How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree with Beautiful
Wreaths and Garlands

Christmas tree decorating is a fun and worthwhile activity that families look forward to every year. In this time-honored holiday tradition, members of the family help each other in taking out their Christmas tree from storage and adorning it with classic and personalized Christmas ornaments, such as baubles, icicles, and tinsels. These colorful accents are then complemented using a holiday wreath and garland to bring out the full majestic appeal of the Christmas display.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, we present five helpful tips on how to decorate your Christmas tree using garlands and wreaths. By pairing your tree with other holiday accents, you can create a more festive and memorable Yuletide display that your family and friends will surely love.

Come Up with a Theme for Your Christmas Tree

Tree Classics' Alpine White Christmas Tree

The foliage of a white Christmas tree makes for an excellent canvas to highlight colorful holiday ornaments.

Decorating your Christmas tree with wreaths and garlands is easy especially if you have a specific theme in mind. For instance, you can go for a wintry décor with your immaculate, white Christmas tree. You can also come up with bright colors that you can play with to highlight the white foliage of the tree. Christmas ornaments in pink, blue, gold, and silver colors are just some accents you can consider.

Once you have established a clear picture of the tree that you want, gather the necessary ornaments and start decorating your tree. You can then add a wreath and garland to tie up the different elements you used on your tree.

Match the Size of Your Garland with Your Christmas Tree

Garlands are meant to enhance the lush beauty of your Christmas tree. However, if you choose the wrong size, you garland might take away the attention from your tree. To make sure that the focus is kept on your tree, see to it that the length of your garland matches its height. The standard nine-foot-long garland, for example, will go well with a 3-foot Christmas tree but will look awkward on a 6-foot tree. To know exactly how much garland should be draped on your tree, multiply your tree’s height with the standard length of commercial garlands.

Try Combining Two Primary Colors for Your Theme

Tree Classics' Golden Treasures Wreath

Make holiday evergreens more vibrant by adding gold and silver embellishment.

Colors add texture to your tree and make it look natural, so you may want to consider a two-toned garland and wreath for your display. A subtle green shade, for instance, is a perfect match to light gold. Just don’t use too much color combinations, or your décor could end up suffering extremes of light and dark tones.

When Decorating Your Tree, Always Start from the Top

Keep your garland safely in place by attaching one end on the topmost branch of your Christmas tree. Continue wrapping the tree with your garland until you reach the bottom. Make sure that the garland is not wrapped too tightly to avoid damaging the foliage of the tree. Keep in mind that the branches should be able to hang down freely as your garland to maintain a free and airy look to your Christmas tree.

Make Sure to Fuse All Elements Together

Aside from their colors, the design and materials of your Christmas tree, garland, and wreath should also blend in harmony.

Imagine a house with a beautiful, white tree adorned with clear, crystal ornaments and a pink tulle garland. As you glance at the fireplace, you see an elaborate, dark fuchsia, velvet wreath hanging above the fireplace. Wouldn’t you find the wreath inappropriate in a roomful of ornaments exuding tranquility? A snow-inspired wreath would have worked better in this arrangement.

You know that you’ve successfully merged the design elements of your tree, garland, and wreath once you see all three as a single holiday decor; when one cannot exist without the other.

By using a little creativity with the right elements for your holiday décor, you can create a Yuletide display worthy of remembrance. For any ideas or suggestions on how to decorate a Christmas tree, feel free to write in the box below.

4 Perfect Spots for Your Flatback Christmas Tree

Christmas trees allow you to add the beauty and sophistication of nature to your home. The fuller and more robust the foliage, the more magnificent it would look in any room. However, in order to fit a traditional Christmas tree, it would take up a larger space in your home. This makes it an impractical choice for homes with limited space, such as apartments and condominiums. This is where a flatback Christmas tree comes in handy.

