As the focal point of your holiday decorations, decorating your Christmas tree is an important task for setting the tone of your home this season. From setting the tree up to stringing lights to adding ornaments and wrapping the bottom with a tree skirt, trimming your tree may be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be hard. By planning ahead, you can create an elegant Christmas tree that is worthy of any store window.

First things first, make sure you have all the pieces you will need to set up your tree easily and safely inside your home. These include your tree, Christmas lights, a power strip, a green or brown electrical cord with power splitter, and scissors. You may also find cable ties and a step stool to be helpful.

Here are some great tips for putting it all together such as string lights starting at the top of your tree so that you can work at the bottom if you need to spread out lights toward the end. We also love this tip for tall trees: Use a painter’s pole to string lights on 10-15-foot trees without a ladder.

Now for the fun part: decorating! Some people choose to decorate their tree based around a central theme such as angels or a particular color scheme such as gold and red. You can also go the eclectic route and hang a variety of non-matching ornaments that express your unique personality and history.

Whether you choose to decorate around a theme or with an assortment of ornaments, basic decorating rules apply. You’ll want to choose a variety of textures and different shapes and sizes to add visual interest. It is recommended that you hang your tree topper first, followed by the largest ornaments, then the smaller ones. Another expert tip is to be sure to add ornaments on the inside of the tree branches as well as on the outside branches.

If you really want to make a statement with your Christmas tree, the sky is the limit. See how some interior designers are pushing boundaries with bold color schemes, animal prints and more. One of the latest decorating trends involves wrapping deco mesh all the way down the tree, adding texture and color that creates a nice contrast.

How are you decorating your Christmas tree this year?

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