the years and most precious of all, decorations my late mother made (knitted Santa’s and snowmen, crocheted snowflakes and quilted decorations). Like you we got a giant tree last year and we purchased colourful balls to fill in the blank spaces. For the first time in my 66 years, however, this year we will be away for Christmas and, since I’m recovering from pneumonia that required a hospital stay, I’m only going to put up a small 4 ft artificial prelit tree (apologies, Ilona) that we will pack into the car to take with us, as I just don’t have the energy to unpack the half dozen or so boxes only to pack them back away when we return home. We are even having the Christmas dinner catered, so this will be quite a different Christmas for us, but it will be spent with most of our immediate family in a lovely chalet, which is the important thing after all.
We always had a tree with roots, one lasted about five years in a barrel and was hosed down to get the bird chalk off it and then brought in again. When it got too big, it was planted in the garden where it grew…and grew… and grew. By the time Mama left the house some 25 years later it was level with the eaves of the house and a tulgy refuge for lots of singing birds, in spring the tree sounded as though it was singing. One of my sisters has an amazing extravaganza, with gold ornaments only and plain white lights, it looks fabulous, the other has a multi coloured one, with a wild and wonderful selection of ornaments collected over the years. I have Christmas flowers as my flat is miniscule and there is no room for a tree. I think the answer has to be whatever you like. So long as you like it nothing else matters.
One of my friends decorates his tree with stuffed animals. Maybe a book tree would be fun?
Martha Cavness says
We did the traditional one for years, but after the kids were gone, I switched to more of a “decorator” tree. I had a color scheme, but bought ornaments I really liked by the dozen (or two). I put them on randomly, not in patterns. I use a mixture of big and smallish ornaments, and I have velvet balls, feather ornaments, glass balls, fairies, etc, and many, many glass icicles. Most of my big ones are fairies! I still love it. I have been using this theme for 15 years, and every once in a while I treat myself to a dozen of some new ornament that I see. My tree is 9’ and slim. That gigantic tree is going to take a LOT of ornaments. I think big ornaments make a bigger impact, and require less work than a lot of small ones, but I also use medium and small ones, to make the background and fill in the gaps. Mostly, though, you should do whatever makes you happy. I smile every time I walk by my tree, which is frequently, because it is in the living room between my bedroom and the kitchen. P.S. I thought my husband might not like my sort of girly tree, but he actually loves it. Who knew???
Really large ornaments don’t work well for me: they pull on the tree too much and they only fit around the bottom. Standard size and smaller ornaments are easier to use year after year.
Buy what you love. More, buy things that evoke memories.
Have each person in the house pick out a favorite.
Have book covers (or favorite family pictures, stiffened) miniaturized and covered in plastic with a loop for hanging, or put into those ornaments that come apart for the purpose. You can give each one a little glitter to shake, like your own snow globes.
Glass and glitter make good sparkle with lights. Unbreakable is useful if you have pets that find trees attractive. Lights are fabulous to me.
(Did you know they make these little paper goggles with plastic lenses that make the lights look like starry teddy bears, angels, snowmen, reindeer, santas? I found them locally at Safeway this year but I don’t know where else would carry them.)
I am vicariously excited about your AWESOME tree! Please mix up the colors!!! Mix big and little. Put old items and new items. Enjoy every minute. Make it as festive as you can.
When I was a child in the 1950’s, we only had the bulbs that were as big as my thumb is now. Mom didn’t like the bubble lights – the only other option then. I still remember the joy and wonder as I gazed at the lit tree. The hazy blobs of color and the splashes of green and the glimpses of the silver “icicles” were magic. We found out a few years later that I was horribly nearsighted and I got glasses.
In January I will be 67, but I promise you that every night of December I will turn on my Christmas tree lights and remove my glasses for a few minutes. I will gaze at the blurry colors and listen to Christmas music. For that time, I will be dreaming of Santa, the family will be together, and all will be well. When I put my glasses back on, there will be no Santa, there will be an estranged family, and I will be old. Sometimes I leave the glasses off until bedtime.
Karen the Griffmom says
We have a hodgepodge tree of memories. It has the kids personalities all over it. Angry birds chilling next to snoopy and bugs bunny, I have very few glass bulbs left unbroken, but each year we have been scouting out the Christmas stuff in the antique stores during the first of december and find some really unique pieces to add to our tree. This year we found a heavy Santa statue for my yard decor!! Score! And I bought some clip on poinsettias and birds for the outside tree.
I love your huge tree! Every year I look forward to my best friend posting images of the “too tall” Christmas tree brushing the vaulted ceiling of their living room. I don’t know if I can recommend ornaments. It’s such a personal choice and no matter the outcome, it’s always lovely.
We have small kids, so our tree is a hodgepodge of ornaments from our kids (including paper chains) as well as ornaments from my husband’s childhood. The only new ornaments we buy anymore are from my artist friend who makes WONDERFUL decoupage ornaments of woodland creatures in crowns, animal puns (Icabod “Crane”), flitting fairies, goddesses, mermaids, and other themes in an art noveau-style. If you’re interested, I can post her Etsy link (I like promoting small artists but don’t want to spam here either). I think she’s making her newest batch now (running late this year) and will be posting them in the shop soon.
I should probably add my Facebook comment here, too. Considering the size of your tree, I would suggest getting lights on a roll. You’ll get more lights for a better price and it will save grief when getting them on and off the tree. No more tangles!
I like wooden ornaments – they make for a very nice old-fashioned tree with some bows, pinecones etc. Also, they’re hard to destroy (I have two cats) and not plastic. Some examples:
Love your tree…it’s shape is perfect!!! I’m a “light fanatic” the more strands the better and it’s best if at least some are blinking!! Can’t wait to see the finished product!
I have 22 foot ceilings and so we do a huge tree as well. The hardest part is ALWAYS decorating the top. You will want to get some extra large ornaments. We do them in all sizes, but the big ones looks best and I just have some small ones that I’m not willing to part with. Love it, have fun with it, and get more lights! 😉
Our Christmas tree decorating scheme is not matching what so ever….I have all the ornaments I collected as a kid, since my parents bought us a new numbered one every year and Mom made us handcrafted ones too! After I got married, then with kids, we continued the tradition. I also try to purchase handmade ornaments each year, only one….My husband’s mom prefers matching decoration themes…so it took awhile for my husband to feel comfortable with my family’s eclectic choices! Haha!
But whatever you choose will be great!
Lynn Fitz says
Your tree is a beauty!!!! I alway do eclectic ( not weird guys as it is my normal!!) I would mix colors have some big shiny plastic balls then add your collection from over the years. I still have my Oma’s Woolsworth fruit shaped metallic colored pre WWII ornaments. The kids ( youngest now in 30’s) would paint ceramic ornaments and make unique ornaments at school which I still display. When I had animals and soccer players in the house, I only used plastic ornaments, with stringed popcorn !! Enjoy!!
Latricia markle says
Love the tree! And good on you for hitting the gym even though putting that monster tree up was probably a work out all its own.
Have fun shopping for decorations. Near my husband’s hometown of Woodstock, there is this cool art collective/shopping location. It’s multiple buildings and this mix of sculpture, pottery, jewelry, decoration, and other. I love to shop for Christmas ornaments there. Even if i am buying them and there is no story attached yet, they always remind me of those pieces that my parents had which always made us say “Remember that time when….” each time we decorated the tree or noticed the ornament during the season.
Put whatever ornaments appeal to you on the tree. I have collected ornaments over the years because they appealed to me. I have ornaments I inherited from my grandmother’s. I have given my nephews and nieces an ornament every year and when they moved out my sister-in-law complained she had no decorations.
It is a beautiful tree :). The Christmas ornaments episode in Innkeeper 3 inspired me for magic theme this year – I am a December child too, love the cold , fresh air, untouched snow and the promise of miracles. See how your tree sings to you and go for it…
I love fresh trees. They make the house smell wonderful. Yes, they are messy and a lot more work but there are always trade offs.
I recommend LED lights they are more expensive but you can plug many strings end to end with no breaker flipping. You are going to need a BUNCH.
I hope your entire family will help in decorating, it can be a lot of work. Remember to have fun!
For me it depends on the kids and animals . Right now I have a young cat who hunts things like the fuzzy decorations ,anything that swings. I may have to dress her up if she want to be part of the decor.
We have misted our real tree when it was really bad, and keeping the heat down helps it as well.
Also, if you duct tape different sections of vacuum cleaner extension tubes together, you can water the tree without having to climb underneath it.
Only put sugar in the tree water, since I’ll assume your pets will prefer to drink from the tree water than their own damn fountain like ours.
I love the tree so much! It is so big and beautiful! Please share a decorated photo update when you decide (I don’t think you can go wrong but I prefer traditional with a little bit of whimsy)!!
R Coots says
I vote for hodgepodge! You could get a couple of those big packs of bulbs and toss them at the tree to see what sticks 🙂 Congratulations on the huge tree. I hope it starts taking on water soon (we had to replace all our glass ornaments this gear due to sudden KITTEN).
I love christmas and christmas trees. When we first were married we had hardly any money so bought many cheap ornaments. But each year we would buy 2 to 3 expensive uniquie ornaments. Like you we love large reach the ceiling xmas trees and we have been married 22 years so have collected many lovely unique ornaments all shapes and sizes and although i have tried to stick with a purple/lilac and white/silver theme we have a full range of colours, shapes and sizes. Go mad and have fun i look forward to seeign the pictures.
Jennifer Smith says
If you put aspirin in the tree water it helps it last longer. With the size of that tree it may need two aspirin!
I like to use large color coordinated ornaments to anchor the tree. Then add everything personal. We get a new ornament every year to commemorate that year of our family. (Ex. New house, newly married, the year we decided to be chicken farmers, etc.) Plus we have all the personal ornaments from our 6 children and ornaments we make with all the grandchildren.
The more personal the tree, the sweeter the memories and the bigger my heart smiles.
Get everyone together and have an ornament party. Either make them or buy kits and assemble them. Either way you get something that is uniquely yours! Happy Christmas!
Echoing my preferences completely. Year after year, we gathered a new ornament (32 years of marriage). Then 3 years ago, the box in which all ornaments were stored (cardboard – should have been a sealed plastic one) was directly under a slow leak. When we opened the box, everything was moldy and unsalvageable. So we are now down to generic ornaments with the few new ones we’ve started collecting since the big mold-out.
+1, large ornaments with a color or theme, and smaller personal ones in between, for lights any that do no blink. Ps. Love the pine scent from natural trees. Put a HUMIDIFIER in room where tree is, it helps at our house. ?
Good tip with the humidifier
Do you love near an At Home store? It seems like they always have thousands of xmas decorations. Not sure about the quality or if they would be shatterproof. Goodluck decorating!
Kt Mehers says
As I live in a small stone mid terrace house in the north east of the UK, I have monumental tree envy ???.
Disclaimer – I am a dodgy old Goth.
Do not discount the judicious use of black tinsel and baubles, they add real depth to your tree. My preferred choice is to colour scheme as personally I think that is classy, my scheme is copper, gold, silver/white and a touch of black with warm white led lights (lovely low energy jobbies. ?). Also I have unnatural fascination (well that is what the hubby tells me) with light through/reflected off glass.
Oooh I remember when my family made the switch. The five of us moved from a <1,000 ft square house to a 200,000 ft one with vaulted ceilings. Every year our trees got a little bigger until the year we had to wire ours to the wall. My perception is still screwed as an adult. Every time I go to a tree farm I think, "this is a nice small tree." I've never come home with a tree under 7 feet.
But back to tree shopping. First things first, lots of tree farms let you reserve a tree. You go in mid-November and pick out the huge tree you want and put down a deposit on it. Then when it hits December you go out and cut it down. Not that our family ever planned ahead on that one. All five of us would get lost in the tree farm looking for the one with the fewest weird gaps, or one with a single big gap that we could face towards the wall.
Lights are the thing everyone forgets about when getting a bigger tree. However many you think you need, get at least two strands more. Even if you've estimated accurately you will still want a matching set when the first strand fails. Less inconvenient than replacing the five million strands otherwise. The good news is that you have a big enough tree that you don't have to decide between theming or hodgepodge. Get a few large ornaments in a consistent theme and go to town on the rest. I grew up with a dog and several cats, so we didn't put any breakable ornaments on the first couple feet of tree but beyond that it never really mattered.
One last thing. You should have a plan about where you will put the ladder. Everyone in my family is short and there was always a lot of precarious leaning when reaching the top third of the tree. So I guess I will amend my non-breakable suggestion. Don't put anything breakable that you truly love in a spot that's hard to reach.
Other than that, congrats on the new tree!
(sorry if this posts twice. It told me there was a server error)
Hobby Lobby has the largest selection of ornaments around here, with huge size variations, and shatterproof options, but At Home has a bunch too. One year our tree died about 4 days after we got it and lost all its needles, the lot replaced it for us, so you might check with your lot for their policy or ideas for your tree. Good luck and I hope it makes you happy.
Natasha Johnson says
+1 on the ornament places.
Be careful what you wish for! Our local TV showed a family whose son complained about a small, plastic tree in their new house. The next year his father went out and bought a three storey tree – it had to be cut into three sections to fit into the bay windows on each floor.
The son’s face was a picture 🙂
I would do a weird tree, but that’s how my family rolls. If I had a tree, it would probably have a lot of kawaii and geeky ornaments, along with sentimental ones from travel/life events. Just be careful what you hang because cats usually love trees that the humans have filled with dangling toys, and that one looks like a lovely kitty playground. I’d go with shatterproof to be safe. And no tinsel. It is not lovely when cats eat tinsel.
Ohhhh so jealous of your tree! We have a hodgepodge but usually always in a traditional style! I’ve made traditional German Strohsterne and I make ‘recycled icicles’ too. Kid has made a chosen bits each year and so it goes on! We have a wee Christmas village too .. which has actually become two this year because we’ve now got a large bay window sill too ?? might get slightly carried away!
Michaels Craft stores have very large plastic ornaments, I buy them at their after Christmas sale but I’m sure they are in stock now. Hodge Podge with ornaments that have meaning are the best! We buy an ornament on every trip we go on as a family and another to celebrate anything big that happened that year. Love your tree!
This year our Walmart has a tree set up in the lobby area that has HUGE multicolored lights on it….. I mean the bulbs are like 6-8 inches long…… They are adorable….. Don’t know what they sell for, but I’m so tempted.
Morag McDermott says
What a fab tree!!! No matter what I hope you all just enjoy it.
I love traditional rather than themes for my tree. I wouldn’t worry to much about the tree drying out. I’ve had that happen before and although needles have come off the tree enough have stayed on to get through the holiday season. However, when you are taking the decorations off all bets are off. You end up finding pine needles in May
As for number of baubles I think as long as you have a reasonable amount of lights (coloured in this house) and space your ornaments evenly it’ll look fab.
Good luck and have fun
My tree just has whatever ornaments and tinsel I like the look off. Not coordinated at all but stuff I like so I figure that’s what matters.
Since you have pets and the tree is quite wide, I’d go for shatterproof, especially on the lower branches where people might brush against it on accident. That’s one lesson we learned form 18 years of owning cats. The other thing (and this is purely personal preference) would be to not overload the tree. I like it much better if there’s still plenty of tree visible, rather than it drowning in decorations like in pictures above. (This also makes it easier to cover a large tree, and is the most common way to decorate trees around here.) And for the traditional or weird question… If you have a strong theme going in the space the tree is in, I’d go with a similar theme for the tree, or it might look out of place. In any case, I hope you have fun decorating the tree and it stays green and fresh until Christmas, and that you get to celebrate wonderful holidays!
Corner tree means you don’t have to decorate the back quarter. Love that on a big tree.
You & PB are my 2 favorite authors, got confused for a moment and thought “Shoe Ornaments”. lol
Think the idea of anchors & 2″ wide ribbon are good to fill the volume. Then decorate the rest however you want. Decide what you’d like to see on “your” tree. Yes, you want it to look beautiful, but I like the idea of also having things that have special / personal meaning for you & yours.
Shatter proof. You will drop/knock them down while decorating. And Pinterest is your friend for themes. I spent this lunchtime explaining to a work friend exactly how to handle tree buying and decorating (apparently his girlfriend is notoriously bad at buying things that aren’t dolls house sized).
This is coming from an essentialist, but here goes:
You have a gorgeous living tree. It looks beautiful just standing there.
The decorated tree with the fake glittery poinsettias may as well have pasted on a wall –You can’t see the tree! I would string the lights you have sparingly through the tree, turn it on, and live with it for a couple of hours. If that’s enough light, then put on the decorations you have, again sparingly, with an eye to bringing out the beauty of the tree. The tree is the star of the show. all the rest is just to support the star. Imagine if you wrote a book with every character being just as prominent as the he-hero and she-hero. You would have chaos, like that fake poinsettia disaster.
I just saved myself about $5,000 in a kitchen make-over because some idiot had taken almond cabinet doors that were designed to be without door knobs and drilled them all unevenly and then screwed on frilly little white ceramic knobs with itty-bitty flowers on them. That only emphasized the odd choice of color and scale of the knobs and the fact that the holes were not drilled uniformly.
My husband and I discussed what we didn’t like and found that it was simply the yellowish almond color of the cabinets and the knobs. So I simply removed the knobs, and filled the holes, and picked a lovely shade of pale gray that plays nicely with the appliances and the surrounding living and dining room walls, We’r loving it, and it was so easy and so much more fun than just throwing money at it.
If you keep thinking of the tree as the essential part of all your Christmas decorations and respect its beauty, the project will go so smoothly you will be amazed the lack of stress and the fun you had with it.
