Step 1: Hang Christmas Tree Lights
The first step in decorating a Christmas tree is adding the lights. Tree lights typically come on green or white wire strands; choose the strand that matches your tree so the wire will be hidden. Illuminating your Christmas tree from the inside out will give it the most dynamic look. Start at the base of the trunk and work your way up, wrapping lights around every major branch, moving from the trunk to the tip and back.
Traditional incandescent lights: These Christmas tree lights, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, are the most popular type of tree lights. They warm up the branches of a real tree, which will release the scent of pine into the room.
LED Lights: These Christmas tree lights are newer than the traditional incandescent lights and don't produce heat. They're typically more expensive, but are flameproof and fireproof and completely safe to put on your tree.
Step 2: Add Christmas Tree Garlands
There are no firm rules when draping garlands on a tree. To avoid the "sausage effect" (branches bulging between tightly cinched garlands), start at the top of the tree and slowly increase the amount of garland between each wave as you work your way down the branches. Plan to use about two strands of garland for every vertical foot of tree.
To avoid a busy look on your tree, use a variety of garlands from plain to fancy. Thin, beaded garlands look best hung from branch to branch; thicker paper, ribbon or foil garlands look best wrapped loosely around the entire tree.
Step 3: Hang Christmas Tree Ornaments
To showcase your favorite ornaments, place them in prime positions on the tree first. Next, hang your larger ornaments, spacing them evenly around the tree. Fill in around those ornaments with medium- and small-size ornaments. Be sure to hang some ornaments closer to the trunk to create depth and interest. Finish dressing the tree by adding specialty items, such as clip-on ornaments or icicles.
This is my christmas tree for 2011: