The way you decorate your Christmas tree says a lot about what the holidays mean to you. Show off your holiday spirit on the centerpiece of your Christmas décor, whether you prefer to go a traditional route, stick to a color or collectibles theme, or tie it in to your favorite vacation spots. There's no wrong way to decorate your Christmas tree, but there are plenty of themes to choose amongst.
Choose a Christmas Tree Theme
Does a Christmas tree need to have a theme? Technically, there's nothing wrong with having a tree that is a random collection of ornaments; however, many people prefer to choose a theme to use as the basis for their holiday decorating.
If you're not sure how to combine lights, ornaments, and garlands effectively, a theme gives you a general blueprint for creating an attractive tree. Some families use the same Christmas tree theme year after year, while others like to alternate themes for a bit more variety. It can even be a fun family tradition to let a different person choose the theme for the tree each year.
One of the easiest ways to select Christmas tree themes is to choose a color scheme to use as the basis for your decorations. You can go with your favorite Christmas colors or choose a color scheme that matches the rest of your home's everyday décor in order to get a more coordinated look.
The color scheme you choose can also reflect an additional theme, like a traditional Christmas, or a Victorian or retro theme. Ideas for color schemes can include:
- Red and green: You can't go wrong with the traditional Christmas colors.
- Burgundy and gold: This color scheme is a bit Victorian in nature and a nice play on the traditional red and green Christmas colors.
- Silver and gold: A tree decorated in silver and gold is elegant and sophisticated.
- Gold, ivory, and chocolate: This neutral color scheme should blend in well with the rest of your everyday décor.
- Blue and white: This theme helps create the look of an icy winter wonderland. Snowflakes are great ornaments for a blue and white tree theme, as are simple silver balls or beaded garlands.
- Silver and purple: These may not be the first colors that come to mind when you think of Christmas, but this combination is becoming increasingly popular.
- Pink and lime green: This is a retro twist on the traditional Christmas colors, but it's great for adding a fun and feminine look to your holiday decorations.
Look for themed items at local discount and department stores in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Pick up ribbons, bows, plain colored round or teardrop ornaments from wherever virtually any store. If you're looking for unique colors or a bigger selection, check out an online at a Christmas specialty store that has a section devoted to colors, like Bronner's.
Hobbies, Special Interests, and Edibles
If you're looking for Christmas tree themes with a bit of pizzazz, consider using your hobbies and special interests as decorating inspiration. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Sports: A tree decorated in the colors of your favorite athletic team or with ornaments reflecting your favorite sport can be fun and unexpected.
- Pop culture: A trip through any store selling Hallmark Christmas tree ornaments will reveal that you can find ornaments to fit any pop culture obsession, including movie, television, and cartoon characters.
- Cooking: If you love to cook, keep in mind that this hobby lends itself well to a creative Christmas tree theme. Use cookie cutters threaded on ribbons as inexpensive ornaments and string a garland of popcorn.
- Photography or scrapbooking: Make a tree that is a unique reflection of your family by using copies of your favorite family photos as Christmas tree ornaments.
- Music: Use ornaments shaped like musical instruments or characters playing musical instruments. Real harmonicas, wooden flutes, and bells can also decorate your tree. Use strings of bells as garland on the tree.
If you collect baseball cards, coins, figurines of a particular kind of animal, thimbles, teacups, or any number of other collectible items, use elements of your collection to decorate your tree.
- Disney, Warner Brothers, or other cartoon characters: Collect ornaments that feature a favorite character or characters from a series of animated features. It is quite easy to find ornaments that feature Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse and friends.
- Animals: Love the majestic white tiger? Monkeys? Cats? Roosters? Use ornaments to express just how much you like your favorite animal.
- Baseball cards: If you love baseball cards and have a few duplicates lying around or a few you just don't care to have in your official collection anymore, laminate them or put them in makeshift sleeves with a hole in the top of each one, slip a hook through each hole, and decorate your tree with them.
- Figurines: Do you already have a theme running through your house or the room where you display the tree? Continue that by finding ornaments that fit right in.
To find collectible ornaments, take a look at Amazon, eBay, and Hallmark to find those perfect ornaments to add to your collection. These sites all feature a large selection of ornaments that are easily searchable by your particular theme.
Edible Christmas Tree Ideas
One of the best parts of the holidays is food. Take it a step further and put the edibles on the tree. This will be a joy especially for those who really enjoy cooking as a hobby. If you tend to give baked goods as Christmas gifts, make a few extra cookies or some extra candy and hang them on the tree.
- Cookies: Decorate your Christmas tree with decorated sugar or ginger cookies. To assure that they will remain edible, individually wrap each cookie in plastic wrap.
- Candy: Candy canes, "penny" candy, and even candy bars can make colorful edible Christmas tree decorations. Of course, candy canes, ribbon candy, and hard candies are traditional for Christmas.
- Popcorn: Though it won't remain edible, perhaps you can pop some extra popcorn to eat and sit down with the family to string popcorn. Use a needle and thread, then drape the strands on the branches around the tree. Even though the popcorn strands won't be edible anymore, they will still carry on the "edible" theme.
An edible tree theme is inexpensive and easy. You really don't have to look much further than your grocery store or local drugstore for decorations, and then to your kitchen. An edibles theme is very convenient.
Locations You Love
Plan ahead for the holidays and pick out an ornament from all the places you visit each year. You can also add one or two special ornaments each year to a tree that reflects all your travels.
Choose ornaments of flamingos, butterflies, colorful fish, exotic flowers, Hawaiian shirts, and other tropical items to hang on your tree. Instead of traditional Christmas garland, use leis or garlands of flowers to drape the tree. Use tropical colors such as hot pink, turquoise, chartreuse, and neon orange for your tree. Pick these items up at party supply stores, like Party City, in their luau or tropical party sections.
Collect ornaments made in Mexico, Central and South America. Mexican straw and tin ornaments are relatively easy to find in the Southwestern United States and online. Use strings of colorful dried chili peppers for garland. Your tree will shine with bright primary colors. IShopSouthwest has some excellent selections to get your tree started or fill in some missing branches.
Your Tree as a Personal Statement
Your Christmas tree can make a personal statement, reflecting your interests, your tastes, and your favorite colors. You can decorate your tree with ornaments handmade by your family or, if your budget permits, you can invest in beautiful handcrafted ornaments. There are so many possibilities that you are sure to find Christmas tree ideas that please you and your family.