I meant to agree with Lacrima but forgot the reply button.
Also, I wonder if you can carefully mist the tree, especially while it is still in all it’s nude glory.
Trisha C. says
It is GORGEOUS and I’m so jealous!!! And I get the real vs fake tree, but a fake tree can be reused for many years….and since you have a bigger house, you could maybe put up more than 1 tree. ?☺️ (Sorry Gordon!)
As for ornaments, if you have to worry about animals getting into them, then go with shatterproof. If it free reign, use what you have then add others. TJMaxx is a great place for different ornaments, but at least around here, the boxes are single to triple ornaments per box….no big multiples. I don’t live near one now, but Dillard’s always has gorgeous and amazing ornaments. My gf does colored themed trees….she switches between 2 every other year. One theme is hot pink and lime green….it’s beautiful, and the next year it will be red and green. But she still manages to add in the ornaments she received as gifts or that her kids made….just the primary ribbons and some bigger ornaments are those colors.
Since we were military, we have a mix mash or ornaments from all over as well as ones my mom started buying me when I was in high school. I try to buy a dated ornament for big events if that year….kids births, buying our first house, first year living in a country and/or state….that kind of thing. Plus I’ve started to buy ornaments for the kids so they can have something when they move out.
Good luck and I can’t wait to see the finished product(s)!!!! ??
Lisa JG says
What a canvas!
I like to use a crap ton of lights. When seen through the window at night, my tree confuses low-flying aircraft. So I suggest loading your tree with all the lights you have, including all the strands you talked yourself out of last time. Layer on all the ornaments you feel sentimental about (I have a startling number of Enterprises), and then you’re ready to take a picture and GO SHOPPING! If you’re inclined to shop online, Bronner’s does lovely hand-painted ornaments.
Can’t wait to see the final product. Hopefully Santa brings you some yummy yarn since you’ve been so good this year.
Susan K Nagata says
Wow…that’s a big damned tree :O My mom used to pour 7-up in the tree base. Said it helped keep the tree fresh. Seemed to work 🙂 As for decorating, why not have a family discussion? Then you can decide whether to go traditional or weird 😉
Susan K Nagata says
I forgot to ask. Are your pets going to be fascinated & just look or are your cats going to climb the tree? If the answer is Yes to the second question I might suggest non-fragile ornaments.
I go traditional. I have many glass ornaments collected over the years (mostly Old World Christmas brand), and I love colored lights (never blinking). I did update my lights to LEDs, because they stay cool and are such clear, bright colors. I don’t use tinsel or garland, just lots and lots of lights and colorful ornaments.
I think it usually takes a few days for trees to start to take up water, or that’s been my experience.
Can’t wait to see the finished product!
Coordinated colors are the best! I love pick up large flowers at a craft store… they take up room and are so pretty! I do black, red and silver for my colors. I’ve even found black and white flowers for my tree (with tasteful glitter of course). I recently upgraded my tree size and had to purchase more flowers. Great for taking up space!
I love adding black decorations to the tree because it fills space with something prettybut is more subtle and then the red and silver can really shine. 🙂
Ribbon is a must too! Great space filler.
Wauw. A lovely tree.
Our tree is the same year after year -my grandmothers glass ornaments, mostly silverbells and some newer glassornaments, we use real candles for Christmas eve -and thats why it is getting inside the 22. Otherwise it would be to dry.
Its Common to use real candles in Denmark -its Dark aproximately 17 hours a day around Christmas -so light is appreciatet.
Ana María says
I love Christmas ornaments. My husband and I started buying them on our honeymoon, and always buy one or two every time we go on a trip as our souvenir. Something really nice and that will remind us of our trip. We also buy ornaments, a couple, yearly. Quality over quantity, although also fun things or whimsical as well. Many are very personal. I can remember where I bought most of them. The collection changed after our daughter was born and she added many handmade ones. We have many ornaments. Can never use them all in a tree in a single year. Anyway, I’d vote for eclectic. Maybe use what you have and have fun adding to your collection a little at a time. When I didn’t have enough at the beginning, I decorated with homemade cookies, and candy.
As for lights, we’ve had multicolored trees lately, but my favorite color is blue, and I’ve made it all blue lights, which was beautiful. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I made it all pink lights. My only rule is I hate blinking lights.
Whatever you do, the tree is stunning. Not only the perfect size for the room, but beautiful shape. Have fun!
I agree with all those who commented on the “making memories” ornaments. Also, your family is talented, and you have a sense of humor… the second is perhaps most important. The point is to make memories, not grumpies.
Any craft store–even Walmart–will have ribbon and wire so you can make bows, even if you don’t make anything else. It’s fun to do, too, and almost impossible to botch simple ones, though you can also go nuts if you’re creative. And that is a huge honkin tree, so you’ll need filler. Bows fill good.
For me, this is the first Christmas with a new cat, and we’re currently fighting the “don’t climb the tree war” with the kitten. >.<
My mother-in-law has the magazine style tree: gold and white with the occasional bit of color. Every ornament has a specific place on the tree, and she remembers it’s location year after year. It’s pretty and she loves it.
I do what my mom called “the scrapbook tree”. There is an ornament on the tree representing family members (cowboy boot for my grandfather, a small John Deer tractor for my father-in-law, a test tube for my dad, etc). Mom always had a bird on the tree so I have a peacock ornament. We have ornaments from our travels, or things from our travels that I’ve turned into ornaments (like a small fish fossil from Lebanon). Since my mom passed my dad doesn’t put up a tree, so my sister and I divided up those ornaments. (I have the paper plate angel I made in first grade and the bells mom collected.)
My mom would use a thick ribbon garland to help give the tree a unified look, I use colored balls of varying sizes.
I love that I can point to every ornament and tell a story: that’s the Spider-Man ornament that hung from my bed as a kid, this the ornament grandma got for your first Christmas, that ribbon was on the chocolate box your dad hid my engagement ring in when he proposed, etc.
Pat Sciarini says
Beautiful tree! Hodgepodge of memories, along with new things, new house, new year. Just make it what you want!
Suzann Schmid says
I love a tree that is decorated with your family memories. Colored lights with a few strings of white for twinkle. I would make sure to have lots of lights. If you want to do a theme with personal ornaments, pick big ornaments in jewel tones. Enjoy! What a gorgeous tree.
I have many cats and 4 dogs. I don’t “do” breakable ornaments. My last tree was a combination of lights, colored strings of shiny PLASTIC red, green, gold, and silver beads, plastic ornaments and Christmas themed PET TOYS!!! That way, anything knocked off the tree didn’t shatter unde kitty paws of doom 🙂 And if a rambuctious dog knocked the tree over, the tree and ornaments survived.
Putting the tree and decoration is my husband and girls thing. But we let our kids pick out a new ornament each year to put on the tree, so ours looks like little kids decorated it. We have a mix of Star Wars and Princesses and farm animals, etc. Remember that it’s super fun to decorate but not so much to take down. Do whatever makes you happy. It’s yours – own it. =)
First off, that is a gorgeous tree!
Personally, I like hodgepodge trees. Ours is a mix of everything from Italian hand-blown glass ornaments that cost $60 a piece that are as old as me, to cheap ones of local sports teams, to hand-made ones my kids do up at school each year, to ornaments we pick up when we travel, to, I kid you not, a one-eyed reindeer made from a dog biscuit and pipe cleaners that somebody gave me when I was in third grade. 0_o Each decoration is a memory and putting up the tree is something our whole family looks forward to year after year. As long as you make it your own, there is no wrong way. Just have fun!
Sara R. says
I always like a tree that is a hodge podge of all the sentimental ornaments collected over the years. When my youngest was 5 or so, we starting doing handmade or gifted ornaments only. Now every year we make a handful of new ornaments and we have the joy of unwrapping all the last nine years’ ornaments. I’m no longer strict about only handmade, though. I will buy an ornament if it catches my eye.
Whatever makes you happy, as the large tree apparently does.
Would it work to use net lights on an indoor tree, if you tucked the wires back a bit?
I’m a condo-dweller and decorate a shared patio fence.
I do appreciate other people’s trees, especially because [come Epiphany] I no longer have to unwrap the lights and vacuum the needles…
I like the idea of the large tree being filled with bright lights – no ornaments, just millions of lights. And then a smaller tree filled with family ornaments.
Cynthia Olsen says
Magnificent tree! It looks like a noble fir (which I like a lot). I say go for a variety of ornaments and multicolored lights. That way you can incorporate sentimental ornaments from previous years. If you do want large plastic ornaments, I’ve seen some nice packs at Home Depot. I think they are meant for outdoor trees, but your tree would be beautiful with them, too.
Please post a finished tree for us!
We put literally all of the ornaments we have on our tree. My husband and I have only been married for 3 years next month so there aren’t a lot of ornaments, but our tree always looks like a crazy hodge podge of ornaments; the generic ones our parents bought us when we got married, the more personal ones we pick out every year, the one our son picked out for his very first Christmas… It always makes me smile to see our hodge podge of a Christmas tree. I do agree with others who have said no blinking lights though; my sister has a seizure disorder and we can’t have our tree on when she’s over if they blink because she’s so sensitive to it. Also, the box might say shatterproof but I have an 18 month old who says shatterproof is a lie lol; I would go with whatever is pretty and makes you smile. 🙂
The simple solution is to get another tree and try both. 🙂
My mother does the plastic tree thing (I hate them personally), but she does put up 14 trees in the house, all by theme. I know she just bought another one, I am not sure where she will shoehorn it in next year. The themed ones in the bedrooms also get a door hanging with matching ornaments and matching decorations around the room, some including on the walls. Here are a couple of examples of her Mardi Gras room from our time in New Orleans.
Odd, it posted while I was still typing and didn’t include the picture.
14 trees! I live in NYC in an apartment. Our Christmas decorations are a wreath for the door and a couple for the coffee table. Just no storage space available for something that is only displayed a few weeks a year – so we live vicariously through others 🙂
You should see the outside. They live in several hundred acres and she goes nuts. People come from 35 miles away in town to tour the house.
If you have a florist wholesale area in a nearby city, some of those wholesalers will sell retail as well. I always found an amazing range of reasonably priced ornaments (and poinsettias). A local florist should be able to tell you if such an option is available to you and the individual websites generally clarify if that store allows the general public to shop.
Go eclectic. The joy is in having the tree and being together and remembering the stories about the ornaments and past holidays. I have many kinds of ornaments. Star Wars. Sesame Street. Garfield. Spiderman. Some were made by my children. Some belonged to my Mother. Some are from Ross which has a huge inexpensive selection of Christmas stuff.
After my children grew up I did not have a tree because thought it was wasteful. But, I missed the lights and most of all the smell. So, I’m back with a real tree and I am the last one on my block( Mid-February) to put it out on the sidewalk for pickup.
I have artificial trees now. One is green, one is white. The green one has all the different ornaments on it, mostly animal themed. I have a bunch from this Yukon artist, Robbie Craig and from Patience Brewster. Because I have 6 cats and 3 dogs I am a bit concerned about how things will go with the bigger trees. The white tree is all coastal – aqua, crystal, sea horses and such. It’s really pretty but I got multicoloured lights for it and I kind of regret that.
Then there are the mini trees in my bedroom with the collie and cat ornaments and the one with red prisms. Also the ceramic ones…somehow I talked myself into having 4 of those. Oh dear.
Natasha Johnson says
Oh wow that is a big beautiful tree! My husband loves real trees for Christmas but we have to have a fake one or I would not be able to live in the house ?. I do fine with them outside but start having an allergic reaction to them if trapped inside with them. My husband use to hide my presents at his brothers house because he knew I couldn’t go looking for them with their tree there lol. For the decorations I use to be very big on having a theme for a tree and still think they are gorgeous but after having my babies I have come to love our mixed tree and the way they decorate it, the kiddos get to pick a new ornament each year so it’s fun to see the stages they go through. This year my daughter chose a T Rex one (she wants to be a paleontologist) and my son chose a gingerbread house ( he loves gingerbread men I think it has to do with him also being a ginger lol).
Hobby lobby, Micheal’s and the at home store have really good Christmas decorations.
My mom-in-law has made or bought our twins ornaments every year so we have a very eclectic mix of ornaments. Our tree is always colored lights (with a strand or two of white lights run down the trunk to lighten the interior) with a hodgepodge of memories on every strand. Some years I load it down, some years not so much. Our guys are about to add their ornaments to their own households (as they are 29) so I’m not sure what the future holds for our tree but it will be real. It may become a star trek tree because I’ve gotten my husband a star trek ornament since they started making them so we have a lot of those. Ha, and almost all of them make a noise when the lights go on. Sounds like we have the whole crew of the Enterprise talking at once. Putting up the fake tree in a fun space with a theme might be give everyone a chance to be silly.
Oh, and Big Lots will typically have a big assortment of lights at decent prices too. You are gonna need a lot of lights for that big gorgeous tree!
April White says
You can buy a packet of Christmas tree preservatives that you add to the water each time you water the tree. We only keep our live tree for two weeks but it looks as fresh on the day we take it down as it does on the day we put it put it up.
Get some green fence material, cut a circle out of it. Cut the center out of the circle large enough to accommodate the trunk of the tree. Cut through the circle from outer edge to inner and put it in the tree. This helps to stop cats climbing up the trunk.
We have 4 girls, so lots of little stuffed animals around. So we put up white lights, my blue ornaments, silver beads (all things bought pre-kids), then fill spaces with handmade things, reindeer candy canes, stuffed animals, and small toys like matchbox cars. So it’s a theme that went sideways.
But doesn’t matter anymore. Can’t do lights because we love our (stupid) cat who chews through cords, and only things that can survive being knocked off and bartered around can go on the tree. And with him, every day is tree decorating day.
My brother has a Star Wars themed tree. Hallmark sells a bunch of ornaments and even has a Death Star tree topper that lights up and plays music. The kids love it.
ohhhhh i loooove this!!
I love a good traditional tree but with a twist. This year it was foxes. One way to save on ornaments is to make some. I particularly like using oven bake clay and cookie cutters to make fun ornaments. It lets people enjoy baking Christmas “cookies” without having to actually eat a ton of cookies later. Also if they break you can always make more the next year almost like a tradition. Maybe one of these days we will recycle our fake tree and go for a live but until then we will get the most use out of it we can.
JoAnn Arnold says
I’m a type A person. The lights are carefully strung. We have ornaments from Europe, a few antique from family, souvenirs from our travels, all in glass, wood metal, straw and whatever the kids made in school. The ornaments go on, small at the top, large to the bottom, unbreakable at the bottom (cats nuff said). No colors the same next to each other Etc. One year my best friend came over to help with the tree. I was unpacking as usual and suddenly realized she was just stuffing the ornaments on the tree every which way. I just keep unpacking. By the time she was finished it was the best looking tree I’d ever had. I love the hodgepodge look but I’m too symmetrically minded to do it.
Your new tree is lovely! I cannot wait to see it decorated. In my 38 years of marriage, I had dutifully collected Hallmark ornaments for each of my children, specialty themed fairy things, etc. Then we moved. We accidentally left the largest box of ornaments in the attic at the old house. Despite our pleas, our landlord of a dozen years refused to allow us back into the house to retrieve them (because they did not want to drive an hour to meet us) and my treasures were lost forever. We do not decorate anymore. I just don’t have the heart. We have a big family brunch on Christmas Day – that’s it.
Just my opinion, but themed trees are for commercial sites like stores and office buildings. They are (mostly) beautiful but lack the warmth of a family tree.
A “family” tree tells a bunch of stories and is filled with memories. This collection of handblown we got on that vacation and had a great time picking them out with my mother. These wooden ones we bought every year, one for each child, and hung low soncats and toddlers could look and touch but the would not shatter…. Stuff like that.
The mixture of types, sizes, and styles makes a tree interesting and is fun to explore. You can sit for hours with a cup of hot cocoa looking for the tiny memories, basking in the large ones and absorbing the warmth of love and memories reflected in your tree.
Dr Jules were-unicorn says
For us Christmas is not a big deal. For most of my kids lives, either my husband or myself, or often both of us have been at work. The kids usually end up coming as well. Last year I spent all of the school Christmas holidays in hospital myself, as a patient, being fed by a tube. This year hoping to EAT Christmas dinner.
However, this is the Christmas tree at my kids boarding school, for those of an English Literally bent, the house behind the tree is where the Bronte sisters and their brother lived.
I’ve never had or decorated a Christmas tree (I’m Jewish), so I do not have an opinion to give. I do love seeing the fruits of other people’s holiday decorating labors, though, and am hoping you post a photo (or 5?) of the finished product. Wishing you joy in the holiday season and barrels of fun with the tree.
Elizabeth F says
I have always loved live trees. It’s so much fun to go to the lot and pick it out. And the smell! When I was a kid we switched to a fake tree. Putting together the fake tree kills the joy.
I, like many of the BDH, use accumulated ornaments. Some are handmade, some are the Hallmark ornaments my mother buys every year. We use colored lights and garland and top it off with tinsel. It never looks right without the tinsel.
Your tree is huge! It’s awesome!
Yes to accumulated ornaments! Here in Germany we buy them on the many Christmas Markets, so you have all the memorys when you put them up. (Unfortunanately there is also a lot of hot wine sold on those makets (its cold) and so the memorys aren´t that sharp)
Go with what you love. You do not have to have a perfectly decorated tree that looks like it should be in a shopping centre. Have fun and go for it.
Christmas trees have been a big deal for the women in my family, because of the memories associated with the ornaments and the ladies’ tree decorating parties when my grandmother mother and I would get together to decorate the trees. It’s something of a celebration of life with 5 generations of ornaments on the tree ranging from handmade by the kids to designer wonderments, and old, old ornaments with faded colors.
