Family Traditions – Christmas Tree Decorating

by | Dec 9, 2013


Submitted by a Christmas Light Source customer

Are you someone who simply pulls out the decorations and hurriedly put them up so they can check the task off on their to-do list?

Do you think of putting up the tree as just a Saturday afternoon project in November or December?

Think of putting up your tree as a family tradition.  Include the kids, extended family and neighbors if you can.

Here are some ideas to help you make this part of the Holiday season a memorable one.


Go traditional with your tree decorations

Think about the theme of your tree. If you are on a budget, you don’t need to break the bank.  Consider doing a nostalgic tree decorated the way your Grandparents may have done it.  Instead of looking dated – call it Retro!

Traditionally, Christmas trees were decorated with edible items like:

  • Dried fruit
  • Candies in colorful wrappers
  • Nuts
  • Colored paper and pieces of scrap fabric
  • Strands of popcorn
  • Strands of cranberries

If you decorate right before Christmas, you can go this direction in a more modern way by hanging:

  • Wrapped colorful candies
  • Artificial cranberry garland
  • Rustic dollar-store ornaments

Consider Making Your Ornaments

Kid-crafted ornaments add a wonderful touch to the tree and can include projects made of:

  • paper
  • painted
  • craft sticks
  • fabric
  • clay
  • paper snowflakes and gingerbread men

Don’t forget the lights!!

It was a great day when Christmas lights were invented and the need to decorate with candles became a thing of the past.  That’s a tradition we can leave in the past!

Be sure to install your lights first.  Here are some tips for selecting your strands:

Choose the right light spacing and length

Choose a 4-inch spacing for a 6-8 foot indoor tree. This spacing gives you great coverage at a good value.  Longer spacing will give you more wire to hide.  If you want to go over the top into the area of wretched excess – which, personally is my approach – consider using 2.5 inch spacing.

Choose a combination of long and short strands of lights.  Use the shorter lights at the top of the tree and the longer strands around the bottom of the tree.

Choose a color of lights that go with your decorating theme.

  • Traditional trees look great with white or multi
  • Modern trees take advantage of the wide array of light colors available – purple, red, green, blue
  • Retro trees look great accented with old-fashioned styled painted C7 or C9 bulbs

Combine strands of small mini lights and cords of larger bulbs for a varied effect on the tree.

Mixed mini lights and larger bulbs in multi on the same tree

Mixed mini lights and larger bulbs in multi on the same tree

Decorating the Christmas Tree – A Family Event!

Christmas music is great for getting everyone in the mood for decorating.  Put on some holiday music to inspire you!

Put out some cookies, fudge, and some drinks in the kitchen.  Brew a pot of fresh coffee or make up a crockpot of hot wassail or hot chocolate.  Refreshments are always served at a party!

Pull out all of the decorations so you can see at a glance what you have available.

Include everyone in the family – even the little ones.  They can help put on ornaments or to get ornaments out of boxes.  Lift them up so they can add some decorations to the tree too.  Little ones could spread out the tree skirt underneath the tree too.

We always had a few plastic ornaments on hand for the littlest hands.

Tell Your Family History

As you begin to pull out garland and ornaments, talk with your children about the history behind the ornaments.  You might be surprised at how interested they are that the ornament you are holding in your hand was one you had as a little girl!

If you don’t have family ornaments, start this year collecting meaningful ones that you can share with your kids season after season.

Talk About the Meaning of Christmas

Take this family time to talk about the meaning of Christmas to your family.  For Christians,  relate the story of Christ, Mary Joseph and the birth of the Savior.  Teach the story to your children and let them re-tell it each year as they grow.

Make the Family Tradition Your Own

Figure out how to make the day of Christmas tree decorating your very own tradition.  Maybe your family will eat a newly traditional meal after decorating.  Or maybe you’ll go out into the neighborhood caroling afterwards.

Some families may stand around the tree and pray over the Holiday season – for friends far away, relatives on deployment, for travel safety.

Don’t forget to take photographs while everyone decorates too! (These photos are great for Christmas greeting cards – save the money of going to a studio.  Put the kids in their winter pajamas and take a photo in front of the tree.  Over the years you’ll have a wonderful record of them growing up!)

Whatever it is that you think your family would enjoy, do it and make the day a memorable and special one.

Share some of your traditions in the comments below.

Recent Posts

Why are half of my Christmas lights out?

Why are half of my Christmas lights out?

We hear this question from folks who are puzzled that their lights worked fine last season but are half out when they pull them out of storage. Or their lights suddenly half go out during installation.  What gives? Incandescent Christmas tree lights (aka mini...

read more
Measuring to hang Christmas lights – use your family!

Measuring to hang Christmas lights – use your family!

Any tips on measuring for how many feet of lights I'll need? After choosing the color and style of Christmas lights to install along your roofline, before purchasing, the next best step is measuing how many feet of light will be needed for the project. We'd like...

read more
What does the IP65 rating stand for?

What does the IP65 rating stand for?

The Answer: Whether or not you've heard of the actual rating, IP ratings are becoming more attractive to consumers since they are applied to cell phones. Everyone wants to know what will happen to their phones if they were accidentally dropped in water. Either them or...

read more


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blog Posts

Get This Look: A Symphony in Red, White, and Orange

Get This Look: A Symphony in Red, White, and Orange

We have been working with Marc for over 10 years. We love hearing from him yearly and enjoy seeing his emails with attachments. Marc started decorating with LED string lights and has expanded his display over the years. Relationships like this are a large part of what...

read more
Christmas Lights Lingo!

Christmas Lights Lingo!

Common Christmas Lights Terminology and Vocabulary 5mm This is a shape of LED lens that is about the shape of and slightly smaller than a pencil eraser. It has been referred to as "wide angle" and "conical" in the past since there is a cone shape molded into the lens...

read more
Get This Look: Using Gilbert Plugs

Get This Look: Using Gilbert Plugs

Brian from Oregon purchased 100-foot Christmas light cords, cut them to length, and used gilbert plugs to connect the lights to power and to each other. Here is what he had to say: Easy to UseGreat product and super easy to use. I bought 2 100ft rolls so I could make...

read more
Get this Look: A Multicolor Traditional Christmas

Get this Look: A Multicolor Traditional Christmas

We love Wade's traditional outlined roofline for Christmas. Using triple-dipped glass bulbs, the color is rich and nostalgic. Standard glass bulbs have two coats of paint. As the name implies, triple-dipped have three resulting in rich colors at the tradeoff of being...

read more