Traditional Christmas Tree Décor
By Enid Edginton
The two most traditional styles of tree décor are Country and Victorian. The Victorian style of tree décor is definitely more expensive than the Country style, which can be created from cheaper decorations, fabrics and materials. On the other hand the Victorian style is older and is very well suited to the corner tree or the tall slim artificial tree.
The country style of tree décor is definitively American and actually didn't come into style until the 19th century. The look of this tree is rounder and fuller than the Victorian style. It incorporates the chubbier look of a natural pine. However any kind of fir tree is used as a Christmas tree in the United States.
If you like the look of the chubbier country style tree but it is too big to fit into your space, then you can consider buying an artificial corner tree that looks like a pine. It is the fatter, squatter girth that you are looking for when you shop for this and tree decorations online. However remember that for the tree to be truly rustic it should be a real one! You can get a real tree delivered to your door in time for xmas at www.hammacher.com.
The key to creating your own country style tree décor is to think in terms of the traditional colors of red and green. For a truly authentic effect don't use tiny twinkling mini lights, rope lights or fiber optic lights to light up this tree. Nothing will do but the old fashioned, vintage style red, green, blue and yellow egg shaped lights. At the very least try to use red and green lights.
The tree décor for a country style tree is quite rustic. The materials that are used to decorate this type of tree are usually made of wood, tin, stuffed toys, velvet, ribbon, glass and tinsel.
Wooden ornaments can include items such as miniature sleighs, replicas of food and carved figures of Santa and Elves. Shiny red painted wooden apples are especially associated with this country style. When shopping for Christmas decorations online or at the mall, remember the glass balls that you choose should be red and green in color. They should also be shiny rather than frosted metal to accomplish the look.
Tinsel, both in the form of garlands and icicles are also very much part of the traditional American country style tree décor. You can buy furry looking tinsel garlands in white, red or green and wrap them around the tree in a spiral. Silver tinsel icicles should be hung in clumps at the ends of the boughs.
Velvet red bows and plaid ribbon bows tied to the boughs also give an xmas tree that old country feel. Plush toys such as teddy bears or stuffed santas can also be hung from the tree by a thread as a decoration. You can find a lot of these types plush or rustic style wooden ornaments when shopping for ornaments online.
This type of tree also incorporates homemade baked goods in its décor. Ginger bread men and teddy bears make a nice compliment to the color of the dark green branches of the xmas tree. Popcorn strung on a garland is also a very traditional country look.
Traditionally the topper for this type of tree is a Christmas star of some sort. The classic home-made version is a cut out star made out of cardboard and wrapped in tin foil. However you can find all kinds of different versions of the xmas star when you go shopping for decorations online - everything from the blinking electronic contraptions to stars made of feathers and tinsel.
By contrast, the Victorian style of tree décor looks best on the tallest tree that you can find. This English style of tree decorating originated with Queen Victoria at the turn of the last century. The taller and slimmer the tree the better.
Certain types of tree confiers definitely suit the Victorian style more accurately than others. The taller slimmer trees include the spruce and the balsam fur. Victorian style trees are not as spindly as the rounder American style trees and show very little white space through their branches. Also the color of Victorian trees tend to have a bit of a blue tint to their green branches. Keep this in mind if you are shopping for an artificial or corner tree.
Victorian tree décor tends to be very detailed. The main topical theme is angels, birds, animals, portraits and musical instruments. Decorations can be conical, spherical and globular. These types of decorations are commonly made of tin and glass. The idea here is quantity. A Victorian tree is allowed to look more cluttered so the idea is to hang it with as many tinier decorations as you can.
The color scheme of Victorian xmas décor is also a little different from the American style tree. Although red and green can play a part colors such as gold and silver should be much more predominant. Pink, blue and lavender ornaments are also much more common on a Victorian styled tree than an American country style one.
Crystal drops, similar to the ones you see hanging on chandeliers, hung on evergreen branches are also part of traditional Victorian tree décor. You can buy plastic
versions of these in craft stores and attach them to the tree with wired gold ribbon.
Victorian trees, like the American country style, also tend to be generously draped in tinsel and bows. Ribbons in gold, silver, pink and lavender distinguish the tree as being more English, rather than American in style.
The lights that you hang on a Victorian style tree should look like miniature candles. There are many sites that specialize in novelty lights that look like white wax candles in candle holders. One of these is www.hammacher.com.If you decide not to go with the candle holder lights as a theme, tiny blue and yellow lights simulate the glow of true candlelight when hung in this tree.
Another common component of the Victorian tree is fake snow. This stuff, called "flocking" comes in a spray can. It is used to frost the branches of the tree so it looks like it is covered in a sifting of freshly fallen snowflakes.
You don't have to be English or American to prefer one kind of style of tree decor over another. What this all boils down to is a matter of personal and perhaps how high your ceiling is and whether or not you can squeeze a fatter tree in your space. However if you buy a corner tree that is artificial, none of this will be an issue.
For more information on Christmas trees, visit www.o-christmas-tree.com/christmastrees.htm
- a year-round resource for all your christmas tree and decoration needs.
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