Tree Classics’ Murphy’s Flatback Christmas Tree features a unique design perfect for small spaces. Our Christmas tree combines the classic appeal of lush evergreen foliage with a convenient flat back so you can set it against a wall. This allows you to save more space in your home compared to other regular Christmas trees.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, we will help you choose the best place in your home where you can place your Murphy’s Flatback Christmas tree. Find out how you can decorate your home for the holidays without taking up too much space in your home.

Foyer

The foyer is one of the most logical spots for a flatback Christmas tree. Since this is the first place most people get to see upon entering your home, placing your holiday display here would help create an enchanting entryway that would leave your guests in awe. The bright clear or multi-colored lights of the Murphy’s Flatback also make a warm welcome to your home for family and friends.

Beneath Your Staircase

Arguably one of the most underutilized places in homes, the space beneath your staircase is yet another excellent location for your flatback Christmas tree. Instead of leaving it bare and dull, place your Christmas display here to make this part of your home more fascinating. You can also add an elegant Christmas garland to the banisters to help draw attention towards your Murphy’s Flatback display.

Dining Room

Make Christmas dinner a lot more bountiful by placing your Yuletide display in the dining room. The space-saving design of the Murphy’s Flatback lets you add a charming highlight to your dining room that most regular Christmas trees cannot do.

Living Room

Make the most out of the festive charm of your Murphy’s Flatback by setting it near the windows of your living room. Aside from adding a heartwarming highlight to your space, this also lets your neighbors catch a glimpse of the wonderful Yuletide display you have at home.

The stylish design of the Murphy’s Flatback Christmas tree displays an excellent combination of form and practical function not found in any other holiday tree. Our Christmas tree offers homeowners a versatile Yuletide accent to complement your sophisticated decorating style.

5 Delicious Halloween Treats with a Twist

With Halloween just a few days away, it’s time to whip up another batch of treats for the neighbourhood ghouls and goblins. But instead of giving them a ghastly load of sweets, add a twist to the usual goodies by making them healthier and more nutritious. Tree Classics presents five quick and easy Halloween treats your kids will love. With these nourishing recipes, you can be sure they get to enjoy more of the treat than the trick.

Pumpkin-Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches


Let your kids enjoy a sweet and satisfying treat with these awesome pumpkin-vanilla ice cream sandwiches. Combining the nutritious benefits of eating pumpkins with the savory goodness of the classic vanilla ice cream, this easy to prepare sandwich recipe is one Halloween treat you wouldn’t mind your kids screaming for more.

Pumpkin Pie Cutout Cookies


Put an artistic spin to the usual trick or treat sweets with this pumpkin pie cookie recipe. After whipping up the pumpkin spiced dough, use leaf-shaped cutters to cut out adorable cookie forms. Add enticing details to the leaf cookies using a brush and some food coloring.

Transylvanian Truffles


Transport the kids’ imaginations to Dracula’s own home country with these delectable Transylvanian truffles. Overflowing with a nutty and chocolaty flavor, this treat also lets you relish the anti-oxidizing effects of dark chocolates.

Blackberry Jam Bar Cookies


Satisfy the kids’ sweet tooth without giving them a sugar rush with this crunchy blackberry jam bar cookies. Instead of loading the cookie bars with confectioners’ sugar, substitute it with fresh fruit or berry jams. This is a great way to fill the body with vitamins and minerals that growing kids need.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Ginger Cupcakes


Have your fill of scrumptious treats with these gluten-free cupcakes. Featuring a healthy recipe bursting with spicy and creamy flavors, these pumpkin-ginger cupcakes are a sure-fire hit for kids and grownups alike. Since it uses tapioca flour instead of regular wheat flour, you don’t have to worry about ingesting gluten into your body.

This year, delight the kids with more treats than tricks with these healthy and delicious Halloween recipes.

 

Ask Santa: Submit Your Questions to the Big Guy!

Ask Santa
Got a question for Santa?

 

Who is your favorite elf? Do you ever get sick of cookies? What gas mileage do you get on that sleigh of yours? Have you digitized the Naughty/Nice list?

As children we all had questions we were dying to ask Santa, and now Tree Classics is giving you the chance!