I always have a natural tree. It has to be “perfectly” imperfect with spaces for the really big ornaments. The only problem with this is that some ornaments are really heavy (especially the modern ones and the antique look-alikes). Now I put up a smaller artificial tree for the heavy. I crimp the hangers of the really special ornaments around the branches to make it harder for them to be jostled off the tree and absolutely no breakableornaments below wagging tail height. Ater years of big trees, I strongly recommend anchoring the top to an eye belt in the ceiling or a stair/balcony railing depending on what you have. You can paint the bolt the same color as the ceiling and most folks won’t notice.
Lisa P says
I work part time at a home improvement store that’s not in your area, but I know we carry a large variety of large shatterproof ornaments. You might check if Lowe’s or Home Depot (or some place like that) near you carries these too
Tiger Lily says
I house sat for a few years while a family was in Saudi Arabia and the house had cathedral ceilings. They came home for Christmas and they got huge live trees that they planted on the property with the new year. It was a nice idea as they always had a reminder of the different Christmas times. Enjoy your beautiful tree.
Colleen C. says
I prefer a hodge podge but it’s because I used to collect the ornaments from our travels and we gave each other a special ornament ever year. Hobby Lobby has a ton of ornaments and surprisingly enough, both Lowes and Home Depot are good too.
Sue Ivey says
Wow! What an amazing tree!!
Whatever you do, it will be sure to be magic!
Can’t wait to see the final decorations!
Well. We usually let the kids decorate the live tree. It has no theme for us. This year we have five cats so we might be shopping for shatter proof ornaments.
We usually get small trees but large trees are for us screams for larger or you can do a combination of small and large.
Themes for Christmas trees are cool! Dogs, animals, dragons. I had a Victorian themed tree ( pink, red, gold, white) with little purses, umbrellas, chandeliers and shoes. Then we had a son. So we added blue colored balls, fish, sharks, and pirates. Every year we buy ornaments the day after Christmas when they are less expensive and then we have new ones to use the next year.
Storm Rise says
That is a BEAUTIFUL tree! <3
We always had a plastic one as a kid. Last year, at 50 yrs old, I finally had my first real tree.
We were about to leave the USA after 11 years there, and the kiddo wanted a real Christmas send off, so we grabbed the biggest, fluffiest tree the downstairs room would fit, hung the hell out of it with the prettiest ornaments we could find (including one unique one each for the three of us) strung fairy lights all over the room, threw fluffy blankets around the floor, and the kiddo and her mates spent the evening downstairs playing video games and having fun.
Those few quiet moments before the hoard arrived were the first 'real Christmas' moments I ever remember having. Pure bliss- and the real tree was magic!
This year, the kiddo is going back to the USA for Christmas with her friends, and I just don't have the heart to decorate. I have a 1.5 ft fake tree I use on my Market Stall at this time of year, so that will have to do.
I think I'll trow my energy into figuring out a Summer Christmas Dinner menu to match the hot weather here, and leave it at that 😀
Christmas in July! Some places, including where I work, have sales that month. We have lots of sales going on right now, but right after Christmas are the biggest! I usually buy wrapping paper and things for the following year after Christmas also.
Maybe you will start a family tradition with your summer event, but I hope you will enjoy the holidays with friends, if not family!
With my fur babies shatterproof is a must. My cats love to climb and the dogs tail will get anything on the bottom.
What a gorgeous tree!!! This year I’m on a reduce/reuse/recycle kick and am only buying decorations that have been pre-loved. Hunting down charity stores and rummaging through decorations of Christmases past has been heaps of fun, with the added benefit of knowing the $$$ I’ve spent are going to good causes and I’ve also reduced the amount of rubbish headed for the landfill. It does make for a very eclectic tree, but that suits me and my family perfectly!
Hang it with paperbacks!
I worked at a library for years and we had a huge tree that we decorated with miniature books. It was a very fun tree.
How were you able to hang the mini books? Being a bookworm, that intrigues me! Also, where did you get them?
Ilona ,my cat climbes my tree and lays on a branch yearly,…they make plastic ornaments that look real,no tinsle please cats and dogs eat it,,and choke,or die…I have a 22 lb woofer so glass is out …..
My plastic balls from grocery outlet look like real antique glass…really
I have lots of cool silk quilted ornaments too,although my dog does like to chew those….
My tree was under the power lines so we had to cut it ,a good 9 ft but not as full as yours…….Happy Christmas
I think you should expand in a way that works with the Christmas ornaments you have. Lots of families have meaningful ornaments and decorations – gifts from years past, mementos and heirlooms, special handcrafted things from when the kids were small. Those memories and keepsakes are an important part of Christmas, far more than any perfect Martha Stewart tree decor. Plus, it’s your first REAL tree in your new home. This Christmas is extra special. So I vote hodge podge, maybe keeping in theme with your traditional colors, and get some shatterproof decorations for the bottom of the tree in case of wagging tails.
I have a different theme tree each year. Currently I have a rustic kick going on so I’m looking for what I call rustic. Red berries, owls, foxes , moose, bears, swans and so on. I’ve got plaid going on with it. I even found some wood nymphs and fairies too. Long story short choose what theme you like and head to your favorite ornament shop and go crazy!! Oh, yes next years theme is teacups, I’ve already started buying teacups!!!
Rebecca D says
Love the tree!! We have a hodgepodge of ornaments. Many are hand made or decorated by the kids and many have been added over the years. We usually have a story to go with them. Some people might think it looks tacky but I love the randomness of the ornaments.
What a beautiful tree! Nicely done! That should be a ton of fun to decorate regardless of which way you go. Personally, I tend to the messy “put up as many of the ornaments we own” approach. We have kids and we tend to try and buy an ornament or 10 each year. But my house is kind of messy so a messy tree fits right in. The only thing I know about your house is the pictures you’ve shared, but it looks to me like this house tends towards themes like rustic, open, neat/clean. You have animals and the kids in your house are older. So I guess my suggestion is to do something cleaner and more themed. Maybe (as other have said) unbreakables lower down in case of wagging tails, but the higher ornaments could be grand and elegant.
I hope your Christmas season (whether it’s Christmas or New Years or anything else) is full of joy and family. Whatever way you decorate, I hope the act of decorating the tree gives your family a time to enjoy each other in your new home.
We threw a Christmas party the first year we were “Grown-ups” and asked out friends/guests to bring a Christmas ornament and voila! We were amazed at what each person brought – so unique and beautiful and perfectly “them”. And now we have a reminder/keepsake that we treasure some 25 years later. Also because we have such a hodge/podge, I put a uniting color like red balls all over to pull the tree together.
Large 4 inch ornaments can be found at Dollar Tree!! I grabbed 10 of them today. You can also grab good ornaments on Amazon I just replaced a bunch of old miss matched ones with a few sets from “Teresa’s Collection” they had a good price on the 150ct matched sets and on the traditional sets. You can also bulk buy the 4 inch ornaments on amazon. (I use amazon smile with the Salvation Army as my charity)
Your tree is perfect! You were clever to get one so tall that you can put the topper on from the second floor rather than trying to get up there on a ladder!
For really big shatterproof ornaments you might want to look at outdoor ones – some of those will come with lights which may reduce the challenge of trying to string lights all the way up the tree.
And I love homemade ornaments collected across the years. Have a party – paint wood ones, a salt dough ones, knit a few, use yarn to make stars, make some paper chains and add to it over the years. I love remembering friends as I hang their contributions on the tree and marvel at the craft work of my husband’s grandma (my grand mother in law?). She loved sequins!
Enjoy that gorgeous tree, family, and wonderful time of year!
Target is always good for, well, everything. Shatterproof ornaments are especially nice if you have small kids, clumsy hands/people, or indoor animals. As to going with a theme, it really depends on your taste. My husband HAS to have color coordinated decorations because he will go nuts otherwise. Other people might consider “my favorite ornaments” to be a sufficient theme. And, of course, make sure to choose lots of sparkles and glitter!
While I haven’t put up a tree in a while, I do have a suggestion or two about the water issue.
Try adding a bit of Sprite to the water or just a little sugar solution. That might help with the absorption issue. My grandmother used to swear by Miracle Gro but she could just look at a plant and it would grow. Lol!
I used to live in New Braunfels, and shop at the same Christmas tree lot! Now we are overseas and I am going to have to get a fake tree for the first time in my life, and that thought almost brings me to tears. But I want my toddler to still have Christmas in very hot sticky Asia, and I don’t think spending $400 on a real tree is the best used of my budget. Sadly. I think Christmas trees should show an accumulation of joy and memories – my husband and I get a special ornament every year from different places we travel and it is fun to see them up every year. If you want to do that, and use one color of lights, it still feels like a grown up tree but still has the magic of fun ornaments. P.S. The Christmas tree scene in the Innkeeper series is one of my favorites. ??
Jennifer Sweet says
I love traditional decoration.mi have stuff from my mother in law stuff from my kids and grand kids growing up a joke Birthday ornament from celebrity cruise lines and twin towers from trips to NYC. Beautiful glass flamingos from the Florida keys. Stuff from when we were first married. My bestie and I used to take a small shopping trip right before the holidays every year. I have something from the pentagon mall. A flying pig, a gorgeous fat pink ballerina, I guess I have too much stuff. 1950s ornaments from my husband. Just message me and I’ll send you one.
I prefer one color decorations, but with different shapes, structures, etc. For many years I collected golden ornaments and they match with our living room decor. However this year I’ve chosen some other colours – for small decorations for kids rooms.
But it’s your tree, your home, so it should be something you love 🙂
Katie Jones says
All the things!! I’m firmly in the whatever-you-love-stick-it-on-the-tree camp, and my tree sports different sized ornaments made out of all kinds of things. Because the ornaments are so crazy, we usually stick with all white lights on the tree, that way we can go as wild as we want on the ornaments and everything still kind of works together.
Since you have so much space to decorate might I suggest craft ribbon? You can get the thick kind in whatever color you choose for pretty cheap, plus the sparkly kind looks gorgeous with the lights sparkling through it.
I would say themed. Possibly a picture of the covers of your books with each layer, and each layer would have picture of your kids at the age the book came out.
of course the usual lights and garland, but an ornament with with the pictures. Might be a lot of work but its up to you.
That would be my thoughts.
I always think the “hodge-podge” effect looks more home-y. It strikes me that the two of you are loving, warm people, so to my mind this would suit your personalities best. Tinsel is a no-go because of the furries. With the height and the largeness of your tree, and since you are worried about it drying out, you could splurge on large LED bulb strings (C7s or bigger) and just go to town with those. Many of the LED strings available now have plastic bulbs instead of glass, and of course the LED bulbs don’t get anywhere near as hot as incandescents.
e smith says
Beautiful tree. Try Home Depot for large ornaments meant for outdoors and Walmart. It will be gorgeous however you decide to decorate it.
I vote to have it be fun and weird and unique. Jussssst like you guys. :p hehe
No matter how you do it, it will be perfect. I recommend a singing dance party while decorating with moderate alcohol and yummy food.
Angela F Seale says
I do a mix of shatterproof and glass..the shatterproof on the bottom. I also love doing ribbons spiraling down at intervals around the tree. I love the silver and blue but also have red and green on there on the meaningful or sentimental things. Good luck!
Lovely tree! Good choice. Shatterproof ornaments on the bottom, maybe save glass and fragile ones for upper half? The furbabies love to rub against those lower branches and I would think a lot of ornaments look like toys that might as well have their name on them! I have bunchatons of ornaments, but even so, going out ornament shopping sounds fun to me!
Anchor the top of the tree so that it doesn’t tip over. The vital question is whether you have pets that climb trees or have heavy tails. If you don’t, then absolutely go glass ornaments that will last for years and years and still look amazing. We always put up multicolored lights and an accumulation of 3 generations of ornaments, and I love it. So I personally would go with buying more fun enjoyable ornaments that you will keep and use every year.
I’m considering a smaller themed christmas tree too, just for the silly fun of it. That way I could have my amazing glittery all the things tree and one that changed every year. Have you seen the Harry Potter tree at Epbot? https://www.epbot.com/2016/12/harry-potter-christmas-party-photo.html
I love decorating for Christmas! By the way, thank-you for the stuffing recipe. I still have to perfect the amounts, last year it was too wet, this year too dry, but everyone agrees it’s delicious. My adult niece, who loves stuffing, said last year that it was the best she’d ever tasted. With an OMG thrown in.
With Christmas trees anything goes. You could use fabric from tablecloths, drapes, sheets or the store and cut it lengthwise to make into garlands. (Please bunch it drape them gracefully, I’ve seen trees that look like they’re being held prisoner-they’re so constrained). Maybe you can, some year, knit the world’s longest scarf to use as garland. I made a garland out of wired-together fake fern leaves and pine cones, which I then coated thoroughly with fake snow spray and let dry. Ive also bought garlands at Michaels with frosted greenery and used them on the tree. Be careful whilst decorating the top of that bad boy.
I love a hodgepodge! Try Etsy for ornaments – lots of beautiful, unique ornaments that you won’t see everywhere. If you search for clothespin and felt ornaments, you will see what I mean. I loaded up on new felt ornaments this year. Love the tree!
I just have to say, your floors look fabulous!
One thought is a themed tree since it’s in “public space” and have a smaller tree (perhaps the artificial tree, if you still have it) in a more family space with the hodge podge of personal decorations that have meaning to your family.
That being said, my favorite part of Christmas is getting as many of my kids together as possible, go get the tree and then they put on lights and the family ornaments. Husband and I sit back with our doctored eggnog and watch the kids pick out “their” ornaments and scuffle over preferential placement. Over the years, they have created a Santa Club where all the santa ornaments are clustered. My vintage glass ornaments have a safe space up high to avoid feline interactions. Our favorite Christmas carols are playing and we share memories of years past. So precious.
Here’s an example from a few years ago.
I like to start with a base of single or two different color ornaments, and then add whatever historic ornaments we have. We have collected reindeer over the year, so I consider the two colors (which varies from year to year and is brown and red this year) to be the background for the fancier ornaments.
I don’t put up a live tree any more, but I am terribly allergic. It always required me putting on long sleeves and gloves to decorate the tree, and even then, any place the tree touched me became hives. :/ I miss the smell of it but not the itching.
I personally ADORE a chaotic Christmas tree. All different colors, lights, and ornaments. And tinsel so much tinsel. And Michael’s has some really really cool ornaments this year.
Cats = plastic ornaments mine like to climb and hide in the tree. I like the none theme multicolored ? That is a huge tree more pictures when it’s all decked out.
We’ve always put up a fairly large tree. Each year we decide which color for the LARGE bows we would make and then put on the ornaments we’ve collected over the years. By making the bows all one color it made the tree look more balanced and less hodgepodgy. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We just seem to prefer it to look more tied together.
Angelina S says
We do multiple trees! Why choose? We have a tree in our family room with all the mismatched ornaments-the ones the kids made at school, the random ones we buy on vacation. We have always bought our kids a new ornament every year that they will take with them when they get their own place. Those all go on that tree.
Then in the living room we have the color coordinated “showroom” tree.
And the upstairs landing is a pencil tree that has the crystal ornaments that my husband inherited from his mother (and we have added to over the years). It’s all white lace and clear glass and crystal.
So we never have to compromise. When we lived in a little house, we did the “family” ornaments tree and the crystal tree, because to us, the emotion and sentimentality of it was so much more important than looking like a showroom.
I mean, that tree has little paper “gloves” that we traced from our toddlers’ hands, wooden reindeer handmade by my husband’s grandfather and the actual booties my kids wore home from the NICU twenty years ago. We will make ANYTHING into an ornament if it is meaningful enough and small enough to fit on the tree!
So, I say, do what makes you feel warm and fuzzy and only worry about the Pinterest tree if it makes you happy!
P.S. the picture is our little crystal tree! 🙂
I say shatterproof definitely since you have dogs. My tree is already up and decorated and my dog has knocked at least 10 ornaments off because she wags her tail constantly. Pulling shards of glass out of people or doggy feet would not be fun. I do have a few Glas ones but only In the top third of my tree.
Jane C. from New Orleans says
OMG! It is enormous! You may have to buy a cherry picker to decorate it! Since you probably will be buying giant trees from here on out, you may need to get larger ornaments and use your current collection to fill in. Enjoy!!
I always had colorful lights on my Christmas tree growing up! I like the hodge podge. It always made it feel more home-y. Macaroni ornaments and cheesing children’s faces don’t work so well in uniform, magazine-worthy decoration. In my opinion, hodgepodge is more fun. I bet you could find some fun ornaments at a Savers or a Goodwill or something.
If you’re interested in geeky lights (since you mentioned you probably don’t have enough) and geeky ornaments the site ThinkGeek has plenty. They have things like tardis-shaped Christmas lights, cat-shaped Christmas lights, etc… I’d also be more inclined towards getting shatterproof ornaments personally, because of your pets. Knit ornaments in fun shapes can be nice – I’m but sure where else sells them but I know Crate&Barrel sell little festive knit octopus ornaments. Hope this helps!
I absolutely love Christmas and getting into the holiday spirit. We used to get a live tree, but trying to get rid of the pine needles afterwards seemed a losing battle. We go back and forth, but no matter what we get we have trouble convincing the cats it’s not something that they want to climb. 🙁 I used to like the idea of all the nicely decorated trees that look straight out of a Home and Garden Magazine, although my decorating skills never seemed up to par. Years ago when my husband and I got engaged, we started trading ornaments on Christmas. It’s a tradition now, and is the gift I look forward to opening the most. It’s become a competition of sorts on who can get the best ornament, but each one has some memory attached to it relating to a vacation, or achievement or other life event. So I guess we gall into the latter category of a hodgepodge tree with multicolor decorations, but I could care less. 🙂 Sorry I was no real help there, but whatever you decide to go with I am sure will turn out wonderful and I so look forward to looking at the pictures!
