Style at Home editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin reveals her tree-trimming tricks of the trade.
Above, from left: kid's tree ornaments, Crate & Barrel and stylist's own; modern tree and decorations, Walmart; nine-foot artificial pre-strung tree and traditional ornaments, Rizo Lola & Company.
The Kiddie Tree
Choose a small, tabletop tree (one that's just their size!) and let them decorate it themselves.
Invite younger children to colour on a large piece of paper, then cut their "art" into holiday shapes (stars, trees, etc.), string and hang on the tree. (Tip within a tip: Trace shapes on the underside of the paper to make the cutting process easier!
Stay away from glass and other breakable ornaments. Plush decorations are kid-pleasers and a safer bet. Hooks are also a big no-no.
The Modern Tree
Seize the opportunity and embrace the unconventional! There are some cool coloured trees on the market at the moment; we've seen them in white, pink and even silver. If you're not a tree person, spray-paint a large branch for a truly unique alternative!
Decorate your tree in various shades of the same colour.
Keep decorations to a minimum and don't overload the tree with ribbons and garlands. With a modern tree, less is more!
The Traditional Tree
In this case, on the other hand, more is more! Whether your tree is real or faux, it should always be full. Fortify with flock branches; magnolia and berry branches look great, too!
You can almost never have too many lights. A good rule of thumb: String a minimum of 200 lights per vertical foot (that is, two 100-light strands per foot, which translates into 18 strands or 1,800 lights for a nine-foot tree). Start as close to the trunk as possible and coil lights tightly around the entire tree until you reach the bottom.
A traditional tree should also be dripping in ornaments. Hang your showstoppers on the outside and inexpensive, larger bobbles on the interior to make the tree look full and sparkle from the inside out.