We acquired a Christmas tree on Friday, but the thing wasn’t fully decorated until this afternoon, when Ann and some friends put on some icicles.
Earlier, I put on the lights, and then Lilly and Ann hung some of the other decorations. Along with the icicles, I crowned it with a star (it should be last, but close enough). Unconsciously, my children more-or-less follow my rules of Christmas tree decor, which I detailed more than 10 years ago (but which I clearly learned from my family decades earlier).
… lights first, ornaments next, icicles after that (tinsel to some people, those who also call it “trimming” the tree). The last item is the Star of Bethlehem, which goes on top.
Other guidelines, if you happen to be me, and want to decorate your tree:
* Space the lights and ornaments evenly, but not uniformly or systematically. That is, unless you have a very young child, as we do; in that case, fewer and tougher ornaments go near the bottom, and fewer lights down there too. [That last sentence doesn’t apply any more.]
* Decorate the back, the bottom and the interior of the branches, not only the front or visible sides.
* Be eclectic with ornaments, but no commercial logos or too-silly ornaments, unless your child made them.
For us, that last one means you’ll find on our tree: balls, santas, angels, stars, bells, birds, elves, snowmen, toy instruments, strings of beads, ribbons, even an eggplant ornament. They’re made of glass, plastic, cloth, paper, wood and ceramic. Lots of colors, more cool than hot. Some are old and beat up, some relatively expensive, some downright cheap, some bought at department stores, or discount stores, or garage sale, or acquired for free as gifts.
Eventually, the tree looked like this.
It looks better than the ’73 tree, but maybe that’s just the magic of digital photography.