Karen the Griffmom says
Love the tree. Haven’t been able to have a large one since we downsized the house, a trade-off for more acreage. I use lights, crystal, Mt. St. Helen’s volcanic ash glass balls, clip on glass birds, and the kids’ specials from childhood, always on a balsam fir. Permanent eyebolts in walls to fasten down the tree.
Back to making Russian teacakes – currently covered in powdered sugar. Decorate to make yourself smile.
I’ve been making temari balls the last few years in varying sizes – some with lots of added bling (beads and artificial pearls) They look great on the tree.
– And I make the cores with clothes drier lint wrapped in cotton batting and scavenge leftover yarn for the preliminary wrapping from all my knitting friends, so I feel very virtuous about the recycling!
Beautiful tree! For years I bought decorations to help decorate at a variety of charities. Lowe’s, Home Depot and Target are all good sources but don’t forget about Big Lots if you have one in the area. They have a large seasonal section and I’ve found all kinds of attractive, inexpensive ornaments there over the years. Have fun decorating.
Tyler Alexander says
Target has really nice glittery ball ornaments. They’re shatterproof, and 50 for $15. For many years, I did reds, pinks and golds, but this year I’m adding more color. I prefer a coordinated look for my main Christmas tree.
I bought this combination last year: https://www.target.com/p/50ct-ornament-set-70mm-wine-champagne-wondershop-153/-/A-53465773
I would go big ornaments. My parents had cathedral ceilings and that first year I talked them into big also. It was outside and near freezing when we put it up Christmas eve (my mother’s family tradition) and realized A) we did not have enough ornaments and B) we did not have enough lights. We read it that year and that christmas my mother was shopping on the 26th for ornaments. Good job doing it early so the tree does not look skimpy.
LENORE VILLA says
Try Target, Walmart, IKEA, JoAnn Fabrics and what other Craft Stores you may have in your area (Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore and so on). Pharmacy stores like CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreen’s also carry loads of stuff.
(It’s a beautiful tree and I hope it lasts for you. You could try ‘girdling’ the tree trunk half way around and see if it starts sucking up the water when you raise the waterline to immerse the girdled area. You may not have opened the pith of the tree but you could expose new live bark and sapwood to the water and that may lead to the tree getting enough water up its system.)
Just for perspective on the plastic tree – for two years when one of the kiddos developed ALLERGIES (note the capitals to denote the severity) and couldn’t be around a real tree, at the same time as we were moving into a temporary teeny tiny place, we had them draw a life-sized Christmas tree onto paper (blank end roll from the local newspaper) and taped it up on the wall for our Christmas tree. Luckily, allergies under control plus another move to a larger place equaled a real tree once again. And Santa managed to pile presents around the paper tree, so everything turned out OK.
We have been hand picking the special ornaments that have sentimental value then going with a theme for the rest. Growing up my Mother did hand made snowflakes and apples with holly. As well as enough white twinkle lights to light up the whole house. I always remember those trees because she would hid the sentimental ornaments and we’d spend the month trying to find them in the decor. She also hid our presents then send us on a treasure hunt Christmas morning.
We like Hodgepodge–it resembles our life, lol. Get decorations that are meaningful to you, Gordon, Kid #1 and Kid #2. We have ones from our kids’ universities, some that look like the cats we’ve had over the years…each year we pick out a new “family” ornament.
It’ll be fun to watch the kids argue over those when the time comes. Merry Christmas♡
I love this idea!
Michael’s had Christmas ornaments, lights, tinsel and everything half off. Also, lovely tree!!
Alex Zivkovic says
If the tree was frozen when you got it. It may take a day or two for it to start taking in water if you made a fresh cut befor you put it up it should be ok. Good luck and merry Christmas to you and your family
Dont be afraid to let a tree be a tree. When its that big and solid enjoy it for its beauty. Try decorating the top foot with the star and a colour scheme
Then go for the bottom two feet of the tree and deck it out.
We will often hide the smaller presents in the branches of our tree and a Christmas Day hide and seek. Enjoy
Ooohhh, this is cool! Taking it one step further, you could decorate in bands; ornament a 2 foot deep swath, leave the next two feet natural tree, and so on in whatever spatial increments are most aesthetically pleasing to you.
Susie Q. says
I have allergies, and breathing is one of my favorite hobbies, so I have had the same artificial tree for years. When I had dogs, the tree was sprinkled with shatterproof throughout the tree mixed in with glass ornaments on the upper branches. Garland, no tinsel. I started with a hodge podge of ornaments, but I’ve been decorating for decades and ended up with a theme. I always take the day after Christmas off and hit the after Christmas sales. I buy transparent glass ornaments only in any color or style so I have multiple shapes and colors and themes but the material is consistent. I have multicolor lights built into the tree and I hang the ornaments near a light in the same color which looks magical. My dogs died of old age, and I now have 2 cats. The youngest cat, who is rather small and deceptively innocent in appearance, Punkin (based on orange and white coloring and the fact that she is a little punk) climbs so this year, I’m going to skip the big tree and broken glass everywhere, hang ornaments from a light fixture which has decorative loops, display a few more in a glass vase on a shelf she can’t get to and settle for a small desktop tree with shatterproof ornaments that I picked up at Target last year. Dillard’s and Macy’s have for the best pickings for after Christmas sales if you want to start to establish a theme. Also, great food treats.
We graduated from tiny tree with mini ornaments to big tree and I let each person (5 of us) pick out 2 new boxes of ornaments from the store, then filled with sentimental ones and home made crafts (salt dough, paper crafts, popsicle stick art). I always do shatterproof/soft ornaments along the bottom no matter what due to cats, dogs, kids and my own clumsiness. Go with the style you want!
So we just moved and downsized, but for 8 years we had a 15-foot (plastic; sorry) tree. Having pre-lit plastic saved me from having to spend December eating Claritin. But—regarding the size and decor, Costco has beautiful, large ornaments like these that we bought several years ago, so I suggest checking there.
Bill from nj says
I agree, the tree can take a day or 2 to start drinking. As ling as you made a fresh cut before putting it in the water, it should be fine.
Lindsey H says
I prefer ‘Hodge Podge’ – don’t like the fashionable colour-coordinated look and to me the tree in red and gold looks boring. You could combine the two by having ‘hodge podge decorations and a large red ribbon garland as on the first tree. Given the sheer size of that beautiful tree, any small decorations are likely to be lost in the overall effect. I always buy shatter-proof as I buy individual items which I love and would be upset if they got broken. I do have some glass baubles that my sister bought from Disneyworld for me and three Murano glass ornaments that my mother bought from Venice but I don’t put any of them on the tree as I have cats who think the tree is one giant toy! Can’t tell you where to buy as I’m in the UK ?
Sabrina Negron-Tsang says
I use large poinsettia (artificial) to fill in some spaces. I am also a fan of picking two complimentary colors and sticking to that. I shop everywhere from dollar stores to Pier1 and Macy’s for ornaments. For a tree that big a mix of ornaments sizes also helps break up the green! So jealous of how beautiful that naked tree looks!
Chris O says
My neighbor and I decorate a tree for a local festival every year to support group homes for adults with disabilities. Start with lights and maybe garland, your going to need a lot of lights for that size tree. Large shatter proof ornaments can help fill space and if you decide you don’t care for them they can go outside next year. Large ribbon bows can also help fill space, then fill in between with old favorites or whatever you like. Kid 1 and Kid 2 maight find something on Pinterest that they or you might like. Most of all, have fun!
Maria (BearMountainBooks) says
The very obvious, and only sensible answer, is that you must knit ornaments or at least a garland that can be draped from the top to the bottom. Little knit stockings (miniature ones like those hanging on the fireplace) would be absolutely ADORABLE. Knit, white snowflakes–they will be stunning!
And someone above posted a very good idea about how to get the tree to take up water. It may not seem to be working right away, but it will usually take after a few days or using the suggestions above.
Merry Christmas. The tree looks beautiful.
Susan Reynolds says
Shatterproof is good. We had some glass ornaments but they break way too easily. A long rope of LED twinkle lights can be draped in a spiral around the tree. Considering the size, maybe many ropes. Dollar tree and similar stores carry decorations and ornaments. That said, a tree with many birds is fun–ornaments that is, not live ones.
I have nothing useful to offer, we got our ornaments during the after Christmas sale at Walmart lol but I just wanted to say, you’re so cute posing with your tree! My mom gets the same way with flowers she receives. Probably because in the 45ish years they’ve been together (divorced for 20 of them but living in sin now lol), my dad never got her flowers even once. Not calling you old! Just, your excitement is adorable. Like my wonderful mom with flowers ??
Also, Gordon is awesome for dropping everything to do your bidding because you made shiny eyes. You guys are freaking cute as hell.
I grew up with a fake tree, and to be honest, the “live” ones make me a little bit sad, because the tree is actually dead or dying. I have no issues with using wood products, and sustainably farmed real Christmas trees are beautiful and smell great and are a good environmental option. But watching the tree die slowly is just a slightly weird and sad way of celebrating for me.
Every time I think about having a cut tree in my house, I think about one of the tours I led in Alaska. There was an older woman who was either Haida or Tlingit (I forget; it’s been ten years), and when we stopped on the path, she asked if we were interested in hearing one of the stories of the local indigenous cultures (the area I lived in was a mix of Haida and Tlingit). She told us a story about how the trees would sing. I don’t remember most of the story – I wish I’d recorded it! – but I remember everyone closing our eyes and listening to the trees. And then I want to leave the trees uncut so they can grow up tall and sing for me.
Now, the reason I grew up with fake trees, on the other hand, is that my mom couldn’t handle the needles. Even with the fake tree, we would move furniture, vacuum, put up the tree, vacuum again, put down the tree skirt, and vacuum one last time before being done with decorating… and then vacuum every time there were “needles EVERYWHERE” throughout the season. If we’d had a live tree, she’d have been vacuuming 24/7 until February. I’m convinced that at least half of the needles she vacuumed only existed in her head.
Wow that’s a beautiful tree ? having never had a real tree ? I can’t advise you on the care you need to lavish on it.
Decorating a Christmas ? is such a personal journey for everyone. Just go with you heart – whatever you do will be amazing if it’s done with love.
I love Christmas ? I am greedy I have 5 dotted around the house and boxes and boxes of different themes so I just pick one for each tree. I’m always at our local garden centre because they have amazing displays and helpful staff to explain how to do things.
Please share a photo of your tree when it’s decorated ???
Wishing you a happy time leading up to Christmas x
Beautiful tree! glass ornaments towards the top away from the pets, shatterproof near the bottom when close to tails and paws, that’s what works at my home, however my tree is usually 1/3 the size of that one. Yours is lovely, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday
Knitifacts Laura says
Gorgeous tree! Turquoise and chartreuse would look great in that spot. Lime and violet as well. A mix of large and different size ornaments (not too small) will work with the size of the tree and add visual interest. Have fun with it! Whatever you decide will be great.
We haven’t had a tree at all the last few years. The grandkids are grown and we’ve moved down to southeastern NC to the beach, so we’ve spent Christmas at the beach, something that I used to love doing when I was a kid. When we did do a tree we went with an artificial one (sorry Ilona–but I have allergies.)
And what I used for decorations differed from year to year. Sometimes it was almost all hand made paper-pieced quilted ones. Sometimes it was glass ones. Sometimes just one or two colours. But there were always a few items that were on it year after year. The gold airplane made out of a clothes peg that my daughter made in kindergarten. The Snoopy and Charlie Brown ones that she and my mother-in-law painted the year that she was 4. The shrink-‘n-dink ones that she and my husband’s grandmother made the year she was 5. And a few that my parents gave to me that had been picked out by me when I was a kid and put on our tree then.
This year I’ve gotten rid of everything except for my 3 Little Kittens from Germany. They were made in the late 1940’s and Dad and Mum got them when Dad was stationed there after WWII. The “important” ones went to my grandkids, along with a written story of what they were/how they came into the family.
But, in addition to the suggestions that have been made for shopping so far–check out Dollar Tree and Dollar Bill stores (everything costs $1) because you can get some interesting ornaments from there too.
I hesitate to offer advice. I haven’t put up a tree in years. I think I could find the ornaments if I had to.
The kids wanted a live tree – way back when they were small. I found a nice little Norfolk Island pine about 3 1/2 feet tall in a pot. All my ornaments were too heavy for such a small tree. I found a set of stuffed ornaments at a craft store and spent hours making them. The next year, I started ornaments earlier, as the tree had grown over the summer. After the third set of fabric ornaments, I insisted that we branch out some and miniature wooden ornaments joined the felt ones. (Besides, the cats were having way too much fun kidnapping the ornaments. Not hurt, just moved…)
Then we had a summer heat wave and all the love and water in the world couldn’t save the tree. Pines were being sold in bunches, not one tree in a pot, and it was hard to get excited about them. They seldom made it past July, so they never got big.
I had to return to the work force when my younger child was 12. As all I could find was retail sales, I lacked much interest in decorating for Christmas.
At that point, I turned over decorating to the children. I have not decorated since. These days, my cats are larger, though I have two instead of three. My children are grown and sometimes do their own trees, if they are not traveling at Christmas. I put up a wreath or two and put presents under a tree shaped artwork.
Jan F says
I suggest a jewel tones color scheme if you don’t go for the traditional red and green. It would look awesome in your space. Large and small ornaments would look nice. I have collected meaningful ornaments over the years and all the homemade ones from the kids too. It’s fun to get them out and reminisce. I like a mix of homey and designer. Be sure to post the finished result please!
Roseanne Lobbezoo says
We had to give up live Christmas trees many years ago when my daughter developed severe asthma. We also couldn’t burn wood in our fireplace for the same reason. While extremely disappointing, we made the best of it by buying a top line artificial that looks as close to the real thing as possible. We set up and decorated that same tree for forty years and when it came time to downsize I bought a small prelit top of the line tree that looks like it came right from the forest. My old tree? It’s still going strong. I gifted it to my daughter. It still looks great and she is carrying on the tradition 46 years later.
As far as decorating goes, when the kids were young we invested in a mix of unbreakable and homemade ornaments. I placed small stuffed toys on the tree and the kids could take and play with them to their hearts content.
As far as my other ornaments, I have some inherited from my mother, gifts from friends and family, ornaments I made during my craft days, (dough art, cross stitch, and wood), and treasured ornaments my sister made about our family history, (a picture of my great, great grandparents, one of the boat they emigrated to the US on from Ireland, and a tiny book about our Christmas traditions.)
This tiny book is a replica of a much larger book she created for our family years ago titled, Christmas At Our House. It contains songs, recipes, and pictures of our childhood Christmas traditions.
I love Christmas. I love it for the decorations, gift giving, food, and family gatherings. Most of all I love it for all the memories. The memories of all the many, many Christmases past and the hope it brings for future Christmases to come.
That is a beautiful tree
If you haven’t started decorating the tree and can shield your wall and floor to spray it, get Wilt-Pruf, available at most florists that sell trees. If the water level in your tree stand drops significantly the first day or so you are home free. Check your water daily if not more frequently, depending upon the size your tree stand. (This holds true even if you can’t use Wilt-Pruf.) For 40 years we had live trees that only once started to drop needles early–but also once had new growth.
That is a beautuful tree
Can I just say I love the feel of your house? (From what little is seen in the pics) The angles, the curves, the openess. The light you get from dawn to dusk is probably like living a lifetime every day.
Hobby Lobby has a great selection along with Target and there are some cute ones at Costco as well for the larger variety. Crossing my fingers that your tree stays healthy and your happiness expands in this season of cheer.
There is a product that florist use for fresh cut flowers that when added to the water cause them to drink it up!
Floralife® Quick Dip 100 Instant hydrating treatment.
I have used it for years and my tree stays up and soft until Little Christmas!
Colors are a personal choice as you and your family have to look at it! It is beautiful any way you go! Happy Holidays to all!
Steve Lucas says
I live in the far north of BC Canada and grew up with live trees dad always cut us huge ones. We learned that water won t help tree keep needles so we used coke classic . cut 6 inches off bottom of tree and replace water with coke, you won’t be sorry, unless tree too old to absorb any water, i forget your tree lots probably not well below freezing to keep trees fresh.
Merry Christmas and thank you for the countless hrs reading your amazing stories
OMG!!!! That is one huge tree! 1st rent, borrow, buy a rolling set of stairs and a 5ft. grabber (they sell them at GRAINGER ). The person on the ground moves the ladder/stairs around the tree while the high up person strings the lights. Go buy all LED lights cause you mate an unlimited number together. Then buy some of that wide plastic mesh ribbon for a spiral garland. I have seen huge reasonably priced ornaments at Lowes, Meijers, Dollar Store, Target etc…. this year. With the 5ft. grabber you can hand lights and ornaments up without the high-up person having to climb up and down constantly. When you finish the tree please take a picture for the BDH. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I am the third of five kids. The first three are red-green color blind. Our trees were always a crazy hodge podge but they were bright and shiny. As an adult I am the only color blind one but I’m stuck on the no rhyme or reason method of decorating. Hubby has less fond memories of holidays from childhood so it us up to us girls to do the decorating.
Beautiful tree !! Our tree is always a 9’….and after 45 years of buying eachother ornaments, and receiving them as gifts…it is always FULL. For myself, “collected” ornaments mean so much more than just buying a package or them. I would fill in the bare spots with silk flowers or ribbons and keep to the ornaments you have an love.
