It's time to decorate the Christmas tree!

What theme have you chosen for this year?

Part of the Christmas tradition for most people is decorating the Christmas tree. There is no rule when to put up your Christmas tree. Years ago, the tree was set up on Christmas Eve; probably it was because of the life span of real trees. With the invention of artificial trees and modern methods to prolong the freshness of real trees, you can have your Christmas tree any time you want. My family decorates in time for the Santa Parade in November to kick off the season. Some wait for the second week of December to put their tree up.

Decorating your Christmas tree should not give you stress. Instead it should be an exciting and happy time to bond with your family. With a little planning, you will be able to schedule your shopping for ornaments, buying a real tree or resurrecting the old reliable from storage, and decorating your tree easily.

Why not get their ideas and come up with your own theme for decorating the tree. List all the suggestions on a white board or a sheet of paper and make a vote. Are you changing your theme this year or keeping it the same?

Here are some popular themes that might help you decide.

Single Décor Theme

Christmas tree - Santa Claus themeCredit: Mogo Photos 

This means only using tree ornaments around a single Christmas idea. For example, using only Santa Claus ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree.

This theme is easy for people who collect Santa Claus items. For beginners, you can start with some inexpensive ornaments from your dollar store. Making your own crafts is another way to have Santa decorations. An easy way to do this is to make tiny Santa hats of red and white felt and put them on small stuffed animals or dolls.

Other single decor themes: all angels theme, strictly crystal ornaments, only handmade ornaments, etc.

Functional Theme

During the holiday season, Christmas trees are not limited to family homes. You will find them in most offices, supermarkets, shopping malls, in outdoor parks, churches and other places. Alas, we cannot isolate Christmas from commercialism.

Business establishments sometimes use the tree to advertise their products.  For example, a cosmetic store will use their small make-up items as the tree ornaments. A chocolate store will use their chocolate ornaments to sweeten up their tree.

Some organizations or people promote their causes through their Christmas trees. For example, promoting a “green” tree with eco-friendly decorations is a good way to get the attention.

On the fun side, some families choose to decorate their Christmas tree with family photos or Christmas cards.  There are homes with two trees, one for formal display and another children’s tree hung with the children’s favourite toys.

Possible functions:  advertise products; promote causes, display memorabilia, plain old fun

Color Theme

Christmas tree - red & gold themeCredit: Mogo Photos

Christmas tree fashion, why not? Each year, there seems to be an “in” color theme even for Christmas trees. Whether you follow this or not, decorating a tree with a particular color scheme in mind is interesting.  It can range from the elegant and classic red and gold to an outrageously fuschia colored tree! Just take a quick look in your shopping mall and favourite stores when the Christmas season comes around. You might even be able to adapt a few ideas as your own.

More popular color themes: red and gold, red and green, green and gold, purple, gold or red

Original Theme

There are many creative and imaginative people who come up with original and unique ideas in decorating their Christmas tree.  There are people who are fanatics of a sports team, franchised toys or items, chocolate lovers or things that are not traditional Christmas items. They adorn their tree with the items they are crazy about.

Some unique themes:  A chocolate tree with chocolate ornaments is something delicious to think about. Or whimsical Christmas trees tied up with wishes on pieces of paper reminiscent of the Japanese wishing tree.

Traditional Theme

If none of the above themes appeal to you, you can never go wrong decorating your tree with a traditional theme. Hang up strings of lights, tinsel garlands and select ornaments associated with Christmas like angels, stars, candy canes, Christmas balls and other popular Christmas tree ornaments.

Create a traditional old-fashioned tree with candles instead of electric lights and strings of popped corn instead of garlands from the store. (Do be careful of candles and keep them for decoration without lighting them up to avoid danger of fire).

You can have the same decorations year after year or never have the same decoration every Christmas holiday. A related article on How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree: Top 10 Christmas Tree Ornaments talks about popular ornaments available to everyone.

No matter how you decorate your tree and what theme you choose, the important thing is that you enjoy your Christmas tree. Let your tree give you renewed joy in life by reminding you of good and happy times.