Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is another popular aspect of the Christmas celebrations besides the Santa Claus.

History of Christmas

The history of Christmas trees dates back to the pre-Christmas age when people used to worship the green trees. According to a belief it was considered that the season of winter came since the Sun God got ill during that time. People used to bring the green herbs praying for the early recovery of the Sun god.

The credit for the Christmas trees goes to the Germans who started decorating and worshiping green pine and fir tree during the renaissance period in the early 19th century. Till this day decorating the Christmas tree is a tradition that most people enjoy and look forward to year after year.

It is an excellent way of enhancing the opulence of the home decor. The Christmas tree is usually an evergreen conifer such as spruce, pine, fir or an artificial one made from PVC. Some people prefer the look and smell of a real tree, whereas others like the durability of a fake one. While choosing one should consider a tree with full, evenly-spaced branches and a symmetric shape that tapers toward the top. If it isn t symmetrical, secateurs can be used to remove the protruding branches. In case of a fake tree the branches can be manually shaped.

A tree stand and skirt are equally important. For real trees, one needs a tree stand with a water reservoir, which is filled once the tree is in place. A tree skirt around the floor is placed to catch any falling needles. Another option is to go for a pre-lit tree with tiny Christmas lights on the branches. If the option is not available then Christmas lights are manually attached on the tree before any other decoration. The lights are stringed from top to bottom, pushing them partly into the branches to hide the cord. If one is not sure about look, he can step ten feet away from the tree and squint his eyes. This way one can note any bright or dark spots.

Baubles are hanged according to the size, with the largest at the bottom. Droplet baubles are hanged at the ends of branches, while fragile ones go at the top. They are generally golden, silver or bronze in color. For a minimalist winter look only blue, white and silver decorations are used. A warm tree features fiery red, orange and gold decorations. Some people also select a specific theme for their Christmas trees, such as angels, snowflakes, gingerbread, bells etc.

One can go for ornamental bulbs that are available at a fairly reasonable price. These multicolored bulbs make up the base of most Christmas trees. These are either matte or shiny and are bought in same size unless one is planning for some new design.

Metallic or plastic beaded garlands are distributed evenly along the outer branches of the tree. Tinsels, wired or mesh ribbon of a medium width are also used.

A topper is placed right on the top of the tree which is decided according to the theme. Some popular options are -A star, an angel, imitation holly leaves and berries, a snowflake or a Christian cross.

Ornaments are the most delicate decoration items, so they are added in the end. In case of a mix of bulb ornaments and specialty ornaments, bulbs are added first.

The base area is decorated with extra lights or garlands. Some other natural objects like pine cones and fruits are often used. Finally, the base of the Christmas tree is surrounded with wrapped presents for the family members.

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Christmas isn’t Christmas until a beautifully adorned fir or pine tree is illuminating your living room. Legend has it that the first Christmas tree sprouted from the base of a fallen oak. St Boniface had struck down the oak in order to prevent the people of a Germanic tribe from sacrificing a young boy to it. The miraculous fir tree was lit with candles every night so St Boniface could preach to his new converts. Today, decorating a Christmas tree is a traditional feature of the festival, a much-loved activity that every family take up with great enthusiasm and creativity.

There is no such thing as an ugly Christmas tree, for the sentiment is what matters. That said, an elegantly done specimen not only fills your heart, but pleases the eye.

For a spectacular and classic Christmas tree, read the following simple tips.

The Tree

The first step is to procure a good tree. Whether it is a pine or a fir, or a fake (since not everybody lives in cold regions!), the important thing is to buy a well-shaped and upright tree. This is why people rush to purchase their trees before all the good ones are gone. Once you have the tree, it’ll be easier for you to decide how much decoration will be required.

The Color Scheme

You can choose one color scheme and play with it. For example, you can use only shades of gold – yellow lights, golden baubles and stars, etc. Or you can pick dual tone – red and gold, blue and silver, and so on, or you can go for a variety of colors. Traditional Christmas colors are red, green and gold, a combination you cannot go wrong with.

Before selecting a theme, there are two points you must take into account. One of them is the general color scheme of the room where the tree will be put up. A white and color decoration theme, for instance, might be redundant on whitewashed walls.

The other part is the mood you want to convey. Co lours like blue and purple give a soft and soothing effect, while metallic tones combined with red makes the tree bright and festive.

The Lights

While picking lights, keep in mind the size of the tree and the color scheme of your choice. Too much light will overshadow the other decorative pieces; unless you are going with a monochrome scheme, a confusion of decorative items and light will create a muddled effect. Sparse lighting, on the other hand, will leave the tree dull.

Once the quantity and color have been decided, take note of the wiring. Visible wiring does not make a pretty sight – choose lights that are connected by green or transparent wiring.

The lights are also the first thing that should go up. Wires tangle easily and get messy, and you want to avoid knocking other items out of the tree while hanging the lights.

The Garland

Garlands – whether they are of the tinsel or the beaded variety – are the most difficult item on the list of decorations. They can either make your tree appear fuller or suffocate it. If your tree is of a small size, go with thin metallic or beaded garlands; tinsel will be too heavy for the rest of the decoration. Even for a large tree, it is better to avoid tinsel.

The Final Touches

Decorative items for Christmas trees come in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors. There are the traditional stars, baubles, Santas and angels, and then there are other edgier and modernistic options.  Some people even like to hang candies and presents on the tree. Whatever your preference, your choice of decorative pieces should always go with your planned color scheme.

Take care not to go wild on your purchase; if you end up buying more than you need, you’ll end up using more than the tree needs! And remember to pick something distinct for the top. Stars, angels, bows, crosses, snowflakes – it can be any one of these, as long as it merge with the overall look while standing out on its own.
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