Decorate your own Christmas tree

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Some people proceed according to old habits and every bauble, every straw star and every tree pendant, no matter how small, has its own fixed place. Others redecorate the tree every year, so that there will be no repetition of the same tree in your living room for two years in a row. Still others buy every year a few new pieces of jewelry to fit into the ensemble. How you decorate your tree depends primarily on your own taste. Nevertheless, the same applies to decorating your Christmas tree as to any other art of decoration: with a few professional tricks you can get much more out of your tree. You can easily tell from a tree whether its decoration was left to chance or whether skill and thought were behind it. With the following Wanner rules, your tree is guaranteed to be as beautiful as no other.

Celebrate decorating
Now it’s time to go down to the basement, the attic or the storage room and take out the box with the Christmas decorations. Your Christmas tree decorations are neatly packed in it. The fragile baubles are carefully stored in their original packaging. Straw stars are wrapped in paper so that nothing happens to them. Santa Claus, angels, stars and similar pendants are also carefully wrapped and stowed away. Maybe you will discover some pieces of jewelry you hadn’t even thought of before? The last Christmas was almost a year ago!

And then they are in front of you: Baubles and candles, straw stars and angels, lucky symbols and pinecones … Do you have a special system with which you can look at your tree anew every year? No two trees are the same – maybe the Christmas tree itself tells you how it should be decorated?

Don’t forget: the festive atmosphere is already created when decorating. If you unpack your tree decorations and attach the pieces one by one to the tree, one or the other object may tell you a story. It may remind you of where you bought it, or of loved ones with whom you celebrated Christmas together. In this way you can think back to the Christmas celebrations of the past years and decades, and many memories will come back to you. You miss all of this when you opt for a decorated Christmas Tree!

Take time to decorate the tree in peace and quiet. The best thing is to keep an afternoon free for it. When I decorate my own Christmas tree, I first take out my tree decorations and spread them out. The first memories already come up in me. Some objects I have owned all my life, they tell stories. Then I start to decorate the tree. For this I like to open a good red wine. Classical music, mostly from Händel, Bach, Purcell, Telemann or sometimes Liszt is also part of it for me. This is how I celebrate the Christmas tree, and the real anticipation sets in.

How long does it take to decorate a tree?
As much as time you have fun with it. So, from a few minutes to a whole eternity. For many people, decorating the tree is an act of celebration. Now the holy hours begin. Most people decorate the tree only on Christmas Eve. In the past, the children were busy doing this until the Christ Child finally came. Once the tree was decorated, they would bathe and then at some point, after far too long, the little bell would ring, the doors would open and the children would be amazed at the light and glow. The tree had become so beautiful …

Today many working people put up the tree earlier. It is the question whether this does not diminish a certain magic. But whenever we decorate it, we should do it with contemplation and consideration. It is not only about a decorated tree, but the decoration itself is the act, the turning and adjusting to the quietest time of the year.

While decorating, many people drink a cup of tea or perhaps a glass of wine. Music is heard, preferably from Christmas carols to Handel, Bach or Vivaldi. With this ritual of decorating we have the chance to come to rest and at the same time to feel festivity with expectation. 

The right location
Where does your Christmas tree usually stand? Often space reasons are the decisive factor for the location of the tree. If you are a little more flexible in your choice of location, then you should opt for a somewhat darker, mysterious corner – almost like a devotional corner in Bavaria. The tree needs no other light than candles. So never place it directly under a lamp, a chandelier or even under a spotlight. It is also not well suited to the window or balcony door, unless you want to present it to your neighbors first and foremost. When the candles are burning, do not use additional light sources.

If your little tree is rather small, you should place it a little higher, for example on a stool or a table. After all, a tree likes it when you look up to it and pay it the necessary tribute.

If you have a lot of space, you can also place your tree in the middle of the room. But this place should by no means be too bright. In this exposed place, only trees that have grown very evenly and are perfectly decorated all around can be shown to their best advantage.

When the little ones help
In some families, it is customary for the children to help when the Christmas tree is decorated. In other families, however, this ceremonial process takes place behind closed doors: Only to the gift giving, the small ones are to see the festive splendor for the first time. In other families, the spatial conditions unfortunately make it impossible to surprise the children with the tree on Christmas Eve.

Apart from the decorating itself, the little ones can also participate in other ways in the preparations for the big celebration. For example, how about a walk through the snowy winter landscape a few days before the festival? On this occasion, the children can collect small twigs and fir cones. Later they will paint them with gold – and you will have a few extra ornaments for your tree! Or you can cover the cones with glue and then sprinkle them with mica. This also sparkles beautifully on the Christmas tree. Sometimes it is the humble, simple things that move us.

Your tree – a real unique specimen from nature
Your tree is now in front of you, fixed in the Christmas tree stand, so that it cannot fall. What does it look like? Maybe it is denser on one side than on another, maybe its branches grow unevenly, or the tree is even a little crooked. Don’t forget: Your tree has grown in such a way that it can survive in nature in the best possible way – and not in such a way that it looks perfect in your living room. It had to stand up to competitors, reach for the light and bend with the wind. All this of course leaves its mark on the tree. Your Christmas tree is always an individual. In the whole world there is no other tree that looks like it down to the tips of its needles. Small irregularities make it attractive and give it its own character. However, if these irregularities are too much of a good thing for you, you can help with a few simple tricks.

For example, you can conceal light spots in the tree with additional branches. Fix the branches to the trunk with wires. Larger branches can even be placed directly in the tree by drilling a hole in the trunk, putting some wood glue in it and then putting the branch in the tree.

Basically, the branches of a Christmas tree should protrude slightly upwards. If they reach too steeply upwards, you can shape them with wire or pull them down with a heavy ornament. However, if the branches hang down sadly, tie them up with wire to make your tree look more cheerful.

More fullness for your tree
If additional branches can’t give your tree more fullness either, you’ll have to bring in heavy artillery: In this case, the curtain fills the gaps and makes your Christmas tree inscrutable. You can give your tree more fullness with the following tricks:

  • Lush loops with wire-reinforced ribbons fill unsightly gaps.
  • Ivy, wrapped around the trunk and branches, not only makes the tree fuller, but also gives it a magical touch. It looks even better if you spray the ivy with silver.
  • Flowers on the tree are real eye-catchers and give the tree more volume. Dried flowers (for example roses and hydrangeas) look beautiful, but also noble paper or silk flowers.
  • Stick dry fruit tree branches between the branches of your Christmas tree. Spray them white or golden, depending on the effect you want to achieve.
  • Large baubles, hung as close to the trunk as possible, create an interesting depth effect.
  • Spray the needles with a touch of snow, gold or silver spray in some places, so that the branches shimmer gently here and there.
  • Tinsel, garlands, angel hair or spiral threads provide more volume.
  • If you use electric candles: A richer lighting makes the tree look fuller.