Whatever you decide, please post a picture when you have it decorated….i would love to see it.
The “play it safe” approach would be to go simple and neutral–white lights, big gold and silver decorations plus what you already have. People will praise you for your restraint in decorating. However, personally, I would go to Goodwill or anywhere I can find a variety of cheap stuff and buy all different kinds of lights, all different colors of ornaments and then just spew them all over that big boy. Christmas Chaos–now that’s a good metaphor for the holiday.
Beautiful tree! I hope it starts drinking water so it will stays fresh throughout Christmas.
I like more of the hodgepodge look. We decorate with shatterproof ornaments and extra special ones that have meaning. Some we have made by hand with our four kids (cinnamon and glue, salt dough, etc). Others we pick up on our vacations and travels. My favorites are from St. Petersburg, Russia and London.
I also love the ones with pictures of my children.
I even made an ornament from the keys to our home (we changed the locks when we moved in, so we put the original keys to good use as a memory of buying our first home).
You could string cranberries and popcorn as garlands. But for less time consuming decorating, buy garlands or simply do without.
I’d stick with classic and fun colors you love, then add special ornaments throughout. And don’t be afraid to have plenty of green showing.
We do brightly colored ornaments with white warm lights.
Hope you enjoy your Christmas decorating!
We did popcorn on a string one year. It was great fun (stale popcorn works best) Felt like Little House on the Prairie!
My husband’s family always gets real trees, but my family always had an artificial tree. We spend the actual Christmas at husband’s mom’s. So at our house we have a shortish artificial tree that pops open like an umbrella and we stick it up on a coffee table for display in the bay window. It plugs in and has built in lights too. Then we pull out the Star Wars Hallmark ornaments for my son and the Disney and Barbie ornaments for the daughter. They get to hang them up and we add some twinkle lights to the ones built into the tree. I would personally go with non-glass because I get paranoid with shattered glass – even with a good vacuuming I start imagining glass shards in my foot. That is such a large tree that I think you need some pieces with scale mixed with smaller pieces. I think this year I might teach my kids to make some decorations (like construction paper chains and snowflakes). Are there color programmable LED lights nowadays? That might be a good investment so you can change it up with the lighting without investing in lots of different types of lights.
What about going to Dollar Tree and decorating your tree with artificial wintery flowers?
I second Hobby Lobby. They have great pre Christmas sales and also lots of make-your-own stuff. World Market has some beautiful themed light strings on sale. I was really tempted even though I spend half of December out of state with my kids. Merry merry and have fun! Thanks for your generous sharing. ?
I personally go with primarily shatterproof ornaments, even though my boys are old enough not to take them off the tree to play with and I don’t have pets. Inevitably at least one ornament gets dropped each year on its way to the tree and shatterproof keeps me from freaking out about glass shards on the tile.
We also have annual ornaments which we add to each year. It started when the boys were young and one year I picked up a couple of ornaments with the year written on them somewhere and you could add a photograph. Each year after that I bought a couple more and kept picking out a picture of each of the boys from that year to add to the tree. Those ornaments are our favorite ornaments and my goal is to someday have enough annual ornaments to fill the whole tree.
What a majestic amazing tree! Not sure because I didn’t read all responses, but we always had a real tree growing up, and it took a day or 2 for the tree to start “drinking”.?. Also…my dad always put a regular aspirin in the water, and our trees usually stayed strong until the second week of January. Hope this helps…and I really hope you post your decorated masterpiece!
I vote hodge podge, but, it’s your tree. I further vote, follow your heart. Have fun!
Can’t wait to see it!
I miss having a real tree, hubby & mother in law are both allergic. We used to go the day after Thanksgiving to the tree farm in Seguin, pick out our tree & get it cut fresh. Pretty sure the farm was flooded some years ago because it was right on the Guadalupe. I love my fake tree now just because of the easy cleanup & because I dont have to worry about my any kiddos (all toddlers) eating needles.
Growing up we had a set of apple ornaments & then various sentimental ones that always went on the tree. I now have to apples & they usually go up along with the sentimental ones we’ve collected. With an 18 month old we are probably not going to put the sentimental ones up just to be safe.
Have a happy time doing it however you want though!
You’ve started on the right track, so why stop now? You picked a live tree because you are in a position to be a good steward of the earth, and because that pine smell, those pesky beautiful shedding pine needles make your heart sing. Your decorated tree will be magic as long as your let your singing heart guide you. My tree is both coordinates and Hodge podge, which is quite a feat. Your tall tree reminds me of my childhood trees in a brownstone in Brooklyn N.Y. where most of the rooms had 11′ ceilings, but the parlor floor has a gallery which gave us a two story opening. Our trees were only limited by how much tree I could talk Mom into.
I have the trunk full of ornaments that my husband and I have collected since we were kids and the ones we’ve collected since we’ve been together. Then each of my kids has a tub of ornaments that they’ve gotten since they were born.
Our tree is always a base of lights and beaded Garland, then the collection of ornaments.
I also buy at least one box of shatterproof balls that only go on the bottom of the tree for the cats to play with.
I figure they deserve some fun too.
I read this to my mom because it made me laugh, especially the “shiny eyes”! She wanted me to tell you to pour boiling hot water in the tree well to melt the sap and it will start drinking the water. She apparently does this every year and I never noticed!
Your tree is so beautiful and Merry Christmas!
Good info was meant about the hot water.
Charlene L Amsden says
I’ve heard the boiling water hack, but haven’t tried it. I understand it is only necessary once, then warm tap water will do for subsequent drinks. Let us know how it works.
Racheal C. says
We started with balls and shiny beads, but over the years we added some fun ones. The kiddos pick an ornament every year and we get one on our vacations. We have Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Firefly, Aliens, the Predator, Rainbow Brite, Goonies, snowflakes and stars for family members we’ve lost, marvel characters, LOTR, Disney villains, Wonder Woman, ones the kiddos have made and many others. It’s a hodgepodge, but full of memories. We have such a good time putting it up together each year. Good luck in your search. I hope you find the perfect one for you guys!!
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Andrews,
I agree with Racheal. When I was growing up, all we had were our baby ornaments and boxes of glass balls. When I set up my first tree as an adult, it was tiny with only a few ornaments, but they were all different because I chose them for each individual. Now, some 16 years later, we have tonnes of ornaments and each one is different, and every year setting up the tree, we go through little snippets of memories to go with each ornament we hang up. We have Disney, Dr. Who, Star Wars, My Little Pony, Humane Society ornaments, etc. The only thing I will say about buying individual ornaments is I lean more towards ones that do have an Xmas look about them. For example, we have a Mr. Stay-Puft (who plays the Ghostbusters theme.) He is cute, but I would have preferred if he was wearing an elf hat or something similar.
I am happy you have a tree, and your home is lovely. Thank you, as always, for your books. Especially during finals, I am excited to escape into the world of magic.
Anna Strait says
I decorate with birds and bows… From a style standpoint I say stick with a two color design (like gold and red or silver and blue) for the ball ornaments and ribbon/bows. Then fill the rest of the tree with all the important ornaments from times gone past.
But that tree is big enough that you could split the tree in thirds and decorate each side different colors.
My mother always insisted on lots of lights, and I’ve kept up that tradition. Some prefer multicolored lights, but I like white in the background to showcase the ornaments – that’s where the memories and traditions shine. I put my topper on next – I alternate between an angel or snowflake. If you try to put it on last, you take the risk of knocking off ornaments. Along with the two complementary colors, I prefer European painted glass ornaments as a starting point. There’s also specific themed ornaments like snowflakes, santas, and angels which can be handmade, handcrafted, or Hallmark. Softer, less breakable ornaments on the bottom; or larger ones that are out of paw or tail range. The most important layer – the real keepers – are the special ornaments we collect each year that have special memories – each year we’ve been married; each family member also got an ornament each year; 2 pieces my son made 20 years ago in grade school; from places or events, etc. If I have energy left, maybe a layer of tinsel or garland. This is assembled while playing Christmas music, nibbling on tasty finger foods, with periodic adult beverages or hot chocolate, as desired. This has been known to take 1-5 days, depending on how busy we are. Be kind to yourself and your family and don’t let this create unneeded pressure. If you’re “down to the wire” ask family and friends over to help finish and you can share the stories that come with the ornaments.
Blessings and Merry Christmas to the AuthorLords and Book Devouring Horde!
I am totally team “random collection of cool ornaments” and definitely coloured lights vs single-colour or white lights.
I am in AWE of your tree – that is amazing!
The rule of thumb is apparently 100 lights per foot of tree – but if you like lights, they recommend doubling that! I can’t even imagine putting that many lights on a tree – but I bet it would be awe-inspiring!
I tend to skip breakable ornaments because of pets and now my nephew and niece. Last year my cats were introduced to their first live tree. Unlike every other cat we’ve had they were afraid of the tree. I saw one actually jump and run when he realized he’d gotten close to it. All ornaments were untouched. It will be interesting to see if that changes this year. This year my sister and I decorated her tree for my nephew and niece (almost 3 and 1). Everything was chosen for it’s softness and ability to withstand toddler handling with heavier or wooden ornaments on top.
Sherri L says
I say go for the hodgepodge! Your current decorations are attached to your memories of previous Christmas trees. Have everyone pick out something new to add to the memories.
Exception: low branches should have non-breakable ornaments. Because cats, kids, vacuum cleaners, and life.
+ Im totally down with this. Me and my husband love hodgepodge of everything on our free. Except in our family jesus brings US the tree so we are up until 3 or 4am every year…. We do like big trees. But the eyes of our little one in the morning make it all worth it. This year we have a toddler so on the bottom we will put things I wont cry over when they go booom? there is a manufacture of beautiful handcrafted painted glass decorations in the North of Slovakia… We spent tons of money there already.
My family loves Christmas. We always do our tree on Decmeber 2nd, my mom’s birthday.
Decorations! My grandma always did 2 trees. One was the “Fancy Tree” which had all the pretty decorations with ribbon and balls and beads and it was beautiful. Her other tree was the “Kids Tree” because her grandkids were enamored with it. It had a hodgepodge of fun decorations that didn’t go together, but did.
However, MY PERSONAL Family tree has always held memories as far as I can remember. My parents first ornament from when they married 29 years ago. Ornaments from when they went to Italy, ornaments with school pictures of us kids inside, handmade ornaments we kids made in school, snowmen from when we built our first snowman (we lived in AZ and went to Colorado for a wedding. We had never seen that much snow). Different times in our lives or favorite memories or something we love, we get an ornament (not every little thing, but the big ones). In fact my little sister recently got married. My mom got her a wedding ornament. She gets it when we put up the tree this weekend.
We’ve done two primary colors for years. Ours are red and gold, with white lights, but this would work with anything. We started with a bunch of different cheap shatterproof red and gold ornaments, red and gold bows, and gold ribbon for garland. This is kind of the “filler.” They are various sizes, mostly medium, and they aren’t the same brand, but there’s a bunch of them and a lot are identical or at least very similar. Then, each year we pick out a few new, fancy (glass or other material), interesting red and/or gold ornaments to thread into it all. I only buy new ones if I find some I really like, that are beautiful or unique. Sometimes it’s just one, because one strikes my fancy and they only have one (usually collectible). Sometimes I’ll pick up four, or six in a set. The color keeps it looking like there’s a theme, but there is all kinds of unique stuff in there. It gets more interesting every year, you get to keep a lookout for a few beautiful ornaments every year (which I like) and you don’t break the bank buying the fancy stuff all at once. Win win win.
Peggy Berg says
Christmas trees are about family and memories. Each year, when you put up each ornament, it brings back the person who gave it to you, or an event in a child’s life, or a place you visited. When you take them down, it’s a little nostalgic as you wrap each memory for the next year. It doesn’t really matter if you have “enough” ornaments; lights and tinsel fill in while you add to your trove. Make it personal to your family, and special.
You said it perfectly!?
I’m going to second Jen’s advice about using hot water. After the initial filling, I then let the water (which cools off, of course) get really low before refilling with hot water. If you gently squeeze a branch and pull and a lot of needles come off, they need to bring you another tree at no cost because it’s a lost cause and will drop its needles before Xmas. We had to return a tree once. Thankfully, we had only gotten as far as the lights when we realized it wasn’t drinking and wasn’t going to last.
Speaking of light, we use strands of white non-blinking lights and strands of blinking multicolored lights, alternating them up around the tree. We have the multi lights that blink in patterns and we use a pattern that makes the tree gently sparkle, enough movement to make the tree seem even more alive.
Home Depot has some great “starter kits” w coordinated colors, I breakable, for pets…my husband would tell you it’s all about the LIGHTS. There can never be enough. I tried the bow topper this year with long trailing spiral ribbons… It’s really beautiful! We live in an old house with low ceilings so shorter trees for us.., I have a tradition of buying o e ornament each year, last year it was the 2018 Guinness collectible…this year, for my daughter I got 3… A unicorn, a sloth and a narwhal bc she couldn’t pick one. I’m actually also on the hunt for a set of Russian nesting dolls.. My mom had a set she always had out at Christmas… Enjoy decorating!! That is beauty and your home looks so amazing.
Sheila Tan says
We did a traditional red and gold design, similar to the first picture you posted. We used nearly 100 large shatterproof ornaments, flowers, pine cones, snowflakes and four rolls of 4-inch ribbons on our 9 foot tree. I tried to include a picture but I couldn’t figure out how to paste it on this comment box. Glass is beautiful but incredibly expensive for the amount you’ll need to decorate that tree, which I’m guessing might be upwards of 150 pieces. I’ve seen pretty glass ornaments run anywhere from $30/dozen to $150/dozen. Maybe a mix of both? Definitely get large ornaments, the 2.5 inch ones were too small for our tree. The Texas State Capitol, as well as the White House, releases an annual ornament, which we started collecting once our son was born. 🙂 I’ve seen other trees where the Texas state capitol ornaments go back to 2004 I think and they’re all gorgeous, golden, and intricate. I skew more traditional because I get tired easily of trendy/unusual themes. If you like colorful though, then definitely go for it. The Austin Public Library has a wonderfully colorful tree without going overboard.
I don’t celebrate Christmas really – my siblings and I mutually cancelled the vestigial celebration that had persisted up until then about fifteen years ago because of reasons. A lot of winterberries and evergreen foliage tends to make its way indoors around this time of year though. And it would be kind of fun in an absurd way to decorate the pomegranate tree.
I do have fond memories of some of the decoration bits. Especially if you have a large tree – well, how many precious ornaments of great significance are you going to have, anyway? Garlands and lights and glass balls can set up a theme, and the precious ornaments can save it from looking like a department store display. (I still miss lighting the candles on the tree at my foster brother’s house… but that is such an outdoor activity.)
I’m also a big fan of wrapping and hanging gifts on the tree, or otherwise making them part of the decor. At the first of the solstice parties back when I was a teen, we decorated a hatrack, and all the presents had to be hung from it (it was the house rule – this lead to some pretty amusing wrapping and a very unsteady hatrack.)
Monica Martin says
I’m more of a traditionalist but I am not adverse to doing a color scheme. If I could afford to do it then I’d probably do that. We’ve just always had those old ornaments we’ve made in school or just ones we picked up and thought were cool to hang on the tree. You can go either way. Shatterproof is the way to go! We have a year old pup and he knocks stuff off all the time. He’s already torn up the tree skirt…so we cant have one of those anymore lol. He’s like a tornado…eats everything…reminds me of Kate’s poodle haha. Hobby Lobby has a vast array of ornaments. Even big ones. They always have sales so I’d go there if you have one near. We had a real tree once. It was such a mess and keeping it watered was difficult because we are busy people. It became a fire hazard so no thanks. I’m allergic to pine too so we had to go the artificial route. We’ve had our tree for years so I am only destroying the environment a tad. 🙂 You can totally do small ornaments or big or a mixture of the 2. Just remember you gotta take it down. Its funner putting it up than taking it down. Enjoy decorating and making that tree your own! Either way it will be a beautiful tree! XO
We always get a freshly cut huge tree and last year I went and bought the large Christmas tree lights instead of the tiny ones that go on a regular tree and I love it so much better. And we have tons of random ornaments plus I usually try to get a few matching bulbs scattered around the tree as well. But I totally hear you on not having enough of everything last year we got the Griswold tree and I had to go shopping and buy way more lights and ribbon and all kinds of stuff but I’m set this year! I can’t wait to see pictures of your tree after it’s decorated!
I’d say hodge podge of ornaments and then use garlands and new ornaments
to add an element of symmetry.
I’m a fan of colored lights and I’ve been collecting ornaments for 40 years so
I’ve got them in every material, size, and shape. They all bring back memories of where I was when I bought them. Use your family ornaments and then fill in with
new ornaments that share a color and add garland to tie it all together.
I’ll also second, third, and fourth putting non-breakables around the bottom of the tree
to keep your pets safe.
We also recently bought a new (to us) home with cathedral ceilings, and had our first 12’ tree last year — I am not going to let me husband see your picture, because he would immediately want your noble fir! We get a Christmas ornament from everywhere we travel or vacation, so that at Christmas time, the tree also becomes a memory tree of good times. As for ornaments, light colors, etc., Christmas is meant to be a magic time, when the world transforms – get whatever makes you happy and I wouldn’t worry too much about being consistent or a designer beautiful. Personally, we are colored light people, but white lights are beautiful as well. You picked a perfect tree – enjoy it!
Gail G says
Now that is A Tree! I’d go with all the people who recommend an Everything tree: the accumulation of memories, from tacky to fabulous. I miss the smell of a real tree. When I was little, one year my mother wouldn’t take the tree down until Easter. It was pretty tired by then but brings a smile when I think of it. Whatever you do, just enjoy it.
