The elements that go into decorating a Christmas tree -- lights, garland, tinsel, and ornaments -- are familiar to nearly everyone. But when it comes to creating a holiday tree that expresses your style, personality, heritage, and surroundings, the options are virtually unlimited. Use this diverse set of beautiful, doable trees to inspire you this season in decorating a Christmas tree that's truly your very own creation.
Watch this video for simple, step-by-step instructions for how to light a Christmas tree.
Christmas trees are a great way to display handcrafted items. This tiny tabletop tree nearly overflows with made-from-scratch decorations, including handmade bows and paper-and-clay ornaments (a fun project to make with kids).
Some varieties of Christmas trees provide dramatic focal points, such as this fir with sparse branches. To decorate it, carefully choose a few artful decorations, including white lights, silvery garland, and oversize stars.
Using just one or two colors can be an easy way to organize decorating a Christmas tree. This flocked fir provides a dramatic backdrop to silver baubles, white owls, and other vintage ornaments. By picking a two-tone color scheme, you can coordinate packaging and wreath accents to match your tree (here, wide silver ribbon and oversize initials on gift boxes).
Some homeowners start from scratch each year when decorating a Christmas tree, while others build on traditions or collections. This homeowner lovingly displays ornaments that her mother has gathered for her since birth. Sticks -- found in her yard -- add a woodsy accent.
Decorating a Christmas tree offers an opportunity to use unusual items in new ways. For example, a galvanized metal tub can substitute as a tree stand. A moon -- a treasured nursery decoration in traditional holiday colors of red and white -- serves as a pretty tree topper, while a collection of mittens and dolls offers country-inspired decorating charm.
Don't be afraid to try unusual color combos when decorating a Christmas tree. Here, old-fashioned paper chains get a fresh update in orange and turquoise and updated, retro-inspired ornaments include photocopied family photos in black and white.
One or two types of ornaments can provide a unifying theme for decorating a Christmas tree. This gorgeous tree relies on snowflakes and icicles, and it's accented with just a few holiday balls and some pinecones. The theme plays up the wintry color scheme of white and blue to reflect the weather outside.
You don't need just one Christmas tree when it's so easy to make multiple! Simply wire together three or more evergreen branches, prop them in florist's foam, and tuck them in a pretty urn to make this fun tabletop tree. Accent with mini ornaments or tied ribbons, and display in a guest room or anwhere around the house for the holidays.
Different countries have different traditions for decorating a Christmas tree. In Denmark, colors are typically red and white, a ritual that guides the adornments on this lovely tree. A delicate white garland adds subtle textural interest, while homespun ornaments -- striped holiday balls, stockings, and snowmen -- provide charming accents.
Garland has long been a pretty accent for Christmas tree decorating, but there are new twists on this old standby. For restrained country charm, try wrapping your tree in wide burlap ribbon, tying bows here and there for accents. White and gold ornaments, including out-of-the-ordinary mini pie tins and hand-dipped holiday balls, complement this neutral color scheme.
Decorating a Christmas tree doesn't have to mean reinventing the wheel year after year -- some of the most beautiful holiday trees include classically styled versions like this one. Decorate the boughs with metal, ball-shape garlands as well as tinsel, heirloom ornaments, and white lights to maintain a classic, traditional look.
Vintage is cool again, even when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree. Choose a color scheme that integrates bright colors, such as orange, turqoise, and pink, as well as retro finds from secondhand stories and online auction sites. You also can exercise your creativity and round out your decorations with unusual items, such as an old crocheted blanket for a tree skirt.
There's no rule that says decorating a Christmas tree has to be complicated or time-consuming. Many trees are beautiful all on their own or with a few strands of mini white lights. Here, two container-grown evergreens star on a sleeping porch. Elevate one on a side table to give the illusion of staggered height.