Submit your Santa question here or the Tree Classics Facebook page through November 15. Santa will answer your top questions on camera in an exclusive tell-all interview.
If Santa especially likes your question, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a Tree Classics’ Snowmen Figurine. Look for Santa’s interview to be posted on the Tree Classics’ website before Thanksgiving!

Now that Santa is in the hot seat, what do you want to know? We’re looking forward to your questions!

 

Image courtesy of Vanessa Pike-Russell

8 Creative Halloween Costumes for the Family

Donning fun and creative Halloween costumes with the family is a great way to bond with them. Whether you are aiming to make heads turn, or just want to have a themed costume set that will allow you to go together, these outfits will help you come up with ideas that can make you stand out from the crowd.

Dress Up as Famous Characters

If the young ones have favorite movies, cartoons or games, use them as a starting point when coming up with a concept for this year’s Halloween costume.


Dressed up as the cast of Despicable Me, this family made sure that everybody assumed the important characters in the film – from the adorable orphan girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes, to the funny and rowdy minions. Of course, this ensemble would not be complete without the super villain Gru, and his colleague Dr. Nefario.


Wouldn’t it look fun when you see your favorite video game icons making a cameo on the streets? This Pac-Man family revived the vintage arcade game by dressing up as Pac-Man and its pellet food, aka pac-dots.


Tetris is another classic game you can use as inspiration. Not only does it create nostalgia, it is also fun to look at especially for onlookers who enjoyed the game in their day. Be sure to make the Tetris blocks fit together when you’re planning the costumes.

Come as Slice of Life Situations

Depicting the everyday happenings in our lives with Halloween costumes will spark an immediate interest in everyone who can relate.


We see hampers and washing machines regularly, but not on some adorable kids having fun keeping you impressed and entertained. This trio is a head-turner, not only because of their well-made outfits, but also because of the happiness that can be seen in their faces as they sport their laundry-themed costumes.


These beekeepers won’t be collecting honey anytime soon what with their bees out on the streets. You can even let your family dog join in on the party with his very own cute bee get-up.

Wear Your Everyday Food

A charming and delightful sight, food costumes are always relevant wherever you go.


This adorable family wows with their BLT attire. Each costume in this set was carefully thought out to clearly represent the food being referenced. Compared with the simple bread costumes of the parents, the children’s outfits are more elaborate because of the details necessary to add distinct character to the bacon, lettuce and tomato.


With only a few cardboards, art materials, and your creativity, you can turn the family into a snack. This milk and cookies costume set is so simple, yet so cleverly crafted that people can’t help but to take a second look and go hungry themselves.

Come up with Easy but Clever Costume Ideas


You do not have to spend too much on a DIY costume. If your concept is witty enough, it will shine and make an impact. This couple’s stick figure costumes are only made up of white suits, black tape, and masks drawn with a marker, but they score high on clever points.

Halloween costume possibilities abound, but the most important thing is the enjoyment your family feels while wearing them, and even when planning them with you.

Share Your Family Holiday Traditions,
Win in Tree Classics’ Christmas Sweepstakes

Join Tree Classics' Family Holiday Traditions Sweepstakes

Share Your Own Family Holiday Traditions in the Tree Classics’ Christmas Sweepstakes

Attending midnight mass, cooking up a storm in the kitchen with Grandma, and gathering around the Christmas tree – heartwarming holiday celebrations never grow old.

Each family has its own tale of holiday traditions to tell. Whether it involves candy canes and stockings, bountiful Christmas feasts, or chestnuts roasting on an open fire (as the old song goes): it’s Christmas at its purest and you celebrate it with your loved ones.

Allow us here at Tree Classics to spread the holiday cheer and share a couple of your heartwarming snowman stories through our Family Holiday Traditions Sweepstakes, where you could be one of five winners to receive $50 gift cards!

How to Join

Simply like Tree Classics on Facebook, and provide your full name, email address, and state. You can enter every day from October 27 to November 9, 2014.

