Monday, November 28, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Tree - Step One

Last year I did not put up a Christmas tree.  The stress of 2010 had worn me out and I couldn't face the effort of putting up holiday decorations, let alone take them down at the end of the season.  It was just all too daunting!

2011 has been as stressful as 2010, but I decided to once again have a tree for the holidays.  Usually I wait until the week before Christmas to 'deck the halls', but this year I started much earlier.  Yesterday I bought the tree!  And I'm so glad I did.  For the first time in my married life, there is no pressure to get the tree done.   I have over three weeks to finish.  Love it!

Decorating the Tree - Step One

Those of you who have an artificial tree, can skip this post.  And for the sheer ease of decorating and storage, I highly recommend an artificial tree.  I really considered going 'fake' this year.  But the tree I liked was just too expensive.  

I don't have a preference for live trees over artificial trees.  Both are lovely and also have pros and cons.  But let me know what you think.

Getting back to decorating the tree.  For a live tree, the first step is pruning and shaping the branches to make room for lighting and ornaments.  Many people skip this step, but it only takes a few minutes and is worth the effort. 

 Shaping a Live Christmas
  • Clip the tips of branches that 'stick out too far' from the desired triangle shape.
  • Create room for ornaments by pruning branches near the trunk that overlap. 
  • Trim the tip of the tree crown to a height that will fit your 'tree topper'. For trees that have two or more tips at the crown, prune until only one tip remains. 
 Shaping the tree. 

 Checking my work.
Making adjustments.

 Branches pruned from the tree.
The final shape. 

Next post, Decorating the Tree - Step Two, lighting.

Before I go, look at the gorgeous table my sister set for Thanksgiving!

And the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, gravy, homemade rolls and homemade pies were delicious!



  1. I can certainly sympathize with not wanting to deal with the "hassle" of decorating for Christmas! I feel this way this year and if it wasn't for my 2 kids, I'd probably get out the nativity scene and Advent candle wreath and call it a day!

    My husband, however, nipped my Scrooginess in the bud and bought a live tree (the kind you can plant later). It's small and will fit in the kitchen. If that goes well, we'll dig out the showstopper fake tree. I may be more in the spirit then!

    Thank you for your blog! Many wishes for a wonderful Christmas holiday for you and your family.

  2. Simply Me, I was sooo excited to see your comment! Last year I felt like the only one not in the mood for the holidays. Even the thought of my boys with celebrating Christmas without any decorations, could not coax me to put up even a wreath. My friend dropped on off and even hung on the door for me! This year I've got a little more cheer going. Thanks so much for sharing! I really appreciated your note!


  3. Hi Judy, Isn't the table awesome! Kelley outdid herself. And I've got to stop by your blog, 'Split in Two'. So sorry I haven't visited lately.

  4. ...i love GOING TO GET the tree...i love going down the dirt road to the tree farm we have gone to for years... i love walking down the rows to find the perfect one...i love hauling it back to the truck...i love seeing the very same lady every year as we leave...(this year was especially wonderful with a three year old grandson)...but...while i love love love the getting...i hate hate hate the for the last five years we have had only lights on our tree...and i love it!...other people not so much...they always want to know "when are you going to decorate the tree?"...i know your tree will be beautiful genevieve... for it will reflect you and your beautiful heart...hugs and blessings and love laney

  5. We have never had a real tree, but your pics inspire me to think about it someday.

    This year I decided to forgo the massive tree in our family room and pass it on to my newlywed niece. The tree I typically put in my living room has taken it's place. Much narrower and fits the space better.

    I realize more and more how close we are to becoming an empty nest,so I decided that the family room tree will now display all of my boys ornaments.

    I will always remember how my mom did everything she could to create memories at the holidays even when our large family experienced financial woes. You can ask any of my sibs and they will all say the time we spent together is the best
    memory of all.

    Love the nummy Thanksgiving table!