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December 01, 2018

All lit up!

Real or plastic, green or white, Christmas trees bring the holiday spirit to the home

Christina Loc

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O’Christmas tree, O’Christmas tree, how lovely thy LED lights shine. O’yes, it’s that time of year to embellish thy Christmas tree with everything thy loves!


Before decorating, find the perfect spot in your home. Base this key decision on not only where it will be admired most, but in a space where it will not be a hazard, impede or hinder every day activities. Place the tree next to an electrical outlet, minimizing cords and away from busy wagging tails or snug high traffic areas.

Tip: If using a fresh tree, make sure to keep it away from baseboard heaters or vents as this will quickly dry out the needles.

The great room is a perfect spot for the tree. It is where one tends to lounge or gather. Other ideal locations for a tree (or if you’re really in to the spirit of Christmas and want multiple locations) would be in the bonus or flex room and placing a small tree on your kitchen island — sure to be a conversation at any gathering. A colleague of mine said she likes placing hers in front of the window so people passing by can enjoy it too — the true spirit of Christmas.

Next, find a tree skirt. A tree skirt adds the finishing touch while covering unsightly mechanics holding up the tree. If you have a tree skirt that does not have buttons, make sure to slide it under the trunk before setting up the rest of the tree!

And then there was light. Unless you have a pre-lit tree, add your lights to make it shine bright like a diamond. If you’ve been following my columns, you have figured out that I love LED lights (and no this is no paid endorsement)! Because they require so little energy and can make such an impact in every room and space, I use them everywhere and sure enough, on the Christmas tree. Consider investing in LED lights for your tree, especially the kind that will allow you to change colours. Variety is the spice of life. As they are so energy saving, the best part is you don’t need to worry about the cost of leaving them on longer for hours of enjoyment. It is the season of light after all.

How much light is too much? There is no such thing as too much lights. 

Tip: Work the lights not just on the tip but deep in to the branches to give your tree a true three-dimensional glow.

Now, the fun part — Decorate! With so many trends and your personality being the driving factor, pick a theme, get creative and have fun with your tree. Any theme will be enjoyed by you and your guests — the key is to put a well-balanced tree together. Ensure your lighting and decor are evenly spaced on your tree so the tree looks cohesive and not clunky.

Tip: Work with one type of ornament at a time and place them evenly around the tree before moving on to the next for a well-balanced outcome.

Here are my top five picks for trending tree decorating ideas that will inspire you to curate your own beautiful holiday tree:

Natural –
is trending. You could keep it simple. You have the tree. You have the lights. Add a few pine cones and voila, done. Take it up a notch and add some burlap ribbon. For a rustic or farmhouse feel, add ornaments made of re-claimed wood, birch, burlap or iron.

Glam – needs to be over the top. If you are going to do glam, go all out and fill your tree with the prettiest ornaments you can find. If you want your tree to look like it came from a high-end department store in New York, fill it with metallic coloured ribbon, garland, faux
flowers and ornaments. Silver and gold is always a favourite and if you’re in the mood for some colour, just do it — blush, jewelled tone burgundy, blues and greens are hot for the season!

All white –
white walls, white cabinets, white sofa — why not a white tree too? White is such a classic, fresh and timeless colour. White trimmings on your tree will keep you dreaming of a white Christmas. Add a hint of silver and/or gold to create depth.

Whimsical – for the kids or the kid in you. Fill the tree with colourful and fun ornaments. Get inspiration from your childhood, your children or pick a theme from your favourite storybook like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas or a Disney or Pixar movie. Fill the tree in with
some DIY ornaments. Spend an afternoon with the kids making snowmen made of felt. Spray paint an ornament yellow and use paint markers to make emojis. Who wouldn’t get a kick out of admiring a whimsical tree?

Candy tree – filled with cookies, candy and treats. Bake cookies and decorate them to hang on the tree as an ornament. Dress your tree with candy canes, lollipops, gingerbread men, sugar cookies decorated and shaped like snowflakes, baubles, reindeers, sleds and bells.
Fill in the tree with colourful ribbon and baubles. Oh so cute and oh so delicious!

It’s nice to collect Christmas tree décor over the years as it gives you the opportunity to layer, mix and change the look of your tree every year. Start with some basic solid coloured ornaments as a base and then enhance your tree and collect ornaments that put a sparkle in
your eye or triggers a happy memory.

Tip: Collect various sized ornaments. Don’t be afraid to go big and make sure to keep to the rule of three by buying at least three of the same look or themed ornament to keep your tree looking balanced.

And as you collect ornaments, your tree will become just that much fuller and filled of layers and layers of cherished moments.

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