Grace McNicholas is an art historian living in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children. In her spare time she combs through thrift shops, estate sales, and yard sales looking for that next great find. She is also one-half of Swings & Arrows.
For the past few years I’ve grappled with the same problem every Christmas, how should I decorate my Christmas tree. I go back and forth between a perfectly primped tree with coordinating ornaments and a perfectly matched garland, or an eclectic tree that has a collection of ornaments throughout the years, some ugly but meaningful. And every year I end up falling somewhere in between.
A gorgeously unified tree with a theme of gold wheat and circular forms?
A seaside themed tree that is easy on the eyes with its muted color palette?
A classically decorated tree with gold garland, bright candy cane ornaments and a Santa tree topper to complete the look?
The tree possibilities are endless, and if you’re anything like me, you have the same conundrum every year as well.
I’ve finally decided to let my Christmas tree freak flag fly and just enjoy the tree my daughter decorates and not worry so much about presentation. After all, it brings her so much joy and Christmas spirit, that the tree itself takes on a whole new role when she pours her energy and love into decorating it.
One thing I’ve done to easily and inexpensively unify my hodgepodge of meaningful ornaments is to hang them each by a red silk ribbon. Although not every single ornament has the red ribbon the unified colors scattered throughout make up for the non-existent garland and still allow me to have even the tiniest bit of control over the tree my children decorate.