The good news is you can double your chances of winning: share the contest on Facebook and Twitter, answer the question: “What is your favorite Christmas family tradition?” and include the hashtag #TreeClassicsHoliday. This way, you earn bonus entries!

Win Tree Classics Gift Cards!

Five (5) lucky Tree Classics fans will be randomly drawn at the end of the contest period and will be awarded Tree Classics Gift Cards worth $50 each. Winners will be announced on November 11. No purchase is required for you to qualify in this sweepstakes.

Get a head start by following us on the Tree Classics Facebook page now, and spread the happy holiday bug this early by sharing your own family’s cherished Yuletide tradition! We’d love to hear about your kids making cookies for Santa or reindeer dust or your grand homecoming for this special time of the year.

3 Creative Ways to Store Holiday Decorations in Your Garage

For the busy homeowner, maintaining a well-kept and organized Christmas storage space can be quite a dilemma. Knowing how to collect holiday décor is one thing, but the real challenge is finding out where to safely keep them until the next Yuletide season. While most people use closets to store their Christmas décor, they only provide limited space and often prove too difficult to organize once the items begin to pile up. This is where the space in your garage factors in. Spacious and well-ventilated, this often forgotten part of your home can offer ample storage for all your holiday décor. Here are three creative ways on how to maximize the space in your garage.

Using Overhead Rafters to Hold Christmas Tree Storage Bags 


If you’ve already used up the entire floor space in your garage for storage, maybe it’s time to think vertically. Maximize the available head space in your garage by installing joists and rafters on your ceiling. These attachments can be used as totes to hold various sizes of plastic bins and Christmas tree storage bags in order to create additional storage space in your garage. You can also add large hooks to your ceiling or wall so you can hang your wreaths and garlands while in storage. Just make sure that the joists and rafters are properly attached to safely mount items. Ideally, each tote should only carry a total weight of around 210 lbs.

Mounting Mason Jars to Store Christmas Ornaments


For smaller, more delicate items, such as Christmas balls and tree toppers, you can use a different approach to the overhead totes. Instead of using plastic bins held up by rafters and joists, try using small mason jars to store your holiday ornaments. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Remove the lids off of the jars.
  2. Attach the lids to the bottom of a wooden cupboard using nails or screws.
  3. Carefully place your ornaments inside the mason jars.
  4. Mount the mason jars by attaching them back to their lids.

This storage idea not allows you to store items safely, but it also provides an excellent chance to showcase the beauty of your holiday ornaments even while being kept away.

Adding Multi-sectioned Cabinets for Larger Holiday Décor

Here’s a garage storage idea that sports fans will love. Transform your garage into your very own locker room by adding these amazing wooden cabinets. Available in various sizes and designs, these pre-fabricated cupboards feature different compartments to let you store all your Christmas décor safely. The key here is to get the correct measurements for the sections so you can store even larger items, such as 45-inch Christmas wreaths and upright Christmas tree storage boxes.

Finding a safe place to store your holiday items is not as hard is it may seem. Just like in using your garage for storage space, the secret to an efficient holiday organization is utilizing all available space of your home wisely. Keep a creative eye and try to think of other ingenious ways to store your cherished Christmas décor.

5 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas

It’s the thought that counts. This old adage holds true no matter what the occasion for gift-giving is. But how you showcase your birthday, anniversary, or holiday presents can speak volumes about your appreciation for your friends and loved ones. No matter what your gift-wrapping personality is – minimalist, quirky, or all-out personalized –allow us to help you with these creative solutions.

DIY Embellishments


There is something clean, fresh, and beautiful about a gift that is simply wrapped in neutral tones with a few creative embellishments. Let your generosity and imagination run free – here are some ideas:


  • Elements of nature.Wrap white wool or twine around and around the gift until it overlaps at angles. Push a sprig of rosemary or your old Christmas decorationsthrough the wool. For arustic yet elegant look, wrap your presents in kraft paper and use yarn and sprigs of pepperberry.
  • Rolled paper roses or homemade bows. Instead of tying a trusted bow on top, create your own homemade bow with rolled paper roses. You could also thread a thin cord or piece of twine through a vintage button, knotting tightly, to create a memorable bow of your own.