Don’t forget the yodeling pickle, origami animals and Hershey’s Kisses!
The last couple of years I have gone totally whovian on my tree. Blue and white decorations, Tardis lights as well as white and lots of adorable daleks. My husband was concerned when I got a weeping angel tree topper. They freak him out so we compromised and I found a spacey looking thing for the top of the tree.
That tree is AWESOME.
I too love natural trees. I am just 1 person though. I plan to get a live potted tree this year.
I saw a story on FB a few days ago about a Christmas tree farm, in the UK I think, that rents out trees in large pots multiple years. After Christmas, return the tree, it goes back out in the field, and grows in nature until next winter.
I love that idea.
Well, what makes you and your family happy? I admire the coordinated trees trimmed with a colour scheme and themed ornaments, but that just isn’t Christmas for me. I grew up with a hodge podge tree where every ornament had a family story. Then it all got wiped out when we lost our house in a huge wildfire. So I started again. I have new ornaments and stories from when I still traveled all over the world. I will always use these ornaments.
I have gotten cheap filler boxes of used ornaments from church sales and plastic ornaments from the Dollar Store, for the bottom reach of my cat and some outdoor trees.
I tend to not use lots of lights because that dries the tree out faster. Lately I start with white ones at the top (like stars) and coloured ones at the bottom – because we like them both.
If you really want to grow your tree trimming collection, run a giveaway for all your fans who send you a christmas ornament 😉
Happy decorating, and congrats on that gorgeous tree!
cheryl z says
We use to caretake an11 acre lakefront estate in the forest. Every year we would walk the property looking for our Christmas tree-how I miss that. My experience with commercial Christmas trees versus fresh cut, is that the commercial ones never drink. A fresh cut tree will suck up fresh water given twice a day for a couple of weeks, Ironically, I would go for a fakie because the fresh ones make me sneeze for the first few days, but my husband is emphatically a fresh tree guy. I love a variety of decorations, some go back to my college days working at pottery barn, my Mother-in-Law who died last year right after Christmas sent us ornaments every year, that’s 25 years of other memories. My husband buys new ones from the local hardware store which are things like paint brushes, work boots etc. My favorite was a snowplow (he has a snow removal business) which I broke last year. sigh. Christmas for me is the tree, Christmas music, Christmas dinner with friends and remembering to value those whom I love. OK and It’s a Wonderful Life, the Bishops Wife and Mr. Magoo’s a Christmas Carol. Cheers everyone.
Becky C says
If you do bead roping, put that on before putting on the ornaments.
What a beautiful tree! I’m a lots of white lights kind of giirl. We string them back in the branches as well as out on the tips which makes for amazing depth and beauty. We’ve never had anything larger than an 8ft tree but have both a theme, silver and gold, with all the family ornaments, which are fewer now our daughter’s have their own families, worked in. No matter what you do, it will be beautiful because it will be yours and the first in your new home. Merry Christmas.
I’m with you on white lights which I wrap around the branch from tip to trunk. This creates a tree-Shaped field of white dots, like looking out into the universe. But we’ve never had taller than 6ft.
With the size of their tree, I’m thinking the ALs should go for the larger bulbs; for sanity’s sake.
Virginia Milligan says
Well, We have the plastic one, due to allergies. I am not sure where the allergies to pine comes from, but have not been able to do one for several years now. My daughter and I stick to just a few coordinating colors with white lights. The past couple of years we have picked a theme and put on certain decorations and then the rest are plastic balls. (We have pretty clumsy pets and small children. Found out the hard way.) One year we did mardi gras with green, purple and gold, and we had masks and fans. The next we did peacock with green, teal, gold and peacock feathers and some of the birds. But everyone has their own style, just depends if you like classic (multicolored) or more modern (just one color or couple of colors). Get with your family and decide what everone wants. What ever yall decide will be beautiful, Happy holidays.
We decorated our tree in gold and white the majority of it came from dollar tree. We also buy our new ornaments and decorations after Christmas to get the biggest discounts and store it until the next year. We hardly paid anything for our wrapping paper.
What a lovely tree!
Wide ribbon and large clip on poinsettias could really work for the scale of the ALs super sized tree.
Can you tip it using a rope pulley system, make another fresh cut with a handsaw, and then cleanup the handsaw mess after the fact?
It is gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!
Wowee!!! I’m so envious. We have low ceilings. I like white lights for the background pushed into the branches for depth. But everything else is well beloved history. Someone mentioned Home Depot for a nice selection of “unbreakable” balls etc. I would check out Target too. Most of mine are after Christmas sales or old Hallmark. I’ve been wanting to try those lovely lengths of ribbon cascading from the top and Golly that tree would really let you cascade and make a big impact hopefully without breaking the bank. Have Fun. Now you have the house and the floor and the tree and TIME. Merry Christmas!
I’ve tried being fancy and making my tree “designerly” but I like it better and especially my husband likes it better over the top cheerful – colored lights, mismatched ornaments, etc. If you need to buy ornaments get big ones for sure… that tree is huge.
Team eclectic here. Agnostic on multicolor vs single color lights, but I have strong opinions on the type of light: incandescent only. None of this LED business. They’re cold and lifeless in comparison to incandescent bulbs. Very one-note, somehow.
Carolyn Houghton says
That is one splendid looking tree! I see you got the hot water guidance, I suggest wa watering regimen that includes brown sugar as well. Being the daughter of Christmas Tree growers I will remind you, your green baby is in a dry hot environment. Daily watering will have a good impact..as for decorating I urge you to go with what makes you feel shiny and bright. If you’re not into the decorating thing, consider asking the local Garden Club to do it for you with an agreed upon donation set up in advance. I’m glad you’re feeling better..
I recommend that you get a nice stash of either gold or silver or both ornaments. Then you could mix an accent collection like red or blue each year for a different look depending on your mood. Normally I hit the after Christmas sale for the next years color if I can.
If you have a Hobby Lobby or Michaels craft store near you they usually have a good selection and tend to group the colors together.
Also, get shatter proof ornaments. You have pets and probably don’t want to do the herd them out of the room to sweep up if one breaks. It’s a pain.
Amazon has large sets of ornaments. You can get them in one color or multiple colors, as well as different shapes and sizes. Many of them are shatterproof. https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=christmas+ornaments&sprefix=Christmas+or%2Caps%2C197&crid=37RFZG3Y1N0VT
Carri Kartes says
I want to send you hand made ornament. I’m an artist and I once had an ornament on the white house tree. A contest in college. 200 schools across the nation each sent 12 ornaments.(Bill and Hillary Clinton’s) The blue room. Got a nice Thank you letter and invite to the white house. I didn’t go. Single mom 4 kids.
Any rate of you want one I would be happy to send one. A Thank you for the enjoyment you have given me. Just let me know where you want it sent.
Merry Christmas Carri
Dianna Kilgore says
Be sure to check Hobby Lobby. They have some good decorations. Please show us the tree wgen you get it dressed. It will be glorious!
Catherine Reck says
I don’t usually comment, but had to say beautiful tree. We used to have a cathedral ceiling and bought large trees. I suggest multi color lights and multi color ornaments. To me Christmas was not a “themed” tree. Try Walmart, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby for lights and inexpensive plastic ornaments with sparkle to put deeper in the tree. They reflect the light and make the tree sparkle. Then put your nice ornaments on the outside branches. We have dogs and grand kids. The lower 1/3 of the tree has unbreakable ornaments in plastic, metal, and wood. The rest of the tree has the breakable glass and ceramic ornaments. Whatever you do have fun with it.
Nice tree! When we first moved into our geodesic dome, we got a tall tree. Like 12-15 feet? Decorating it was fun, though.
What’s traditional? What’s weird? My neighbors did trees in red balls or blue balls, all the same size. We did trees with all sorts of things on them including homemade popcorn chains and kid made ornaments.
Now, I collect glass ornaments, especially old or even antique ones. Old colorful ones and clear ones that look like icicles. The topper came from a flea market where an ancient woman was selling ornaments and I argued with her to let me pay more for the topper. She wouldn’t hear of it, and threatened to cry for me. (Dirty pool!) We also have some we got in Hawaii. Australia. Scotland. Some from my folks. We also have always had a cat or two. And the kids were young once. So we still have plastic or homemade/knit/walnut shell and googly eyes/etc. that are “expendable” that hang in the lower parts of Yggdrasil, I mean our tree. Some years we go all white lights, some years vari-colored. Sometimes there are a lot of swags, some years none. For us it is always a mood thing, based on the tree and what it wants, and the mood we are in when we decorate. But when all is said and done? No theme, and fairly eclectic I suppose. Or, the theme is our past as a family, and all the traditions we bring to this time of year.
I find our local Target has good deals on lights and the various extension cords for trees. Home Depot does as well. Our local fabric/arts and crafts store has great ornaments and garnish for the house. Michaels (an art supplies store) has ornaments as well.
Happy Holidays. Please post a snap of your finished tree.
I agree with the hodge-podge folks. Each of my collection of ornaments holds a precious memory. Except, being a bit of a control freak, that’s just too random for me. So I found that if you wrap the tree in a garland or two of some sort, you kind of tie all the hodge-podge together. And suddenly there is a cohesive whole.
(Oh, and for the lovers of cats-who-destroy-Christmas-trees out there – I know it’s plastic, but I highly recommend the Michaels super skinny tree with no branches, only bendy fronds. It looks like a Christmas tree, but kitty cannot climb, which makes me very happy.)
Jackie H says
What a beautiful tree! We have been buying a real tree for the past 4 years and now Christmas isn’t the same without it. We have two cats who like to get into trouble so we have a collection of wooden snowflake ornaments and stuffed toy ones. We put on warm clear lights because they remind me of candle lights and stars. We also hang bells on the bottom branches so we can hear if a cat is under the tree. Our tree is a shorter tree since we have to bring it up a flight of stairs, I am very envious of the tree you have this year.
Your tree is gorgeous! The trickiest part is having a good ladder and getting those decorations on the top. As for decorations, you can buy a few sets or matching ornaments. Over time you can add whatever you want. For example, we started with a couple of cheap boxes or uniform-colored ornaments just to get something on the tree. As we traveled we’d pick an ornament that reflected a moment in time (hot air balloon from Albuquerque), something quirky (avocado or favorite cartoon character), a school project (2nd grade foam ornament with child’s picture, and so on. Everyone can add something over time! 🙂
Colleen Whitley says
I love Christmas! So much that between the decor, ornaments, china and such it was getting out of hand. I come by it honestly: last year my sister and I went to our Mother’s and purged 11 large Rubbermaid totes of just Christmas linens, ornaments, etc. She still has 7 totes of Christmas paraphernalia so don’t worry about her and we donated the rest. So 10 years ago, since I had noticed I was becoming my mother I purged myself. I separated everything into 2 colour-schemes: blue/white/silver and red/green/gold. I divied up the kids creations according to those schemes. I alternate the colours every year and my kids seem to enjoy rediscovering special ornaments with the switching.
For your big tree I recommend lots of wide ribbon from Michael’s to act as a garland and ornament. It acts as a filler so you don’t have to run out to buy tons of ornaments this year. Shiny eyes lead to impulse purchases that can cost more in the long run. Take your time. That said, for a tree that big plain glass or plastic balls are fine as you can keep the special ornaments you have at eye level without looking skimpy.
Have fun decorating it. Don’t forget a safe sturdy ladder that is easy to move around: that way no one will be tempted to just lean a bit further to place something and have it or them fall.
I suggest a hodgepodge of whatever orrnaments you have now or have each family member pick a certain number of ornaments and mix it all together on the tree so everyone has a part in decorating it 🙂
I alternate my tree’s. One year the tree has multicolored lights and funny Hallmark ornaments, the next year it’s white lights and multicolored ornaments. But my favorite tree is one with white lights and white dove ornaments. My mother’s tree has multicolored lights with big white bows, white snowflakes, and so much tinsel you can barley see the lights and snowflakes.
We also put colorfully wrapped, but empty, boxes under our trees. That way the trees always look ready for Christmas. On Christmas Eve we remove the faux Christmas presents and replace them with the real presents. On Christmas morning we open the real presents amongst ohhhs and ahhhs. Once all the presents are opened, and mess removed, we replace the faux Christmas presents under the trees so the trees don’t look sad and empty. Christmas trees just seem to cry out for presents, real or faux.
Pilates lady says
Beautiful tree! We have to get tall trees are because of the high ceilings. I have no theme. We just throw on decoations, but first a lot of lights. My husband didn’t want to go out and cut down a tree this year. He wanted a plastic one. I told him I would not decorate or touch a plastic tree. WTF! We love in the country…no fake tree. What do you expect from a nerd from Bezerkley, CA? Sigh.
You are my idol of shiny eyes. I tried them with hubs and still ended up with a shorter tree. Must now go practice shiny eyes. Re decorations. The reality is, in my opinion, that it has to suit you. It’s a holiday decoration that celebrates the awesomeness of the Andrews clan. If monochromatic suits you then it should be monochromatic. You will rock whatever you choose. That being said I can imagine you guys decorating a tasteful but interesting tree. Us? We went for the put every possible Rando ornament on the tree keeping breakable items away from toddler theme. Meaning… glass up high and it progresses to less breakable towards the bottom. It’s all kinds of classy… or looks like a toddler on crack decorated it. Either way the tree is full of love so I declared victory.
What a gorgeous tree, I’m envious, lol. I ❤️ this time of year and decorate in the a-bit-of-everything style. Ornaments are memories to me. This year I will get to teach my 2 year old grand niece how to decorate a tree outside with edible goodies for all the critters, so looking forward to this!
Whatever you decide, it will be fantastically gorgeous, post a pic for the BDH and have a great time with your family.
Trish Henry says
Why spend on a lot of extra ornaments? Try putting anything that’s funny on it. Socks, scarves, action figures, cookies, jewelry, toys, Starbucks cards. It makes it super interesting and you can laugh quietly to yourselves as you look at the tree.
One of my close friends moved into a new home a couple of years ago and she decided that every year, she would have a different theme for her Christmas decor, based on the usual wedding anniversary themes.
It was their first Christmas in their new home last year, so the theme was paper, meaning all the decorations were paper-based. I know that sounds very limiting, but this House Beautiful article offers some ideas of what’s possible with that theme.
This year, her theme is cotton, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results. ?
Oh in my house we’re always going with everything we have. It is much more colourfull and happy. There are things we did as children ( I’m 28 and, my brother 30, my sister 14) and brand new things that we bought this year.
I love Christmas and our Christmas tree 🙂
My mother collected ornaments and beautiful items for the tree. It wasn’t formal, she just began keeping eye out. Personally, I do not like over planned and matched trees in a home. It looks to formal and like a department store. I like the good, bad, and the ugly on the tree. Family histories.
No matter how you decorate it, I suggest securing the tree at or near the top, especially since you have animals. Trees in the house can make a cat revert to its wild self and the bigger the tree the wilder the reversion. it would be easy to just put a small rope or tough string on the tree that is tied discreetly to the railings near the top. Could save a lot of grief.
My first tree after moving out, I was adamant would be color coordinated and have no figurine-shaped bulbs. Couple of cats so no tinsel, but garland was acceptable.
Clear blown glass ornaments, large & small blue and some silver bulbs, silver garland, 650 white lights and a silver & white angel all on a 6′ tree. It was gorgeous.
And all season long I lusted after other ornaments because the colors were sooo pretty. Gave in to temptation 2 years later and bought bulbs in other colors, and though all were lush, they were also matte. Sapphire, emerald, ruby, topaz, amethyst, cocoa and creamy white. That year I had bulbs both large and small in the most beautiful shades, and all imported from West Germany and Czechoslovakia (by this alone you’ll know it was decades ago), even more white lights, different but similar angel and plastic (but beautiful!) silver & gold beaded garland. Used very few silver bulbs and none of the original blue. Also gorgeous and about 6.5′ tall.
Over the years the bulbs I originally catalog purchased became more readily available (and much! less expensive) and were also available in high-gloss in addition to the matte. Added another size to my collection- there were now small, medium and large bulbs in both matte and gloss shades along with more blown glass and crystal ornaments. Looking back I feel bad now that my German Shepherd was banished to the yard for three weeks every December but I still don’t really regret it, not after he accidentally knocked it over one year and I thought my heart would stop. Oddly, the cats couldn’t have cared less about either the tree or dog. Weird.
The last year I had a tree, there’d been a horrific cold front that froze everything. Almost. Picture bringing home a magnificently proportioned 7′ Fraser fir and setting it up in the living room. Plan on waiting a week so the branches would drop and then decorating it. Sounds good so far, right? Then get up in the middle of the night 3 days later because you’re thirsty and seeing the stuff to fuel your nightmares for years to come.
Because there were spiders, people. Dozens of them. Large, very large, black bristly spiders merrily climbing all over my white ceiling and walls. I screamed. Oh my God, did I scream. So much, so loudly and so hard my ears rang and my voice was hoarse the next day. *I did not sleep.* The fact that the house smelled like Raid and every single light was on wasn’t what kept me awake, either. No. Knowing the house temperature had warmed the beasties back into animation and I had no idea how long they’d been active was what kept me awake. Where were they now? Did I get them all? <<>>
I was the only person in the store at 2 am buying CANS of Raid.
Can’t control the involuntary shiver I get every time I look at a real tree indoors even now.
I am scared of spiders too and despite being so much bigger (but also much slower) they win every time.
I hate to kill them and where there’s just one I chase it outside when I can. With a scenario like yours I would have screamed right alongside you.
