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Best Christmas tree decorations 2018

Time:2018-12-01 09:20:00Clicks: 297 Font size:T|T

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for some and is often steeped in as much tradition as the big day itself. It can be tricky, however, to achieve a polished look – if you’ve ever spent hours trying to untangle a ball of lights or hung up your old baubles to find that they clash or are unevenly spread out, you’re not the only one. 

First things first, it’s important to understand the different decoration categories so you know what you’re dealing with. 

Lights: these need little explaining, but fairy lights are often what makes a tree look so magical – you can’t beat the joy of seeing them twinkling away late at night.

Tree toppers: some people opt for angels, others prefer a star. You can even get your hands on more outlandish styles such as top hats or birds these days. Whatever you prefer, just make sure you’ve got enough space between the top of your tree and the ceiling to actually attach it. 

Garlands: garlands might not be everyone’s bag, but the term basically refers to anything you string around your tree that doesn’t light up, whether that be tinsel, ribbon or beads. 

Ornaments: this refers to the baubles and items you place on your tree, so whether you’re into the tradition round ones or more flamboyant clip on decorations, they all fall under this category. 

How to decorate a Christmas tree

There’s actually an approved method for decorating the tree itself which will hopefully make your life a little easier and leave the tree looking spectacular to boot. 

1.    Hang the lights

Always, always attach the lights first. This way, you can rearrange them if they’re looking a little wonky without having to take off all the ornaments you’ve so carefully positioned. If you’re using string lights, start from the base and work your way outwards  this will give you the best 3D effect. If you’re using net lights, carefully drape them over the area of the tree that will be on show, taking care to spread the lights evenly over the branches. 

2.    Add the tree topper

Most people leave this bit until the end, but this often results in ornaments falling off or, even worse, the tree falling down as you try to reach the very top of the tree. Avoid these mishaps by placing it on the tree before you add the baubles. This way your tree – and your nerves – will remain in tact. 

3.    Add the garlands

Similarly to the lights, you need to hang the garlands before adding the ornaments. If you’re going for the garland-ed look, you’ll likely need more than one string to achieve an even finish, so make sure you’ve come prepared. 

4.    Add the ornaments

Expensive, sentimental and heavy ornaments should be placed on the strongest or lowest branches to avoid breakage. Similarly, if you have a dog or small children who’re likely to knock things off, try just adding lights and garlands to the bottom section and only introducing the ornaments a little further up. Start by placing your larger feature ornaments evenly amongst the branches before adding the smaller filler pieces to the gaps afterwards. 

Now you know what you’re doing, here’s our pick of the best tree decorations to buy this year. Use these quick links to jump to each section.


National Gallery Baubles

The National Gallery Shop is one of our favourite places to find unique gifts throughout the year and the Christmas decorations always prove to be an especially pretty treat. With four sections of just decorations, you can shop traditional Christmas decorationsdecorative Christmas baublesembroidered Christmas decorations and animal Christmas decorations.  

We selected a few of our favourites below like the orange encrusted droplet bauble, and dark red velvet rose. Creating a beautiful Christmas tree doesn't mean it has to be perfectly symmetrical, the odd colourful bauble or two will create more of a natural harmony. It's also a good idea to consider a colour theme, even if it's as broad as warm tones or cool tones. Notice how lovely the red velvet rose looks alongside the orange droplet? And how well paired the purple heart trinket bauble and golden acorn look with the cool metallic tones mirroring each other without being identical. So put the kettle on, grab the nearest cosy blanket and have a shop around the National Gallery. There's some fantastic stuff out there and not just for Christmas. 

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