For designers like me, the busyness of Christmastime is about more than all the holiday parties, cookie baking and shopping for the perfect gift.
For me and my crew of holiday design elves – our Christmas “craze” is much more intense. This year alone, we decorated more than 60 trees!
Yes, that’s right, 60 trees! Which, by my estimations, means I’ve strung miles of ribbon, placed 850 picks, hung 7,000 ornaments, and lit about 12,000 twinkling lights so far this season!
Not to mention all the wreaths, garland, place settings, stockings and other accessories…..whew, no wonder we’re ready to relax until 2020!
While most people debate whether it’s acceptable to decorate for Christmas before or after Thanksgiving, holiday designers begin much earlier than that.
The interior design industry holds three Christmas markets each year – one each in January, June and September.
That’s right, the die-hards are making plans in January for the next Christmas! I prefer to wait until the later shows once I have formulated a game plan for the upcoming holiday season.
I usually attend market with my loyal crew (my mom and my aunt) and together we make a whirlwind trip to Dallas where we tour showroom after showroom of stunning holiday decor.
We take scores of photos and literally shop ‘til we drop before we get back on the plane to come home. It is both exhilarating and exhausting.
One of the drawbacks to market being held so far from home every year is that we’re not able to bring much merchandise home with us. At the end of the show, vendors sell their stunning trees that are decorated for display.
The buyer is responsible for packing up the tree and adornments and transporting them. Due to distance, we’ve always just browsed, gotten ideas and ordered a few items. This year, however, my crew had other plans.
They convinced me that, with a little help from a cousin coming to Missouri in November, some of those beauties could be ours!
So, immediately following a family vacation in October, I hopped on a plane to Dallas with my trusty crew and four empty suitcases. We took all the decorations from the three large trees we purchased, packed the ornaments and ribbons and such into the empty suitcases, loaded the trees in my cousins car and got back on a plane to St. Louis.
About six weeks later, the trees (and my cousin) arrived and we were able to set them back up and get them re-decorated in all their splendor in plenty of time for the holidays.
While this is probably not something I want to tackle every year, it definitely makes for a good story and a wonderful Christmas memory with my mom and aunt….who sometimes have even crazier ideas than I do!
If you’re trying to create the perfect Christmas tree in your own home here’s a few tips to get you started:
- Put your tree up and string the lights – or for goodness sakes, go out and get you a pre-lit tree!
- As you’re decorating your tree, work in a triangle. Place picks and adornments in sets of 3. By working on one small triangle at a time, the task is smaller and more manageable and you can easily spot bare areas that need filing.
- When it comes to ornaments, stick to one color at a time. For instance, hang all the red ornaments then hang the greens next to them. This will keep your tree balanced.
- Aim for a variety of sizes of ornaments, be sure to tuck the larger ornaments into the pockets of the tree. This keeps the eye moving and creates interest.
- Finish with decorative picks, ribbon and a topper of your choice. And remember, there’s no such thing as “less is more” when it comes to a Christmas tree!