We have spiders here called a Huntsman in Australia (some can be about half a hand sized incl leg span) and over the years the occasional Mama Spider has left me the gift of all her babies.
It’s very freaky to go into a room where you didn’t notice them to suddenly see around a hundred tiny baby spiders abseiling on their new webs from your ceiling. If I was watching it on TV I would have said “too cute”.
I can’t chase them all out and so the Raid makes an appearance then as much as I don’t like it. I try to chase them out before they leave me their children.
There is nothing like a Huntsman crawling across you windscreen as your driving alongside! I feel your pain Sharon.
Ista in Sydney says
Nothing like realising a huntsman is inside your skirt. I’m not phobic, but I took my skirt off on the street to shake it out. Grateful the sun had just set and it was a side street. Would still have done it anywhere.
See, you’re nicer than I am- you admit to not wanting to kill them. I’m of the mindset that if it comes in the house, it dies. Unless they’re little (itty-bitty) spiders which I’ll leave alone as long as they stick to the ceiling. However, all bets are off once they venture 1′ down.
For outside spiders I get wolf, yellow & black garden, funnel web (according to the enature site & others, funnel webs aren’t even native to my area), black widow, and some others. All of them large. Had one years ago my 115 lb. Shepherd would not get near. Sucker spun a web between 2 trees more than ten feet across & high and cast a shadow on the hill when backlit. I’ve never been able to identify most of them but avoided them all. Never ran out of Raid, though.
I did a semester abroad in Australia when I was in college, and my introduction to one of my roommates (the other American in the apartment) was a bloodcurdling scream. I ran over, thinking she might have somehow gotten hurt – maybe fallen while trying to unpack things on the top shelf of the closet? But instead, as soon as she spotted me, she shrieked, “GET IT! KILL IT!” I looked around and spotted: one of those massive wood roach things that were literally everywhere. And it was on the ceiling.
My reaction was basically to give her a look conveying, “I’m five-four and you’re at least five-eight. If you can’t reach it, what do you expect me to do about it.”
Apparently, she assumed that any chick whose reaction to a bloodcurdling scream from another adult, was to run TOWARDS the scary thing, must be pretty resourceful and also tough. She repeated her request in a higher pitch and a higher decibel. “KILL IT!”
I did manage to rescue her from the terrifying roach. But the day she discovered a gecko in the bedroom, our Australian roommate and I were laughing too hard to help her, and the German had to do the extraction (the gecko was safely relocated outside).
You can imagine her reaction the first time a classmate’s shiny new Australian boyfriend brought over a Huntsman he liked to carry in a jar (specifically so he could terrorize Americans with it)
I’m not afraid of spiders, but I like to know where they are (ie, I still scream if they startle me) and I like them to not be in my house. I probably wouldn’t have another real tree after the spider incident either.
The spiders are your Karma for putting your poor dog outside in the cold for three weeks just to have a Christmas tree. You could put a little tree on a table or something. The meaning is not in how you decorate your tree.
cheryl z says
I love my Christmas Tree, but I have to protect it from the doggies, so if I leave the house I put up an elaborate barrier made up of x-pens. Learned the lesson the hard way – One year when I came home from work at 3:30 in the morning, I decided it would be a great time to wrap the doggies Christmas presents. So while consuming a martini, I lovingly placed the be-ribboned presents under the tree and went to bed. The next morning, my husband found one of our dogs Gable under the tree, squeaking a new toy. Every packaged had been ripped open and Gable was hopelessly entangled in then lights. One wrong move and the whole thing would have come tumbling down. Fortunately he had a really good stay. Years later, I came home one Christmas Eve night to find to find my two girls snoozing on the couch, the Christmas tree and xpens smashed to the floor and Cooper was hiding downstairs under the couch. Now he does not go near the tree, lost some precious ornaments though.
Well then, not sure what I did to deserve that particular Karma because I had issues with spiders long before he was ever on scene. And fyi, my dog loved being outside and treated being indoors like punishment – he loved colder temperatures than the cats or I could handle.
Speaking of Karma, however, you might want to refrain from being judgey, but hey, you do you.
Judy B says
I think I’ll have nightmares tonight,,,, I hate bugs.
I like to keep a tree up till Old Christmas Day, because that’s what I grew up with, and as I’m over 70, it’s a bit late to change now.
Even if I cut a tree from my own yard, it will be unlikely to survive over a month in my cozy warm house. Some of the new trees look amazingly lifelike so very likely this year I’ll buy an artificial tree, and after reading about your spider invasion,,, I can pretty much guarantee there won’t be a real tree ever again. 🙂
Natasha Johnson says
Nope that would be one of my worst nightmares the house would have been burned down or there would have been a massive raid bomb that made the house unlivable for a month!
Kelly M says
OMG. OMG. No. Noooooooo. I’ve always opted for fake trees because I live in a big Christmas tree-producing area and know how many chemicals they apply and how bad all the chemicals are for the environment, people, and pets, but this story… This ensures I will never, ever, ever have a real tree! ???
Oh Man this right here!!! I am arachnophobic and yeah I don’t even know what I would do, it never occurred to me that this would happen when getting a live tree, because it’s winter and I choose (however wrongly) to believe that the little arachnids are gone for the winter. It’s what helps me sleep at night. 😛
Le Ann says
While I love looking at trees that have the planned, designed theme thing going on, I like my personal tree to be full of character. Reflecting traditions and the memories I value. I collect things year round to go on my tree. I buy inexpensive “filler” ornaments in interesting shapes. I finish the tree off with candy canes hanging every where. I have clip on birds, butter flies, dragon flies, mermaids (I sort of collect them), a starship enterprise shuttle (diversity right?). I have ornaments I have made over the years, gifted to me by students and collected as travel momentos. I guess my tree reflects what I am grateful for. I always look at the holiday season as a time of reflection. So maybe my tree is a little bit about that. A reflection and celebration of my year and how far I have come. I think your tree should be whatever you want it to be!
Now THAT is a tree.
I can’t help in the not taking in water department though. Maybe spray it for a few days before you decorate so it can soak in some water that way?
I am a bit of a traditionalist in that I like the decoration stuff to match across a theme but when you have heirlooms, gifts from friends for your tree and Christmas baubles decorated by your kids over the years at school, that all adds dimension.
Please post a photo once you have decorated.
I’ve had both types: color themed & “everything but the kitchen sink” themed.
I love both. I really like the comment that a hodge podge tree can be used to illustrate all the things you’re thankful for.
I live in New Braunfels so I’d recommend At Home for shopping. They have decorations set up by color. So you can wander in that direction but I’d bet when you see all the cool stuff the color theme goes out the window.
We used to have huge Christmas trees growing up and large shatterproof ornaments mixed with smaller ones worked great since we had animals and small children. But the more important thing to ask yourself is, what makes me happy on this tree? Even a weird mix of random colours and ornaments can look breathtaking when only lit with Christmas lights. Happy hunting!
We have always had a hodgepodge style of decorations and the thing I love most is all the memories that go with each decoration and my mum , sister and I reminising as we decorate together. Best part of Christmas for me
l am amazed and totally intimidated by the size of that tree!! I also love hearing about all the different styles of trees and traditions from the BDH.? But as to your question of where to buy ornaments you might check out Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland (https://www.Bronners.com). It is billed as the world’s largest Christmas store, which I totally believe. Located in Frankenmuth, MI it is about the size of 5 Home Depots and has anything and everything related to Christmas. Their ornament collection is mindblowing!!
Katie F says
Since I live near Bronner’s I can also tell you that they have a TON of stuff in stock that doesn’t make it to their website. And I am in love with Egyptian glass ornaments that I find there.
Karen the Griffmom says
I go there with my granddaughter and my co-mother-in-law every year. It’s glorious place to find clip-on blown-glass birds and Mt. Saint Helen volcanic ash balls.
Erin K Beutel says
Since you can have a big tree every year now, it might be fun to use cheap filler bulbs from the dollar store or Walgreens and mix in new cool ones, old memories etc. That way you can enjoy getting ornaments and slowly building new memories for the new period in your life. I would guess with this post you will be getting all sorts of ornaments on your next tour
Lynda MS says
I like the idea of interspersing beautiful glass ornaments with homemade or kitschy items. Every year as children, we made some keepsakes. We put cheaper/hardy items down below (we have cats). Ours always had a “beautiful angel” on top, because when I was about five, I told my mother that that was how it should be.
Hobby Lobby has Christmas stuff on sale. Other places to look are Michael’s, Tuesday Morning, Five Below, and Lowes or Home Depot. Many of these places have online sales.
Merry Christmas and thanks for SotB!
Susan Jay says
Hodgepodge = character = can’t be anyone else’s tree but hours.
Really? You had to ask traditional or weird? NOTHING about your writing is traditional. If it was traditional, I probably wouldn’t buy your books. I don’t think you really get a vote 🙂 Weird it is.
So, I’ve been listening to Emily Wilson’s new translation of The Odyssey*. And it’s made me chuckle more than once that I’ve found myself thinking how nicely the world of Roland and Erra fit around it… and in someways, make a little more sense considering the cultural narratives of different times and places. (Odysseus is such an asshole! …but an interesting asshole. And he’s late period, but the audiobook version just came out.)
How much history and mythology and background culture from many times and places is woven into the Kate books, especially? I suppose it depends on what you mean by traditional!
* Which I love, love, love both for her use of language, and for many of the more abstract choices she made in how to translate it. Really, I thought that I’d be listening to this more out of academic interest, but it’s just been pleasure.
I miss living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The best Christmas times were cosying around a warm fire while the snow was falling outdoors; and the traditional Christmas feast. And oh… the decorations all around the neighbourhood, both indoors and out.
Somehow, it’s not the same in sunny, hot and wet Singapore!
…and Fir trees are NOT grown in the tropics!
Send us a picture of your tree please, so those of us without, can enjoy yours vicariously.
Ms. Kim says
I like the theme of a cold Victorian Christmas (even though I live in Tampa). The colors and fabrics are lush.
But then the kids (even in their 20s) want to see the old familiar ornaments on the tree (even tho to me they are all hodge-podge). Since Christmas is for family so I put up all the ornaments they remember but then I put deep red felt bows and an old fashioned angel with cream satin garb on top.
OMG huge tree. :O Love it! This year we also have our first big tree, and we kind of went crazy and went overboard with every colour lol. It’s a hot mess, but it’s our hot mess, and it was a super fun one. Good luck in finding the right style though!
I love Christmas too and am in love with your tree. I am ridiculously jealous. I am a bit anal retentive and would need to color coordinate my wrapping paper to the tree. I have problems.
Sharon H Barrett says
My tree is a hodgepodge of ornaments gifted, bought, and handed-down, and I love knowing that everything I hang has a special memory for me. A Hallmark ‘cell phone’ ornament that my dad gave me about 20 years ago has a holiday greeting in his voice – a true treasure now that he’s gone. I think you should decorate in a way that appeals to your soul – the heck with what anyone else thinks!! Merry Christmas, Ilona and Gordon!
I love the cellphone ornament idea – I wonder if they still make them.
I’ll see if Google knows. 🙂 Hearing a loved ones voice after they are gone is a real treasure!
We do multi-colored balls and I try to go in layers of color. Starting from the top it goes purple, blue, green, yellow/gold, pink, red. And I try to match the ornaments to the ball color which doesn’t always work as we buy the kids a new ornament every year. So some color bands are filled with a lot of ornaments and others not so much. But it’s cute and I love it so it works out.
I get around this by doing 2 trees. The first is traditional, meaning hodgepodge of ornaments – new, old, stuff made in first grade – and multi- color lights. The second tree is formal. Only white and gold ornaments (ok a bit of silver), ribbon, and all the other stuff decorators used (found primarily at Michael’s- silk flowers, branches with glitter and pearls). This way I get best of both!!
Oh I forgot…only white lights on the formal tree. If you do LED lights do the soft white. The pure white look almost blue.
Jenn D says
I love love love real trees. We have the same cathedral ceilings, and we get at minimum an 8′ tree every year (I push for 9-10 ft, lol). My absolute favorite tree of all time, back a few years ago, was closer to 12. In the end, it had 25 strands of colored lights, and it had every ornament we owned plus all the ones I early-inherited from my mom when I called her in a panic because we didn’t have enough. It was gorgeous. A ton of work, but 100% worth it.
We’re getting our tree this Saturday and I can’t wait!
Susan Boyiddle says
https://youtu.be/igDEF5Uxelc We are making ornaments this year. We have somewhat domesticated a cat who was sort of feral but she came to us pregnant. So her babies will be a month old on Dec 20 and kittens and cats love trees. We wanted a safe christmas and it will be fun decorating our ornaments. We found christmas cookie cutters at a thrift store for a dime each. We overloaded on them.
I do the same but use oven bake clay instead of the corn starch. I can never get the dough right and clay is just so much easier as it is already done 🙂
I like a mix with balls and figures etc. I also prefer colored lights rather than white because they feel warmer and more cozy. Since we put a hodgepodge of ornaments up we pull the tree together by hanging pretty icicles upon the branches. We also use different size ornaments but use a gradient method for placing them in the tree. We put the smaller ones at the top and largest at the bottom. I need an artificial tree however because I am very allergic to line and fi r trees. Even their scent in sprays etc makes me sneeze!
My mother used to make ornaments for us all every year. She’s still with us although unable to carry on that tradition, but I put those ornaments up every year. Nothing matches but that doesn’t matter. Every ornament is full of love and a reminder of all of the wonderful Christmases past.
I love it! I read somewhere that the first Celtic Christmas tree was red apples hung as an offering to the gods. So that is where the green/red Christmas theme comes from. So I have all red bulbs (limited silver mixed in).
Love hand carved wooden ornaments as well. I collected a bunch of tiny angels that are hand made from Germany, got them in Estes Park, CO years ago.
So it is a Hodge podge of fun ornaments, Little Presents to discover! but only one color of bulbs….
Happy Christmas and have fun decorating!
I’m allergic to certain pine trees. (Possibly due to crashing into a pine tree when I was learning to ride a bicycle and getting some pine needles embedded in my arm.) Also, I’m sensitive to odors; many leave me with a blinding headache. That means, generally, that I’m not willing to experiment with real trees. I have an artificial tree.
We have mostly animal ornaments and a bear tree topper. (I’m an atheist; I don’t really want stars and angels on my tree.) They come in all sorts– glass, carved wood, stamped brass, ceramic– just “buy the cutest animal each year.” Do the ornaments you have already generally go with a theme? You can fairly easily add silver or gold balls to fill space with an existing theme.
Thank you for introducing the incredible allergic reactions killing a tree for Christmas and bringing it into the house can bring. My sister had a “real” (dead) tree the last time I went there at Christmas time, and my son (at that time 4 years old) collapsed on the floor and I had immediately take him out of the house after 5 minutes there. No time to get back to where his meds were, I had to stop at the pharmacy and get him something to keep him breathing for the 10 minute drive to real meds. My plastic tree went up every year until my husband refused to do it again because our children are grown and it’s “just us” to see it. But I bought annual Hallmark ornaments and still collect one type every year in anticipation of when I’m old and can harass someone into putting that tree up with me. They are not alike, for the most part, but the whole point in the tree is memories, and from the “baby’s first” ornaments to the current year’s addition of that single style, they blend. I also kept and used the ones my children made in school when they were very young.
The whole question about going with one color or a “hodgepodge” is ultimately answered by whether you are doing it for others to see or for your family. There simply IS no “correct” way to decorate your family’s tree to honor the holiday. It’s all about family, all about what memories you want to hang on your tree or build for your family. Keep in mind that when it’s done, no matter what hangs on the branches, it’s your tree and you’ll love it.
Interestingly, we have had dogs and we have had cats. I have so many photos of cats climbing my plastic tree and so many memories of waking up to it on the floor sideways because a cat climbed it and was too heavy on a branch that it’s not even funny anymore. I wouldn’t trade the memories of it all for anything. All the dogs ever did was curl up to sleep under the tree.
The tree not taking up water is dangerous. Be very careful of it, because it’s not only a fire hazard, but the needles falling will stab those bare feet. The people who delivered it should have cut the bottom before you stood it in the stand. Shame on them. I hope it all works for you, but frankly, a tree growing for a few years and being cut to stand up under decorations is ridiculous to me. I like my trees alive and well and living outside.
That is an amazing tree!
I like having a theme to the tree, the other members of the household like hodgepodge. We compromise, the large and small ornaments have a colour story and that lets the special ornaments (everyone has some they’ve picked out over the years) really shine. This is the first year we are using glass ornaments, so far no casualties! We set up the tree pretty early this year, the weekend after Remembrance. I keep waiting for the pupper to knock over the tree but so far no crash 🙂
The lights are white, the theme balls are both shiny and matte in white, silver and clear in a mix of shapes and sizes. The special ornaments are everything from hello kitty to robots and vintage icicles.
That tree is superifically fantabulous!! I LOVE it especially so because I live in a small house in NC and you’ve given me tree envy. Decorate it in the theme and style that will make the best memories for you and the family. Weird is my vote since there’s usually a story or many involved.
Also loving your Tshirt, the temps dropped here over the last few days so i agree! Brrrr!
I love traditional trees. The huge one you have up should have a variety of sizes – mostly large but some small ones to fill in the gaps. I like both multi color and plain white lights. The plain white looks great reflecting off of silver and gold ornaments with clear crystal icicles. When I use colored lights I usually use a variety of ornaments as well. I collect Christmas ornaments, so I don’t have boxes of one type. I’m a retired English teacher and can’t afford great art, but I can afford beautiful ornaments.
Would like: White lights, one-color glass balls in size medium, accent-color garland ribbon and/or fabric flowers. Star on top. Red fabric skirt. Calm, organized.