  • DIY Christmas ornaments.Decorate the family’s gifts with ornaments from the tree to create a cohesive holiday look from the tree topper down to the presents. You may also create reindeer silhouettes and glue them onto a plain wrapper for a warm holiday touch!

Pixel Weave


Apply your knowledge of basic weaving to your gift wrapping. You can use just about anything to create the weave,as long as it is pliable, the right width, and relatively flat. Yarn, ribbon, embroidery floss, or even strips of paper, work well.

To create the weave, cut pieces of your chosen material into a length that will wrap all the way around the package, securing it on both ends using tape, or by tying a knot if you’re using string. Start weaving in and out with your second batch of material until the pattern is to your liking. See your woven ribbon work its wonders on a plain gift box.

Vintage Clothing and Accessories


Breathe new life into an old polo, a blouse, or even a pair of colorful tights by using them as gift wrap! To wrap a gift using tights, cut off the toe, put your gift box or the gift itself in one leg, and cut again, leaving a few inches on each side for tying. Give the gift a heartwarming, personal touch by adding a few more decorative elements, such as artificial flowers or even an old brooch.

Statement Boxes


If you are in a hurry or do not feel craftsy enough, find a savior in the form of decorative gift boxes. Secure the lid with an embellished ponytail holder that little girls will cherish. Add pizzazz to a plain box with basic paper cutouts, such as a DIY paper necktie for the gentleman in your life. Lace works just as well to add a special touch to a pre-made box.

Old Sheets of Papers


Don’t let old newspapers, maps, or wallpaper go to waste – repurpose them as an unlikely yet eye-catching gift wrapper. This idea allows you not only to recycle, but also to achieve a shabby chic look in your gift-giving.

Add a card and your own personal message (written in calligraphy, if you know how), and your masterpiece will undoubtedly bring a warm smile and heartfelt thanks to your loved one’s face.

Have you tried any of these ideas? Tell us how it went, and share your own creative gift-wrapping ideas with us in the comments below!
 

How to String Christmas Lights on Your Christmas Tree

Christmas tree lights brighten up holiday celebrations and bring a twinkle to the eyes of both the young and the old. A Christmas tree without lights is like a candle without a flame, decorative but lacking warmth and luster. If you’re looking to start your holiday decorating early this season, now is the best time to learn how to string lights on your Christmas tree. Tree Classics gives you this easy to follow guide to stringing Christmas lights. It aims to make the whole process as simple and worry-free as possible for the busy homeowner.

Things to Consider

Before stringing your Christmas lights, you need to consider the height and width of your tree because this will be the basis for the number of lights you will need. Depending on how the lights are connected to each other, you can choose from two types: stacked lights and end-to-end lights.

  • Stacked lights
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    This type of lighting allows for additional strings to be connected on both ends of the plug, letting you connect more light strands as needed.

  • End-to-end lights
    End-to-end lights

    This type only allows a single connection at one end of the plug, making it an ideal choice for smaller Christmas trees.

Stringing the Lights

What You Will Need:

    • New string of lights
    • Artificial Christmas tree
    • Step ladder
    • Electrical outlet

Step-by-step guide:

      1. Lay out the light strings on a flat surface. Plug them in to make sure all the bulbs are working and replace any that don’t. Restringing the tree with the strings plugged in is recommended so you’ll know exactly where the lights go on the tree. Don’t forget to put on your insulated gloves as a safety precaution against electric shock.
      2. As you set up the light strands, you can also start fluffing the branches of the tree. This is to ensure that cord is not too stretched out once you finished arranging the foliage of your Christmas tree later on.
      3. Begin setting up the Christmas light strands from the top of the tree then work your way to the bottom. You can use a step ladder to reach the top of taller trees. From the center pole, weave the lights through the branches until you get to the outermost tips, then weave them back again toward the trunk. Repeat this process for all the other branches.
      4. To keep the electrical load for the cord in a safe range, remember to only connect up to 300 lights end to end. After the first 300, plug in the next set of lights to a second outlet.
      5. Check the lighting for your Christmas tree by dimming any overhead lights in the room or by turning them off completely. This will allow you to look for bare spots or busted bulbs. Adjust the lights as you see fit.

