Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the Christmas Tree

For many of those that live in the south, Christmas decorating begins the day after Thanksgiving. I cling to my childhood memories of decorating the house starting around the first of December, and culminating in decorating the tree about a week before Christmas. The tree remained up until Twelfth Night (this year it is January 5th) when many towns had gatherings and huge xmas tree bonfires to warm the usually freezing night air. It officially marked the end of the holiday season, although, as an adult and in many a year I left my tree up until late winter. It just seemed too cruel to my psyche to face long cold gray days without some sparkle of the evening lights. I would then take down the trees (yes, plural) and then little by little dismantle the rest of the holiday decor……..kind of easing myself into winter. By then I was ready for the change and a return to more order in the house. The last thing I pack away are the door wreaths. By then I am ready for spring!

Below are some lovely trees for inspiration, including a couple of my own. Color, theme and decor combinations are endless and is what makes decorating trees so much fun. I will never live long enough to decorate enough trees and homes as my inclination desires. That is why it is so much fun to see others holiday decorations, so in that spirit, I would love to post some of your own holiday decor if you feel inclined to share; just email me photos if you like.


With large pops of color in the ornaments, you can decorate with impact using just a couple of styles or colors of round ornaments.

If I lived on the water I would so do this! Despite an obviously warmer climate, it still feels like Christmas.

This tree really caught my eye. I like the texture and pops of red.

This is one of my trees, set up in the kitchen eating area. It is artificial and is at least 15 years old. Every year it gets decorated differently, depending on my inspiration, but always using what I have. It was originally purchased for the landing on the stairs on our horse farm, and then used in the foyer where you need tall and slim. It is a full nine feet tall, and although slim, takes a lot of decorations and lights! The theme that year was gold.

This is an image I adore. The tree sits in a room that is already warm and inviting. The colors are muted, relating to everything else in the room. I like a tree in the dining or eating area……..with the tree lights on and candles on the table every night during the holiday, there comes the best present of all…..time with each other in a more relaxed, hushed way.

This may be a small tree, but set up higher by it’s placement in an urn, and simple wreaths on each side, it relates to the outdoors and natures own decor.

I have wanted to do something like this for a very long time. I think it perfect to display our very favorite or special ornaments that often get hidden in large trees. I best get busy!

The use of wire ribbon and or burlap has transformed how we can decorate our trees.

Here is the same tree at night, and the tree lights add texture and dimension.

I saw this and it reminded me of my Aunt Marion….always a white tree and always blue ornaments! Here it is red, but color will certainly stand out more with a non-green tree.

An outdoor tree near the front door is so welcoming, setting a holiday mood even before you walk through the front door.

This is a unusual but effective way to decorate especially if space is limited. I hope they used all the trimmings elsewhere in the home! Notice the bare tree branches on each side of the evergreen trees. The use of various shades of green as accents throughout the room is beautiful and elegant. Despite a lot of pattern, the room comes across as warm and restful.

This room reminds me of one of my oldest friends farmhouse in the country. There was always a lot of snow, visible from the large windows, and at Christmas it always looked special. They now live on a Lake Ontario bay, but they still have the snow!

The tree in this lovely room is so beautifully coordinated with the rooms colors and decor. The glass ornaments relate to the painting over the mantel, the chair pillows and the wrapped presents.

The simplicity and beauty of this tree is accomplished by repetition of the red balls and the paper birds. The large but simple wreath with a red bow and the red of the rooms modern decor still reads as homey and warm.

Simply elegant!

This tree is smartly placed in front of a very large mirror which double it’s impact. I like how the burlap ribbon and brown wrapping paper add to the natural theme.

The blue themed tree gets added impact when the tree is a blue spruce or fir tree. The silver accents on the tree and in the wrapped presents makes for a lovely tree.

Trees like this just make me happy! Colorful, covered with ornaments, and probably a treasured granny square afghan that serves as a tree skirt and adding even more color.

These kinds of rooms are always favorites…..rustic elements, red accents, plaid, a fire and a tree. Says Christmas to me.

And we should not forget an outdoor room in our decorating plans. If you spend lots of time there, even in winter, then think about a tree, or at least a mantel wreath of mantel decor.

This lovely tree says I live near the water. I like the natural elements and colors that play against the rooms wall colors and sisal rug, and I especially like the starfish.


From my very first tree we had a toy train around the bottom. The first one was a wood one made by a friend and neighbor, and then eventually when we added a second tree, we acquired this one. Children and adults alike delight in it because there are so many moving things going on inside each car. This was from a few years ago.


This tree was a fun tree to do. I really like ribbon and when I went into the dollar store they had the most beautiful wire ribbons and for $1 a roll. I went crazy, brought home a huge bag full of ribbon to save and to also wrap presents and then inspiration struck and I decided that the live tree in the great room was going to be decorated with a lot of ribbon. It remains one of my favorite trees, especially at night when the light shone thru the sheer ribbon.

Whitley loved to sit by that tree when we put the lights on. I curled the ribbon at the bottom. She would stare at the lights for some time and then fall asleep just like a child would, except that she never pulled or played with the ornaments.


And lastly, if you have no space, or are inclined to wear your holiday spirit, might I suggest this? Whimsy at its best! I could so do this to my Afghan Hound, Carter.

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas tree tour, including a few of my own. Don’t forget to feel free to share traditions, or decorating. Dog and children photos welcome! Thanks for reading.   Laters,  charisse




  1. Charisse, I LOVE the Whitley touch and yours is the loveliest tree of all! Who would have thought of ribbons?! I wanted to publicly thank you for once again being so helpful in dog rescue–our latest shaggy is exquisite. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for the joy all year in your blog

    • Laurie, Thank you, and as always, I enjoy the opportunity to work with you in rescue. It is a privilege to be able to save an animal as I gain so much more than I give. Holiday blessings. charisse

Leave a Reply