Christmas decorations - santa suits

Christmas Decorations and Tree Trimming Ideas

Tree Trimming Ideas
5 Christmas Tree Themes and Inspiration
Compliments of Johann Erickson, Online Discount Mart

Themed Christmas trees can be a lot of fun. The idea is to pick a theme and stick with it in your choices of lights, garland, the tree topper, the tree skirt, and of course, the ornaments. Choosing a theme is easy; pick a Christmas carol or symbol, or choose something you love and can come up with creative ways to express. Try not to pigeonhole yourself into too specific a theme – you'll find that you run out of ideas and it becomes a chore to finish the job. Work with something you can build on easily, that will spark your imagination.

Here are 5 themes for your consideration, along with a few tips for each one and suggestions for many others to make your themed Christmas tree something really special.

Here Comes Santa Claus
Nothing says "Christmas" like jolly old Saint Nick. For a Santa themed tree, begin with red, white, and green tree lights. Top your tree with a Santa hat stuffed with tissue or newspaper and fitted snugly onto the top branch. Using black flame-retardant fabric, fashion a belt to wrap around the middle of the tree, and create a buckle out of heavy cardboard covered in foil or painted gold or silver. Instead of a tree skirt, take a large pair of inexpensive rubber boots and cut out the sides that face inwards and the soles. Slip the boots around the base of the tree, surrounding the stand, so it looks like the tree is actually wearing boots. Secure the boots together with a staple gun. Decorate with as many Santa-themed ornaments as you can find, and fill in the gaps with small boxes wrapped in shiny foil paper, tied up with bows.

Giddy Up, Cowboy!
A western theme is a lot of fun to work with! Lighting colors are up to you – if you have a color palette with your ornaments, you can carry it through with the lighting, or use multi colored lights. Use thick rope (think lasso) as your garland, and a cowboy hat for your tree topper. A cow print fabric makes the perfect tree skirt. Hanging ornaments should feature traditional cowboy symbols, including hats, boots, cows and cow prints, lassos, spurs, and anything else you can think of. Fill in gaps with shiny gold stars, symbolizing a sheriff.

Candy Land
A tree full of sugary goodness! Use a rainbow of colors for your lights, and colored garland as well. String candy popcorn and wind it around the tree between strands of garland. Hang candy canes directly on the tree, and slip ribbon through donut-shaped candies such as Life Savers to tie to the branches. Bake gingerbread men and sugar cookies cut into festive shapes, and put holes in them for hanging when they come out of the oven by poking a straw through the tops. Decorate cookies as desired and hang from the tree with ribbon. Candy jewelry like bracelets and necklaces can also be hung from the tree. For your tree skirt, use a plastic coated tablecloth and glue candy wrappers all over it, overlapping them to completely cover the cloth. Coat with a flame retardant sealant and allow to dry.

Sports Fan
Announce that you're using a sports theme this year, and watch as all of the men in the family suddenly become more interested in the decor! You can make this one either a shrine to your favorite sports team, or a general sports theme. If you're going with the team idea, use the team's colors for your lighting. If not, use whatever colors you prefer. Tree toppers can be a helmet with a logo, a big foam hand like they have at major sporting events, a team flag, or a bobble head doll of your favorite player affixed to the top of the tree with floral wire. If you're using a baseball theme, string shelled peanuts for your garland. Ornaments can include sports equipment, miniature balls that you can get from the dollar store, sports cards with holes punched in them and hung with shoelaces (don't use valuable collector's cards though!), and small team knick knacks hung with ribbon or wire. For a tree skirt, use a fleece throw with a team logo on it, or even astro turf!

Baby's First Christmas
If you've welcomed a new bundle of joy into your family this year, then don't just stop at one special "Baby's First Christmas" ornament – make that the theme for your entire tree! Lights should be pale colors if possible, with emphasis on blue, pink, and yellow. For your garland, tie baby blankets or hooded bath towels together and string them around your tree, twisting as necessary. The tree topper can be a doll, teddy bear, or a big star ornament that has a picture of your baby front and center. Look for star-shaped picture frames at the dollar store to use for this purpose, and decorate to suit your tree. Hang tiny socks and mittens, pacifiers, baby blocks (with ribbon hot glued to the backs), small toys, and ornaments with teddy bear and/or baby themes to them (rocking horses, toys, even a few with Santa). Small picture frames with various photos of your family with the new arrival also make lovely ornaments. Fill in any gaps with bows made out of pastel colored fabric. And of course your tree skirt should be a large baby blanket.

Other Ideas to Spark Your Creativity
If none of these ideas seem right for you, here are another 20 suggestions to consider. Try a new one each year to keep things fresh and interesting!

  • Miniature Village
  • Toyland
  • Let It Snow
  • Dragons/Fantasy
  • Snowmen
  • Teddy Bears
  • Star Wars
  • Jewels/Jewelry
  • Romantic/Hearts and Flowers
  • Trains
  • Multicultural
  • Perfect for Pets
  • Retro
  • Music
  • From the Kitchen
  • All Natural
  • Angels
  • Stars and Stripes/Patriotic
  • Couture/Fashion/Shopping
  • Movie Madness

Simply choose a theme, and then get creative with your lights, garland, etc. You're sure to make an impression on your family and friends with your original and stunning Christmas tree. Happy Holidays!

Wrapping Tips for Oddly Shaped Gifts
Here are some great wrapping tips that will keep the mystery of your gift until it is unwrapped.

Create A Festive Front Door
Your Christmas decorating efforts should start at the entranceway
to your house.