Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blessing #157 - Decorating Christmas Trees

In case you haven't caught on, this week is all about Christmas!  Last year, I decorated my tree a little differently than before, and it really works for me. Here is my tree this year....

Before I tried this way, my tree never looked full enough to me, but now I love it.

Here are a few steps to how I got this look.

1. Start from the top and wrap some thick deco mesh or thick ribbon around the tree.  This needs to be thicker than you think to make an visual impact.  It makes the tree look filled up before you ever put on an ornament.

2. Once you have your thick mesh up start from the top and wrap a thin ribbon or garland in between the layers of mesh.

3.  Put on filler ornaments.  These are not the center of attraction ornaments, but they do complement nicely.

4. Stick something on the top of the tree a bow, an angel, a star, or sticky things like I have.

5. Place your main attraction ornaments.

You can see in the step by step pictures that I tie my ornaments on with thin ribbon.  I don't knot the ribbon, I just tie once.  This makes it a little bit harder for little hands to take the ornaments off the tree.

One thing I like about using the deco mesh is that it's forgiving.  When my boys bump into it and mess it up, you can't really tell.

I used that same method on a tree I help put up at the farm where Shad works.

The mesh around the tree is burlap, and the garland is pine coned and berries. Here you can see each step.

When we first had kids, Shad and I dreamed of putting up the tree all together.  I think we tried it one year, and it was not a happy memory at all.  I think we were all frustrated by the end of the ordeal.

For the past few years, I do steps 1 through 4 all by myself, and then we all participate in step 5.  Every year, we get special ornaments for the boys and us.  (You can read about that here.)  When the time is right, we get out the special ornaments and place them on the tree in order one by one. Even though I have worked hard on the tree, I have no say so on where the special ornaments go.  The boys place each ornament right where they want it.  That way they feel like it's their tree too.

The whole thing takes about thirty minutes which is perfect for my short attention span family. We get the feeling of decorating a Christmas tree together without the stress.

The other day, I heard James Dobson say on his radio show, "Traditions give meaning and identity to families. It is a way of saying, 'This is who we are.  This is what we do'." (Quote taken from this episode.)

When my boys look back at Christmas, I want them not to remember, "I got this and I got that."  I want them to remember, "We did this together, and we did that together."

Decorating the tree together is a great tradition. I'm glad we found a way to make it work for us.

Do you have any tips on how you do your tree, or how you decorate with kids.  I would love to hear them.


  1. I started using regular old bobby pins to hold the ornaments up. It makes them easy to pull off and look at (presumably by a child) so the whole tree doesn't come down. I don't have kids and my sister's kids were only around for a short while each Christmas so I don't remember why I started doing it. Also they always seems to be on hand whereas I always needed to get more metal hooks. 

  2. calculatingblessingsDecember 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    That's a really good idea! I never have the hooks in my house either.  That's always something I forget.