Christmas Tree Decoration – Is it About Style or Sentiment?

Where do your Christmas tree ornaments come from? Are they stylish and colour coordinated shiny baubles that you have purchased at your local designer home decor store, or are they unique crafts handmade by your children? Does your tree look like it belongs in a home design catalogue, or is it a rag-tag mismatch collection of cheesy homemade crafts?

Christmas tree

Although these Christmas trees that are perfectly decorated might
look gorgeous in photographs on blogs and in magazines,
what is the message that you are sending to your kids?

There are many style and home decor blogs out there that wax poetical about the virtues of a stylish and elegantly decorated Christmas tree. They detail how you can choose a theme and a colour scheme so that you can create the perfect tree that looks ideal in every detail. They advise using decorative baubles, expensive ribbon and garlands and coloured lights in order to create a beautiful tree. However, there is usually little to no mention of hanging candy canes made from pipe cleaner or reindeer made from toilet rolls on these trees. Could having child-made ornaments be the antithesis of a stylish and attractive tree?

If you look at the trees on websites such as Martha Stewart and other home decor blogs, they look like there was no children anywhere near them when they were being decorated. With perfectly balanced ornaments and a coherent theme, they feature elements of good design such as balance, colour and coordination. If these are considered the most beautiful ideal version of a Christmas tree, it seems as if children should not be able to hang the ornaments and that sentimental kid’s crafts should be left out of the picture.

Should we make decorating our Christmas trees a primarily adult activity, so that the trees turn out the way we want them to?

Christmas is About Children, not Appearance

Although these Christmas trees that are perfectly decorated might look gorgeous in photographs on blogs and in magazines, what is the message that you are sending to your kids? How will your little one feel when you tell them that the construction paper snowflake they made with great love and care just doesn’t fit with your colour scheme?

Your Christmas tree is your own personal decision, but I would urge you to consider – what’s the worst thing that would happen if you left the tree up to your kids? Perhaps the ornaments would be unevenly spread, there would be bare spots and the tree would be covered in pre-school art projects. However, is that really the worst thing in the world? Could you live with a scruffy looking tree, if you knew that it made your little ones happy to decorate it on their own?

What Does a Christmas Tree Mean to You?

Of course you want your tree to be beautiful, but be careful not to damage your child’s self-esteem in your quest for the perfect home decor. Decorating your tree with your children can be a wonderful experience that they will remember forever.

If you get frustrated when they cluster all of the ornaments in one area, or tell them that they need to do things a certain way, you can take a lot of the fun out of what should be a special Christmas memory.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when decorating the tree with your kids:

·         Repeat to yourself that Christmas is not about you and your decorating skills; it is about spending precious moments with your children.

·      Use lots of lights. They will make your tree look pretty and stylish no matter what ornaments it has on it.

·         After the little ones have placed their assortment of ornaments on the tree and you want the decorations to look a little more coherent, you can add some tinsel or glass icicles to each branch to unify the look. Your eye will connect them together and everything will look more coherent instead of random.

·  If you have breakable ornaments, such as the beautiful ones at it’s fine to set them to one side and place them high up on the tree yourself. Let your little ones place all of the unbreakable items on the tree.

Once you relax and let go of the ideal décor magazine of what your home is “supposed” to look like, you can enjoy the wonderful memory of decorating the tree with your kids. The looks on their faces when they see their handiwork are always worth it.

George Torres is a freelance writer and artist. He loves decorating the Christmas tree with his four year old, even though most of the ornaments end up on the bottom half of the tree.  

Image Credit:
Marin – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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