Photo: HTVW Home
They say that the two most stressful times in one's life is having a baby and moving into a new place. Well I did both--not just in the same year, but in the same month. Not the best idea, I know. But it just so happened that these two big life events were happening simultaneously. And just as we are slowly getting the hang of things at home… Here we are again, nearing “the most wonderful time of the year”. That crazy time of the year, when it’s almost impossible to get around in a car, the malls are packed, and you have to worry about dinner parties, Christmas shopping and a Christmas tree! But don’t get me wrong, I do love Christmas. It is my favourite holiday of the year! But if you had asked me two months ago whether I would be putting a tree up this year, I would have laughed out loud. But here we are two months later, and I actually started entertaining the idea. It would, after all, be our very first Christmas as a family and the first one celebrated in our new home. Luca’s first Christmas. I thought, how can we not have one this year?
And so the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree began. Mind you, this is the very first time I decorated a Christmas tree on my own before, so I am not exactly an expert on the subject. I did help my mom add a few ornaments here and there on our tree when we were younger, but I barely remember how we did it, and I am pretty sure I wasn’t of very much help! Needless to say, I had to learn everything from scratch. And after thorough research and some key tips and advice from family and friends, I’ve put together a short list of some of my own takeaways from my experience decorating our Christmas tree. Hopefully they will help and inspire you in putting together your very own tree!
Location + size
Before buying the tree, decide on the area you want to place it in, and assess that area. How tall is the ceiling? Are there outlets nearby? Make sure it’s in a prime location of your home, where it can be seen and appreciated. Be sure to measure the tree, height and width, and measure it in the space first. It has to look proportioned to the room it’s in, and be sure there’s adequate space to walk around it. Personally, I love tall trees. Ours almost touches our ceiling at 8 1/2 feet tall. But don’t forget to leave some space at the top for the topper!
The more, the better! They say that you can never have too many lights on a Christmas tree, and I couldn’t agree more. For our 8 foot tree, I purchased 9 boxes of 200 bulb LED lights. As for the colour, I went for warm white. Our whole apartment already has a yellowish tint to it, so I wanted the tree to stand out and glow differently. Having many light bulbs makes the tree sparkle and look magical! Remember, the lights are the most important accessory. So invest in good ones!
Although you may want to decorate your tree with as much decor as possible, it’s important to stick to a certain look or theme. If you’re going for the traditional Christmas look, think red and gold, stars and bows motifs. For a more muted but elegant tree, neutrals with gold or silver would be the way to go, add some large floral fillers and garlands. And for the White Christmas look, you can do silvers, blues, purples combined with clear glass ornaments. There are many looks to choose from, so open up Pinterest and start searchin’! But remember to stick to a specific color scheme.
Baubles and ornaments
My favourite part was adding the the baubles. I didn’t realize that you have to be very strategic with what baubles you purchase and how to place them on the tree. You need to invest in some beautiful expensive baubles, but you also need to buy the inexpensive standard looking ones too. The inexpensive ones are used as a kind of “filler” and are usually placed more on the inside of the tree, to add depth and create fullness. While the expensive ones are hung on the outer part of tree where they can be most seen. I also suggest hanging larger more decorative baubles at the bottom part of the tree and adding smaller ones as you go up, to make everything seem more proportioned.
As for your other ornaments, you can add as many fun ones as you want! This is the fun part of Christmas tree decorating. But what’s most important is that you personalize it for your family by adding those one-of-a-kind ornaments to make it extra special. We plan on picking up ornaments when we travel so we can fill it up through the years with special souvenirs!
After placing the baubles and ornaments, there will still be large open gaps all over the tree. You’ll be surprised how those baubles and ornaments get drowned out in the tree. They literally disappear! Those gaps need to be filled up with more decor -- and usually the fillers are larger accessories such as decorative leaves, flowers or garlands.
Again, pay attention to the theme of your tree. The skirt of your tree needs to match the decor on it. In our case, we decided to go for a simple white padded tree skirt, because we wanted to stick to the neutral colours and we didn’t want it to take the attention away from the tree.
The topper is the crown of the tree. It’s the cherry on top that finishes it. It is usually the largest ornament on the tree, and is usually a star or an angel. But it can be anything you want it to be! For ours, I was lucky to have found a beautiful simple parol star made of capiz, at Kultura. It was the perfect accessory for our tree as I was looking for something that was Filipino inspired.
And, the final result..................................................
TA -DAAAAAAA !!!
Where to shop at for your tree? Here is a list of places to check out: Rustan’s Department Store, Kultura, SM department store, National Bookstore, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATING!!