How should you decorate your Christmas tree this year?

Each year, holiday lovers are amazed by the creative array of Christmas tree ornaments.

Decorating a Christmas tree is a great way to put anyone in the best holiday spirit. It does not matter if your tree is a real live pine tree or an artificial tree.  Even if your tree is only 12 inches high or a very tall 8-foot one, you will still need to decorate it with ornaments.

Whether you buy or make your ornaments, there are many kinds of hanging decorations associated with Christmas. Some people like to change their decorations every year and base it on a theme. For example, they will hang only Santa Claus ornaments or have a color theme of only red and gold ornaments. You can be as creative as you want. To help you get started, here is a list of the more popular Christmas tree ornaments (listed in alphabetical order).

1. Angels Angel Christmas tree topperCredit: Mogo Photos

Angels are often used as the topper (the ornament placed on the topmost part of the tree).  In the Christmas story, it was an angel that woke the shepherds and brought the good news about the birth of the baby Jesus. You can easily find angel ornaments made of plastic, felt cloth, crystal glass, ceramic or a combination. Angel toppers sometimes have lights and music added to it.

2. Bells

Bells make great Christmas ornaments because they add a nice tinkling sound to the decor. Ringing a bell always gets attention and sometimes used to herald news.  Some say that it brings good luck by scaring the bad spirits away. You can find bell ornaments made of metal, glass and even clay. Sometimes bells stand alone as an ornament or combined with other decorations to create a prettier design.

3. Candy Canes

Candy canes sure make a Christmas tree good enough to eat! They are typically made of mint candy, white with red stripes. Some say it the shape is like a shepherd’s crook and some say it is a letter “J” for Jesus. Whatever it really stands for, the candy cane can now be found in many colors and flavours. Sweet!

4. Christmas Balls  Handmade marshmallow Christmas ballCredit: Mogo PhotosGlass baubles originated in Germany in a small town called Lauscha. The first glass ornaments were shaped like fruits and nuts. Eventually they became popular in Europe and were exported overseas.  The present day Christmas balls are often round and made of plastic. They come in many colors, shapes and designs and are now commonly made in China.

5. Poinsettia

The Poinsettia plant blooms with bright red flowers during the Christmas season which makes it a popular flower choice. As an ornament, artificial flowers are made of cloth or plastic and often come in red or gold colors. The flowers are usually interspersed among the tree branches to add color.

6. Pine Cones

I don’t know the reason the pine cone is a popular Christmas ornament. Maybe it is because it comes from an evergreen tree that symbolizes eternal life. Or maybe it is because you can find a lot of the pine cones during the cold season. Whatever the case, arts and crafts lovers enjoy making decorations out of pine cones. It can be painted, waxed or left in its natural state. Decorations are added to it like ribbons and poinsettia to make into a hanging ornament.

7. Santa ClausSanta figurine tree ornamentCredit: Mogo Photos

Hands down, Santa Claus is the most popular character used for Christmas tree ornaments. There are so many figurines and crafts with a Santa design. Santa designs are put on bells, balls or stars or are real miniature figurines. Ornaments are made of so many materials, cloth, tin, foam, clay, glass, wax, etc. You can collect Santa figurines from all over the world.   Santa lovers will be thrilled to decorate a whole tree with Santa Claus themed decorations.

8. Snowflakes

In the western world, Christmas happens during the winter months when snow comes. Snowflakes have very beautiful shapes that remind you of stars. Snowflake decorations are made of crystal, glass, plastic or Styrofoam and sometimes decorated further with sequins or glitter. These decorations add sparkle and elegance to a Christmas tree.

9. Stars

It was a bright star that led the Three Kings to the manger where baby Jesus was born. A star ornament is the other popular choice for a tree topper.  Some tree toppers include lights and even music. There are also smaller star-shaped ornaments that are used to hang on the other tree branches. Materials used for star ornaments can be of almost anything, glass, plastic, Styrofoam, cardboard, etc. It comes in many colors but more popular in gold, silver or red.

10. Stockings

Legends say that children hung up their empty stockings for Santa Claus to put in their presents on Christmas Eve. Decorations shaped like a Christmas stocking is another ornament you find hanging on Christmas trees. Typically these are red and white and made of felt cloth but there are also plastic and clay ornaments shaped like stockings.

This is just a list of the more popular Christmas tree ornaments but the list definitely does not end here. There are animal ornaments dressed like Santa Claus, ball, stars and stockings that mark a baby’s first Christmas. There are expensive tree decorations like crystal items from Swarovski  and decorations that have been collected through the years. Famous brands like Hallmark or Disney carry their own line of Christmas tree ornaments that you can collect as keepsakes. Some priceless and cherished decorations are the handmade crafts your children bring from school each year or that you made together at home. The Christmas ball in the picture is a handmade ball of miniature marshmallows and decorated with sequins.

Over many years, you just might end up with boxes and boxes of Christmas tree decorations that you don’t know what to do with.  Your garage and store rooms could soon be overflowing with your collection.  A good solution to this is to put up another tree or donate the extra ornaments to your favourite charity.

The hard part about decorating a Christmas tree is when the holiday is over and you have to store them away for next year. If the ornaments could talk, we will surely hear many wonderful Christmas anecdotes.   

Be sure to read a related article on How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree :Top 5 Popular Themes and maximize the use of your many decorations.

Christmas ball

Handmade marshmallow Christmas ball
Credit: Mogo Photos

Santa Claus ornament

Santa figurine tree ornament
Credit: Mogo Photos

Angel ornament

Angel Christmas tree topper
Credit: Mogo Photos