I’ve gotta be honest here: Our Christmas tree is never going to be on the cover of any magazine. There’s no theme. The ornaments are haphazardly placed. It is the most perfect tree I can imagine.
Want to get the same look for your tree? Here’s how, in just four easy steps:
Step 1: Cling tightly to most of the family Christmas traditions from your childhood, but abandon the one where you pull down the same artificial tree from the attic year after year. Instead, gather up your family and head out to the tree farm each December 1st. Choose a place like Holiday Acres, where it will be worth the drive to enjoy a hayride, petting zoo, hot chocolate and mulled cider, kiddie rides and activities, and the chance to choose and chop down the “perfect” tree for your family.
Step 2: Do not kid yourself into thinking you can GET the tree and DECORATE the tree all on the same day. Once you’ve made a day of finding the perfect tree, set aside a different evening to make it your own brand of beautiful. Start the Christmas tunes playing, stir up some pumpkin brownies (letting everyone “help”), and pop them into the oven while you decorate. The house will smell great (fresh-cut tree + brownies baking) and pulling out the ornaments will bring back lots of good memories of Christmases past.
Step 3: Now you’re all ready for the actual decorating. Important: There is only one way to get this special look—Do not hang anything on the tree yourself! Hand out the ornaments and let the kids put them all on. Then, LEAVE THEM exactly where the kids put them. Remember back to the days when ornaments only covered the bottom of the tree because that’s all anybody could reach, and note that this year the oldest kids can reach the very top—something you can’t even do yourself. Be proud of your crazy collection of Christmas tree ornaments, some of which were gifts from others and many of which were handmade by the kiddos through the years.
Step 4: After lavishing praise on your little elves, pull the brownies out of the oven and take them upstairs, along with some popcorn and hot chocolate, to snack on while you watch a fun Christmas movie together. Each time you walk back through your living room, smile about the perfect tree in the corner, knowing that one day, even if yours is on the cover of some glossy magazine, this one is the one you’ll wish for.