15Dec2014

Unique Ways to Trim Your Fresh-Cut Christmas Tree

Tree Ornaments

Like most people, you probably have a store of ornaments that you use every year to decorate your tree. While it can be fun to use the same ornaments, especially ones with sentimental value, it might also be fun to try something different when it comes to trimming your fresh-cut Christmas tree. There are lots of strange and unique Christmas trimming traditions from around the world and even some simple and elegant decorations that can be handmade or purchased inexpensively from your local party store. You’ve already gone to the trouble of picking out the perfect live Christmas tree, why not do something a little special with it?

Christmas Decorations from Around the World

Whether your family has roots in a foreign country or there’s always been another country that’s dear to your heart, centering your tree’s decorations on that country’s Christmas trimming traditions can be a fun and unique way to incorporate another country’s traditions into your holiday celebrations. Here are some of the most common Christmas tree decorations from around the world.

Germany: In Germany, St. Nickolas hides a special ornament on the tree for children to find. The child or person that finds it gets a special present or treat. One of the most common ornaments to hide is a pickle.

Ukraine: In the Ukraine, families hang spiders and spider web ornaments on their Christmas trees, dating back to a story about a poor family who woke up to find their Christmas tree decorated with silver and gold webs, spun by spiders as a gift to the family.

China: Though not many Chinese celebrate Christmas, those that do have a Christmas tree, and usually decorate their trees with paper chains and flowers.

Finland: Throughout most of the Nordic countries, Christmas trees are decorated with candles, instead of strings of lights. While real candles might be dangerous, electric candles can add old-world flair to your live Christmas tree.

Australia: Because it’s summer in Australia on December 25th, instead of the traditional wintery decorations that are more common in the northern hemisphere, an Australian family might decorate their tree with eucalyptus and seashells.

Russian: While red, green, and gold might be the most common Christmas colors in America, blue and white are more common in Russia, with their trees adorned with blue and white decorations, instead of red, green, and gold.

If you like the idea of decorating your fresh Christmas tree in the traditions of another country, do some research about your ancestral home or your favorite foreign country and see what traditions you might like to incorporate into your tree-trimming.

Where to Put Your Christmas Tree

One of the most difficult Christmas decorating decisions is deciding where to put your Christmas tree. Many people put it in front of a window, so that their decorations can be seen by others through the window. Putting your Christmas tree in the room most commonly used for family gatherings, whether that is the dining room, the television room, or a bedroom, is a good way to make it the centerpiece of your family time during the holidays.

The best place for your Christmas tree is where there is actually room for the tree. Before getting your live-cut tree, it can be beneficial to measure the space intended for that tree. This will ensure that the tree you buy is not too big for the space you have. There should be enough room not just for the tree to stand freely, but also for the presents that will go beneath it, as well as for everyone to sit around or near it on Christmas morning. It should be away from heaters and fireplaces, and positioned so that young children and pets cannot easily knock it over or pull it down.

Other Tree-Trimming Traditions

Each family has their own traditions and ideas about what should and should not go on a Christmas tree. In my family, tinsel was shunned, but multicolored lights were welcomed. In my best friend’s family, only white lights were permitted on the tree, and all of the ornaments had to be in a certain color family, in order to ensure a cohesive tree. Our patchwork tree of strange ornaments, collected on vacations and received as gifts from friends, might have not been as cohesive, but it was definitely full of memories.

There can be something fun about picking one or two colors and decorating your tree only with ornaments of those two colors. Red and silver always look good against a lush, vibrant green tree. If you are going for a Russian theme, blue and white or blue and silver might also work. Most craft and hobby stores will have aisles and aisles of Christmas decorations this season, in every color from neon pink to black, so no matter what your color theme is, you’re sure to find plenty of decorations that complement it.

Making ornaments out of felt, stringing popcorn and draping it on the branches, or adorning a tree with candy canes are inexpensive and interactive ways to decorate your Christmas tree. Some trees look great strung just with lights, without any ornaments at all. No matter how you decide to decorate your fresh-cut tree, it should speak to your family’s traditions and make the tree a place where your family can gather to reminisce about past Christmas celebrations. Even though the tree only lives in your house for a few days of the year, with the right decorations, it can be an excellent addition to your family.

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