Anatomy of a Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is my favorite part of holiday decorating.  Once that tree is up, the lights are lit, the ornaments are hung, it really is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  At the end of last season I scored a pre-lit 7 1/2' tree marked down to $99 at Sears.  It was originally $400, but was on sale after the holidays.  I was thrilled.  Not only would I be getting a larger tree for my new Living Room, but that meant I could also have more than one tree (no way was I throwing away the old tree!)

As you may recall I have been having a bit of silver and gold obsession that I shared with you here and here.  Therefore, I couldn't wait to do a silver and gold themed tree.  I have never done a themed tree before.  With only one tree, I simply put up all of our ornaments: the precious ones, the handmade ones, the ones that we received as gifts or on our travels.  The idea of a themed tree had me anxious to get that tree up! 

So the day after Thanksgiving I began.

Step1:  Assemble tree (easy-peasy - love the new tree!)

Step2: Bows.  (skipping lights because it is pre-lit - awesome!)  I always start with bows.  This is a tradition that I have carried on from my mother.  She has always had bows on her trees.  I simply purchase ribbon and make my own bows.  I use them for a few years and when they begin to look tired or I tire of them, I just purchase new ribbon and begin again.  (Be sure to get the kind that has wired edges, it is easier to fluff them up after a year in a box).

Here is the tree with just the bows & lights:

Step 3: Bulbs.  In years past I have had so many ornaments that I generally never use glass bulbs.  This year I decided to invest in silver, gold, white, and bronze bulbs.  Some were purchased at WalMart, some from Marc's, and the rest I found at the Salvation Army.  All totaled I spent less than $20 on a whole lotta bulbs.

These silver heart-shaped glass bulbs were $99 per box at the thrift store:

Step 4: Ornaments.  Now we have a tree with carefully placed lights, bows, and bulbs, and it is time for the ornaments.  I was determined that I was not going to spend any money on new ornaments, so I did the next best thing.  I shoppped my stockpile of ornaments and I shopped the house. 

I went through all of my boxes of ornaments and pulled the ones that were mostly gold, silver, bronze, white, or brown/green neutrals.  I was so pleased with what I came up with.

These next two (Mrs. Claus & the Reindeer) are from a special box of ornaments that are from my husband's childhood in the 1970's.

Time to shop the house.

This snowman made from a gourd usually finds its way to a winter vignette on a tabletop or chest somewhere in the house.  This year I just set him on a sturdy branch.

This real turtle shell was a find at a garage sale this past summer for 10 cents!  It was in my front foyer, but looks perfect sitting in the tree.

I had to share little Ozzy.  He is priceless and looooves to sleep under the tree.  Maybe it's the warmth from the lights?  My regular tree skirt didn't match this tree.  I shopped the house again and used this gold tablecloth that it embossed with pointsettias.  I have had it for years.

I did purchase a new tree topper this year from Target.  It was just $14.99 for the star and I think it looks great paired with a large cream and gold bow.

And there you have the Anatomy of a Christmas Tree.  I encourage you to think about using a theme for a tree.  In past years, I would have heard the word theme and went "huh??".   However this year I knew if I took it step-by-step I would end up with a gorgeous tree.  I know my photos don't do it justice.  I don't have a big fancy-shmancy camera (hint, hint, Santa).  I do know that when I had a house full of people last weekend I received many complements on the tree.

I encourage you to shop your house and shop your ornaments.  Maybe you have tons of ornaments that are a specific color (red, purple, gold, etc.), or many toy ornaments (nutcrackers, dolls, etc), or maybe you have collected ornaments in all of your traveling and they are enough to fill a tree.  Think outside the box.  Shop your ornaments.  Shop your house.  Spend only a minimal amount of money on basics like bows and bulbs and lights. 

Also, visit The Nester today.  She has a great blog post about how to decorate your tree.

However you choose to decorate your tree, it will be beautiful because of the love and care you put into it. 

What will I be doing with all of the ornaments that I didn't use?  Those will all go on the "old" tree which will be covered in colored lights (my son's favorite) and will have a place of honor in our Morning Room. 

I will be sharing both of my trees along with the rest of my home in the Holiday Tours that these wonderful ladies will be hosting:
Dec. 10 ~ Rhoda's Home for the Holidays Tour
Dec. 11 - Funky Junk Interior's Christmas Trees Unite
Dec. 14 ~ The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes

Dec. 15 ~ Holiday Cookie Exchange right here at A Fine House

Post about your favorite Cookie recipe, then link up here on Dec.15th, and we will share our cookies (minus all the calories!)

See you then!


I am linking this post to The Inspired Room's Holiday Linky Party.  Click on over to get some great Christmas decorating inspiration.

I am also linking up to Funky Junk Interior's Christmas Trees Unite.  I could oooh and aaah over Christmas trees all day!

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  1. I love your theme of gold and silver and I heart bows on a tree! Well done!

  2. GORGEOUS!!! Your ornaments are breathtaking..the tree is fabulous!! Well done!


  3. Looks great Stephanie! Now I have that song "Silver and Gold" going through my head!

  4. This was fun. After putting up 2 recent posts on my tree, I loved reading how someone else did theirs. I've had a themed tree for the last 15 years or so. Like you, I always had one for the "special" ornaments...it was called the kid's tree and at least one for me. Now, we just have one because my daughter doesn't come home, we celebrate with my son before we leave to go to my daughter...and he doesn't care if there is a tree or not. We aren't even around for Christmas, but I still love picking my theme, playing with the colors and mostly sitting quietly in the room with just the Christmas lights on and maybe a little music. Yours turned out beautifully. Silver and gold are so elegant. You really got a great deal on the tree!

  5. BEAUTIFUL! I love it! Thanks for all the links to holiday festivities too...so much fun!

  6. Beautiful tree! I didn't know the differnce between ornaments and bulbs. Now I do (in my language there is one name for them all).
    Gotta go know, got to shop the house for ornaments.

  7. Your tree is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love the step by step- your tree turned out lovely.

  9. Such a lovely tree! I really like the soft colors. How sweet is your kitty?! Ours doesn't sleep under our tree - he tried to climb in it to get the ornaments. Ugh!

  10. pk @ Room Remix
    I like your color scheme, and your tree turned out so pretty!