For a dazzling X'mas tree

For a dazzling X'mas tree

Then, festive decor all over the house...Now for Christmas decor’s most important facet – the X’mas tree decoration! Channelise your creative abilities. Involve the kids too, but only for decorating the tree’s lower branches. Also remember, artificial trees lend themselves more easily to decoration.

The order for tree-decoration is lights first, garlands next and lastly, the ornaments. If your tree isn’t a pre-lit one, start arranging the lights from the tree-base. But, first plug in the strings and check whether they’re all working perfectly. Avoid plugging more than two extension cords together. Instead, purchase them in the required length. Ensure their capacity is adequate for the bulbs’ wattage. Buying all lights of the same wattage prevents power surges and ensures the bulbs’ durability. 

And then, there is light...

What about the amount of lights? The more the better, as long as they’re tastefully draped! Plus, you needn’t rest content with uniformly-designed lights. Go for different sizes and colours. Cluster tiny strings of lights and hang them up for a dazzling finish. Arrange the lights according to your mental plan. But, if the effect isn’t satisfactory, try another pattern.... and so on until you’re happy with the appearance. 

One recommended combo is white for the base-lighting and coloured strands thrown in for variety. You could also opt for novelty lights like flicker-flames, flashing lights and bubble lights. The latest on offer is LED lights. However, they can be expensive. Yet, they more than make up for the high initial expenditure with their energy-efficiency and durability.

Get innovative with the garlands. Twine satin ribbons around fake flower-creepers. Use beads or pearls strung together. String up velvety motifs, figures cut out from old X’mas cards, little dolls, spray-painted, dried leaves, flowers, seed-pods, cookies or angels, snowmen and little Santas! Glue artificial jewels, gems or crystals onto satin ribbons..... The possibilities are infinite! 

Hang up the garlands in artistic curves. Start at the top with fewer garlands, increasing their number as you work your way down. Experiment with vertical orbits. Instead of garlands, you could also attach colourful ribbon-streamers to the tree’s top branches. Wind them upto the bottom around the tree’s branches. 

Dressing it up

Then come the ornaments. Start with your most important ones. Then, fix on the larger ones, with even spacing in between. Fill up these gaps with medium and smaller-sized ones. Choosing different shapes creates interesting variety. Don’t neglect the remote areas. Hang some ornaments close to the tree-trunk. It imparts a sense of depth.  
Some folks prefer to stick to a particular theme for their ornaments – say a particular colour or style. A colour-theme would have all-silver, all-gold, all-ivory ornaments. Or, use the classic Christmas colours of red, green and gold. If it’s a single colour you’ve selected, then use ornaments in varying shades of that colour. Other themes could be – toys, dolls, teddies, nativity scenes, angels or winter/snow-theme. 

Use silk flowers and coloured bows, baubles, balls or candles too. But, don’t light the candles! Spruce up plain ornaments with glue and glitter or ribbons and bows. Slip real cookies into transparent packets and hang them high up, out of children’s reach. Use them as gifts for your little guests later. Hang fragile ornaments also higher up. Glass ornaments, however, are best avoided. Reserve the less expensive and more durable ornaments for the lower branches. If your tree is placed in a corner, ornaments hung up at the back won’t be visible. Use these in the front instead.

Arrange gift-boxes wrapped with glittering paper around the tree at the bottom, on the mat. Toy-trains or teddies too can be arranged there. The top-ornament, traditionally a star or an angel, is the last addition. You can think of unconventional ones too!

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