Choosing a real tree
Some people combine buying their Christmas tree with a lunch out with the family. A lovely annual tradition, and everybody gets a say.
Look for things like evenly coloured needles that are a rich green colour. Shake the tree to make sure not too many needles fall off. And, of course, measure your ceiling height before you leave home – you want the tree to fit!
When you get your tree home don’t place it too near a fire, as that will dry it out. Place it with its most attractive side facing out into the room, and remember to keep it watered.
Light up your Christmas
The first rule is always to put your lights on before your decorations. That way you can see clearly that they are evenly spaced, and you don’t knock your decorations out of place.
Don’t string your lights only around the very outside, try to space them further in to add a feeling of depth. A large tree can take 500 or 600 lights, while a smaller tree might only need 300. Clear or white lights are a practical choice as they go with different colour schemes.
Layer on the colours
Decide on some key colours that don’t clash with the décor of your living room. Green and white, red and silver, gold and red or silver and red are all popular choices. Or you can go for modern colours such as pinks, blues and purples.
Add your colours one at a time, making sure they’re evenly distributed – this is much more pleasing to the eye than random blocks of colour.
Keep things in proportion
If you have a large tree, make sure the decorations are in proportion, tiny decorations can look fussy and get lost. Multi-packs of baubles in one of your key colours can make a real impact. Thick ropes of tinsel can be wound around in a spiral from the top to the bottom of the tree.
Another approach is to cluster decorations in groups of three, all of the same colour.