Safety Precautions

      • Never plug more than two extension cords together. This is to make sure that the cord can handle the electrical load and avoid any short circuits. Also, double check if the cord can handle the wattage of the bulbs.Make sure that lights have the same wattage to prevent power surges.
      • Make sure that lights have the same wattage to prevent power surges.
      • Plug each light strand before hanging them on your tree to see if they are working. This will allow you to detect problems at the onset.
      • Remember to remove all tags from the lights.
      • Using a power strip is recommended because, aside from making it easier to switch your lights on and off, it provides an additional built-in circuit breaker.

The beauty of a Christmas tree depends largely on how you maintain it each year. Taking the time to string lights on it and decorate it with your family will ensure that you have a magnificent tree for many seasons to come.

Photo by State Farm via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

How to Transition Your Home Décor from Autumn to Christmas

Transitioning your home décor from season to season is not as difficult as it may seem. Most practical homeowners will tell you that the key to a smooth and convenient change of décor lies in how crafty you were able to choose your centerpieces and accents. Just like in switching from autumn to holiday décor, you can match the atmosphere of each season by using items in similar shades. Décor pieces, such as red, orange, and yellow leaves, feature colors that are associated with fall and Christmas ornaments. These items showcase both the heartwarming appeal of autumn and the festive ambiance of the Yuletide season.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, we present four helpful tips on how you can combine elements of autumn and Christmas in your home décor. By adorning your traditional Christmas decorations with the vibrant colors of autumn, you can easily prepare your home for the festivities of the holidays.

Wheat Christmas Wreaths

Since autumn represents abundance and growth, consider decorative elements that will give the look and feel of the country. You can opt to use natural wheat stalks as accents, or combine them with green stalks for a little contrast. Assemble your wheat on a circular wire base, which is ideally 24 inches in diameter, before inserting some pine cones and dried or plastic fruits into it. Attach a red ribbon or any accessory of your choice to the wheat décor then hang it above the fireplace or on your front door. You can also include pine cones and artichokes in your creation as shown in this photo.

Fruity Garland

Spruce up your staircase banister or archway with garlands embellished with colorful fruits. All you have to do is fasten clusters of assorted plastic fruits to your Christmas garland before attaching it to the banister. Most garlands are nine feet in length, but you can opt for a longer or shorter one depending on your decorating preference. Just be sure that the length of your garland matches the length of your banister because it has to be completely covered. You also have the option to insert pine cones and string your garland with Christmas lights.

DIY Table Runner

If you consider the dining room the most important part of the house during the holidays, as most people do, perhaps it’s time to get creative with the decorative pieces you intend to put in this area. Consider incorporating the shades of fall and Christmas in a table runner, such as this chevron bean table runner. It may seem too intricate, but it only requires a craft paper and assorted colors of beans. If you’re not a big fan of beans, you can opt for flowers, leaves, twigs, and dried fruits. Make sure that you compress all the elements of your design together to leave no sign of the craft paper.

Autumn White Christmas Tree

Another great way to decorate for Christmas using fall décor is by using a white Christmas tree instead of the traditional green. This allows your tree ornaments in earth tones such as twigs and pine cones to stand out even more. You can also add warmth to the white foliage by adorning it with colorful berries and other similar fruit décor. Finish up your wintry display by placing an adorable gold narrow garland over your white Christmas tree. Your holiday centerpiece should serve as an indicator that autumn is gradually paving the way for winter, so keep the trimmings to a minimum.

With these Christmas decorating tips from Tree Classics, preparing your home for the upcoming holidays will not only be easier but a lot of fun too!