Will have: olde-tyme fire hazard colored lights and 30 years of random ornaments. Battered, papier-mâché kindergartner’s angel on top. Hectic, chaotic.
d LM a says
The tree is beautiful
The lower left would drive me nuts till i trimmed it
I pick ornaments to scale (tree size)
Smaller ornaments l put bottom fourth of tree, the tree skirt flares & holds them nestled (harder for kids to remove before you notice what they’re doing)
The water thing, Yipes! larger bulbs, higher heat. I would be misting and force myself to turn lights off (put on timer?)
Themed to fill in back and sides, mini soft white lights to light inside of tree, colored lights to show tree shape & light ornaments.
Front & center flaring to sides MEMORIES & gifts & vacation treasures ornaments from then till now!
HORRERS & spiders (super shudders) are the difference of geography and trying to recapture x-mas without planning on new environment. I know step one for me, call the tree people, ASK!
actually step one no matter the time would be meeting my new neighbors banging on the door & the screaming would be let me in, let me in … it’s possible l would have to move
Sarah K says
I love all kinds of styles on trees, but my favorite thing about Christmas decorations are the lights. I love the lights around the trees. We put lights up outside and inside.
Last year was the first year we bought a live tree. It was lovely and smelled great, but was stressful due to worrying about it making a mess. We had used the same plastic tree for 20 years – with a hodgepodge of ornaments (combined with occasional color themes like multi-color with purple).
This year we decided to buy a new plastic tree – a white one this time – and go very froofroo with gold, orange, and red. It looks beautiful and matches the painting in the room. The plan is to alternate between real and this white tree.
When I first set up my xmas tree I had a lot of little glass bauble and tinsel. Every day I cam home to broken glass and smug cats. So next year I looked for the cat proof Christmas decoration but they were all plastic and looked shoddy to me.
Okay I said I’m an engineer I can do this I can create the nice looking cat proof decoration. Its been 18 years evolving in different shapes and styles. Many beads and coils of wire plus multiple bead books later and I still have not managed it. I came close, It looked shiny & delicate but bent instead of breaking then bent back. The cats dragged it out the catflap and buried it I could not get all the dirt off.
Still they’re tougher than the average bauble, I give the decorations out instead of cards every year and get requests for particular colours and sizes.
One of my cats passed away a couple of weeks ago, she was twenty one the other who is the same age fell ill with an infection three days latter he’s been on daily vet visits and antibiotics we though we were going to loose him as well but the last few days he has started eating again and the vet thinks he has a good chance of making it through.
My opinion on xmas decorations they’re attractive and fun but I’d happily trade all of them to have my destructive moggys alive and heathy as in the end decorations are just trimmings and it’s those that we care for animals or humans that are important
So sorry for your loss. Hope your other cat gets better and returns to his old self again.
I don’t buy a real tree anymore. With 4 cats it is not practical.
Is this how a traditional Christmas tree looks like in the US? If so, it’s quite a different look than in Germany. Our Christmas trees look more ‘minimalistic’. Very interesting to see the difference.
Wow! I love your tree!!! It is stunning even without decorations.
I see you have had a “few” suggestions and this idea may be a repeat, but craft stores like Michael’s have wide ribbon on sale this time of year. Ribbon on the tree is both decorative and a great filler.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday!!! ?
Catherine Ray says
Hello maypole has felt ball garlands that are cute. The website is http://www.hellomapole.com
That’s a beautiful tree!
Our family is terrible with decorating trees. We only get our trees late – hence no selection left and our ornaments even later… There was a year we went to an acquaintance’s house and they decorated their tree with Christmas ornaments that they’ve collected over the years. Think organments instead of magnets when they travel so they were able tell a story about every single piece. It was amazing and I loved the idea. But it never worked out for us.. oh well, guess I’ll stick to my magnets…
What a majestic and beautiful tree!! I am very happy for you that you are able to have such a gorgeous live Christmas tree this year, after what you experienced last year. I hope that it is a sign of good things to come, for you and your family in this new home!
I do not have any suggestions as to how you should decorate. I love a Christmas tree with a theme, but am also a complete sucker for oddball ornaments that just have sentimental meaning and value. Please post a picture of your tree once decorated. I will have to live vicariously through your tree this year. For the past three Christmases I have not been able to have a tree or decorate the house due to health issues. I guess the good part is that I am still around to share Christmas with the family. Just found out I need yet another surgery ASAP, so am hoping I can get it done and over with in time so I am not in the hospital for Christmas, but home. Already spent one Christmas in the hospital in ICU, and I really don’t want to repeat the experience.
As this is really the first Christmas in your new home that you have the time to decorate to your heart’s content, I would recommend a tree decorated with ornaments that have the most meaning to you and your family, and throw in some new ones that embody your hopes for the future, for you and your children (even though they are not little kids anymore they are still your children). Whatever you decide, I wish you and your family a blessed and joyous Christmas and New Years! ?
Crystal Johnson says
I used to have trees that big and they are fun – as long as you have the army to decorate!! Small, Med and Large Bulbs – usually cheapish, in bulk, at Home Depot/Lowes, Walmart, or some such store (can’t remember what’s common in Texas) I go to Pier 1 or a specialty home store and buy a few special ornaments each year – dragonflies, songbirds, etc – clip on or hang.
Around Christmas, we have craft bazaars in the Northeast and you can get the hand-carved or crafted ornaments.
I hope that you enjoy the trimming and thank you again for Kate, Curran and everyone else.
Sams and Cosco sell large plastic or break resistance ornaments.
Hodgepodge! Every year our tree is a mix of antique ornaments my grandmother gave me, things the kids made over the years, those my mother made for me when we were first married, old fashioned looking ones from the store, and modern shiny stuff, including an ornament for one of hubby’s favorite football teams. Perfectly matched color themes are for people who want it to look like they hired an interior decorator! I COULD decorate a tree that big if it would fit in our house… but it wouldn’t. Each year we mix and match and do a variety, never using everything we have. So every year it looks a bit different and we like it like that.
I only like co-ordinated trees in shops and stately homes. I enjoy seeing the crazy mishmash of colours and that way I know it’s really Christmas. We generally put ours up 12 days before and take down on the 6th January – when I was a kid it was a special treat to keep the decorations up an extra two days for my birthday on the 8th!
In Brazil we don´t have real trees to buy, only the plastic ones. I always wanted a real one, even as a kid. This year I moved to Europe, but because I just moved here there is no way that I can have a tree this year, or even small ornaments around the house. Seeing this post I wished that soon (maybe next year?) we can have a tree, time and money to decorate and especially the family around it. Enjoy 🙂
Do you have World Market down there? They used to have awesome ornaments, though they are much cheaper after Christmas. That is one big tree! I like variety better than color coordination – the more colors the better.
Tiger Lily says
Saw this and thought I would share.
Didn’t read the other comments, so I apologize if it’s slready been said, but definitely shatterproof for pet protection. My dog used to take ornaments off the tree and carry them around. Seeing that with a hand blown glass bulb one year, almost gave me heart palpitations. Sooooo dangerous.
I really have no ornament specific opinions, that’s really personal, but I love tons of white lights. Like can be seen from space lights. All white. The tree practically glows from the middle. I think it kind of reminds me of snow.
I’m glad you are having a nice Christmas this year. I remember your posts last year about moving, always a traumatic experience, missing presents, missing lobsters, general horror. It will make for great stories eventually.
Best wishes for a happy, happy season!!!!
Chris W. says
That is a beautiful tree and it fits the elegance of your home. Do you have size ladder to put the ornaments on it? I’d go with the majority of the ornaments be larger so they don’t get lost in all that green. Gold as the predominant color would be good with the color of your walls for maybe the large ornaments and multiple colors for the smaller ornaments with character. Remember what goes up needs to be first found on the tree, be taken down and then stored.
When we had dog, cat, and toddler, we would attach the tree to a something that anchored it at the top like a ceiling hook or since the tree was usually near a window, the curtain rod. Just enough so it wasn’t too easily tipped over. Still with a tree the size of yours stability might not be a problem.
I wonder if the tree lot might have done a insect preventative while they prepped it.
Barbara Mildenberger says
What a big beautiful tree you’ve chosen! Best of luck with the decorations. Who’s been volunteered to decorate the top part?
One year I purchased a few miniature artificial trees (about 8″ high). They were green and I decorated them with a variety of little feathered birds that I bought at a craft shop and topped each tree with a cardinal. I filled in the barren areas with dark red wooden beads that looked like cranberries , small red apple ornaments and little brown pine cones. They were plain but elegant in an understated way. I gave them to my friends early in the Holiday Season so if they chose, they could add them to their decorations for the holidays (or even re-gift them…). One friend told me it was the best present I’d ever given her. So either she really liked it, or it was a comment on my choice of gifts!
In any event, I hope you and ALL of the BDH have a wonderful holiday season! You’ve given us the gift of your talent and imagination and I can hardly wait for the new adventures awaiting us!
Holy smokes, now that is a TREE!!!! (Um, the top is a long way up there–you all gonna need a bosuns seat to decorate waaaaay up there?)
But anyway, yes, I feel both tree envy and tree inadequacy, juuust a little! 🙂
Go to oriental trading Company (online) and buy decoration kits. Go to craft store and buy wooden laser cut ornaments and markers. Oh, buy some glue and glitter. Then get your family together for an epic decoration-making evening. Fun and memories together.
Lynn T. says
Ah, Ilona Andrews, I am a cat person. Plus this year I have the puppy from the nether regions aka Titan– a lab rhodesian ridgeback mix–and his companion kitten aka Jupiter.. I used to have real trees until my Maine Coon kitten, shadow, climbed the Christmas tree and after I extracted him, I had to shave him as pine resin does not wash out of cat fur easily. No tinsel as my first cat taught me that. Shadow was my third. So I bought an artificial tree. It survived cat climbing, dog climbing, Mother…. This year, no tree for me as i see enough of vet, but I would love to look at your pictures. Good luck.
I was in Joann’s yesterday and a young woman behind me in line shared that it is her first Christmas in her own place and she was envying her mothers multitude of decorations. I assured her we all start small and build our collection over the years and just one or two items that make her happy was all she needs to get started this year. Brought back great memories of my first Christmas in my first place.
I use plastic tree. Less charm but considering my cat and Christmas tree experience, it’s much safer for adventurous cat paws. Use tinsel with caution. Place the least favorite items, preferably resistant to paw punches and falls, on the lower parts, place the other ornaments higher. Keep the phone nearby for snapping pictures of the ball of fur testing your strategic placement of ornaments.
I chose to decorate my tree with animals, I add some more every year. From what I have seen in magazines, on large trees it’s better to choose a few ornaments and multiply them in a pattern all over the tree.
I love to make new ornaments each year with family and friends to add to the tree. We try to squeeze in an afternoon or evening somewhere for ornament-making–super fun for a group, especially if it includes festive beverages and cookies! One year applesauce cinnamon ornaments (they make the tree smell amazing!), another year wood burned snowflake and star designs on wood slices strung with ribbon, another year paper Polish Star ornaments…so many possibilities! That’s a gloriously huge tree to decorate, and you’re super busy people, but if you have a bit of time to make some, I can say one of the things I love most when looking at my tree is reflecting on the joyful memories each year’s ornaments bring to mind!
Hodgepodge of ornaments is always nice – especially if you have a bunch from years past that have sentimental meaning. I personally love seeing white lights which will make all the colors of each of the ornaments just pop, and if I put up garland or tinsel it is very lightly…. A couple of times I have taken a 3 foot tree and used blue or teal lights and just hung my Star Trek, Star Wars and lighthouse ornaments on it with no tinsel and just the skinny springy garland. In my childhood the trees had multi-color lights and a hodgepodge of sentimental ornaments mixed with reflective glass ornaments, then tinsel was distributed fairly evenly (when Mom did the tinsel you could still see the ornaments, when we kids did it, not so much). But to me, the Christmas tree is still all about the memories and stories about the different ornaments as the family put them up on the tree – we had an ornament my great-great-grandparents brought over from Germany when they came to the US, several ornaments my grandparents had had on their trees when my mom was a kid, ornaments my dad’s mom made each of us grandkids as we were growing up, as well as ornaments we kids made for the tree as we were growing up. But I still think white lights would have accented all those ornaments better as we were growing up which is why I use white lights now as an adult.
Sky Winder says
Local tree grower says you need to have the tree able to pull water into it’s “vadcular” system. Hence cutting off the bottom before you stand it up. You want to get rid of the dried up part as it’s closed off to bringing in new water. Needs to be continuously wet to avoid closing the system down. A little bit of bleach in the water will prevent bacteria from growing and clogging up the base of the tree, blocking it’sability to suck up water. A little bit of sugar will give it a bit of energy. Breaks in water availability cause the needles to fall. Once that starts, it’s pretty hard to stop. I know florists who do the same for flowers on a smaller scale. Some use asprin instead of bleach.
Pattern shmattern!! Fling it all on is my motto! Home made, kid made, random stuff said kid has picked in random Christmas shops – the ‘angel’ on the top of our tree is a photo of my brother in law wearing his Christmas jumper…. No idea why!
The one nod to any sort of theme is that it has to be Christmas colours so red, green gold.
If you like it, do it I say!!
Honestly, just go all out fun! At my house we have bits and pieces of ornament sets, ones we made as children, pieces of collections that never quite happened fully, and just random ones we like a lot. For me, a happy tree is one that looks like the family is on it, that looks well loved with a hodgepodge of things. I know you need to get new for the massiveness that is your tree, but get ones that call to you, not just because they match.
There is an additive called prolong for Christmas trees that really helps. Also if they didn’t do a fresh cut on the bottom they dont last as long or take as much water. Myfamily collects ornaments when traveling and adds to the tree each year. Good luck
Years ago we had a cat that loved all things shiny. My daughter wanted glass ornaments and she bought quite a few. The cat would climb up the center of the tree and bat at the ornament of her (currant) choice until we either got her out of the tree or she knocked it to the floor and had a lot more shiny pieces.
Decorate your tree however you want, if it makes you happy that’s what is important. May you and your family enjoy your time together for the holidays.
Have a Merry Christmas Ilona.
I have to have fake.. sigh. Due to allergies but I have found shatter proof ornament at craft stores such as Micheals and Hobby Lobby. I also have some homemade ones and of course lights , ribbons and stems from the craft stores. Your tree looks lovely. Enjoy your new space!
Jerry Daniel says
Suggestion?Heaven forbid you need it this year, but definitely for those years to come:
Do some research, find the closest. Worth the original agro to get a fresh tree that lasts the entire holiday season.
OR, for those more successful author-lords such as yourselves, big, live tree.?
Wow, a beautiful tree! Please post a picture with the decoration, if I may be so bold, I am sure it will look incredible since the tree itself already is!
For decorations in our family we mix it all up since the pieces have been assembled over the years. For my smaller trees I usually stick to a few colours from the collection of Weihnachtsbaumkugeln (glass) and add my collection of ornaments like santa-on-the-space-shuttle.
If you don’t want to have too much colour, here there are boxes of colour-coordinated spheres which you could add, so there’s variation but not too much? Hope they have something similar in the shops close to your home.
Anyway enjoy the tree, and have a great time decorating it!
Wishing you a nice and quiet weekend to start into the festive season.
Carmela Stotts says
Before we fostered cats we bought 1 unusual ornament for every year we were together. Since cats only see a jungle gym when they look at a Xmas tree, however, gardening back to the days when we did have a tree, my vote is for all different types with soft ones on the bottom for the cats.
Carmela Stotts says
I swear that I wrote harkening not gardening. #$@*’-&**# autocorrect.
My family does large trees, usually 15 to 25 feet tall. [When we lived in a tiny apartment, my dad just cut off the top half and the back 3/4 of the tree. With the trunk wedged into the corner, there was barely enough space to walk through the door.]
Here are some considerations specific to large trees.
* Fasten it to something so that it can’t tip over. The standard bases may not be enough. My husband puts screw eyes in the wall studs and runs wire from the tree trunk to the screw eyes. Sometimes he’ll put a stick in there too, to prevent the tree from falling against the wall. Mostly you don’t want it falling on people.
* Decorate the top first. Trees are triangular. The taller the tree, the more you have to shove the ladder into the lower branches in order to reach the top. That’s easier if you haven’t put ornaments on the lower branches yet.
* Pad the floor below. 100-year-old mercury-glass ornaments can survive falling from the top of a 15-foot tree, if the floor is padded with old blankets.
* The bigger the tree, the bigger the ornaments. When you look at the tree as a whole, you’ll be looking at it from further away. Having a half-a-dozen, or more, large ornaments gives you something to look at from that distance. With your size tree, the biggest ornaments might be 8″ to 10″ diameter.
For large ornaments on a sheared tree, think of something light-weight and relatively flat. Poinsettias, bows, snowflakes, garland, giant lolly pops, portraits of your family members,… I can’t recommend large (8″+) balls on a sheared tree.
Lael Walters says
I’ve found that if you buy red garland and a number of red balls, then the tree looks pulled together even if rest of the ornaments are mish mash. White lights and lots of thin red ribbon tied into small bows and thrown on the tree randomly helps but isn’t required. The thin ribbon trick was taught me many years ago and is amazing how good it looks for such a simple thing.
I like a more traditional coordinated look. We have gold, silver, white, and red. For ornaments I bought several sets of shatterproof from Target. For some of the bigger more outlandish stuff, which this tree can pull off, I say at home.
Nancy C says
Your ? is so big!
guess I am a fan of all white lights and one hued Garland with a Mish mash of ornaments. I usually get another ornament whenever on a trip – it’s one way to build up a collection