You only do it once a year, but Kate Seaver of Kate’s Garden in Markham, Ont., professionally decorates dozens of trees every holiday season. Here are her top tips for decorating a safe and perfect tree.
1 Choose energy-efficient LED lights to curb energy use and costs (an average home uses 27 per cent more lighting in December).
2 When choosing, cutting and setting up tree, ensure 2 feet (61 cm) of space all around side that faces room, and between tree topper and ceiling.
3 Secure tree firmly in stand, then place lightweight tree topper on tip.
4 Have strand of 100 lights for each vertical foot (30.5 cm) of tree (or up it to 200 for extra wow). Plug in and ensure they’re all working.
5 Visually divide tree into pie slices, with the tip of slices meeting at top of tree. Starting at tree top (and wearing safety glasses, gloves and long sleeves, if desired), zig zag lights down each slice midway out from trunk (to leave branch tips free for ornaments).
6 If desired, and working with 4' to 5' (1.2 to 1.5 m) lengths of 3" to 4" (7.5 to 10 cm) wide, wire-edged ribbon, weave ribbon in and out around tree. For added sparkle, repeat with beaded garlands.
7 Have 20 to 30 ornaments in various shapes and sizes for each vertical foot (30.5 cm) of tree, choosing ornaments that coordinate with colours in room.
8 Place largest ornaments first, tucking some midway along branches to light up dark spots in the tree.
9 For impact, add remaining ornaments in clusters of odd-numbered ornaments, interspersing sentimental and homemade decorations throughout.
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.
Excerpted from Canadian Living The Complete Christmas Book by the editors of Canadian Living Magazine Copyright © 2007 by the editors of Canadian Living Magazine. Excerpted by permission of Transcontinental Books, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.