The Angel Tree is one of my favorites of all my trees. It began a couple of decades ago with a few precious angels that I received as gifts. I bought a small tree to put them on. As the years went by and I continued to receive angels as gifts, I had to get a bigger tree for them. Each ornament is a reminder of a dear friend or family member, some of them no longer with us in this world but in the eternal presence of the Lord.
This is Part 3 of a series on Christmas Decorating. You can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.
For the Angel Tree I love using white lights and a soft white "snow" blanket as a tree skirt. It reminds me of a cloud. I also like to use glittery flowing ribbons cascading around them and white candles. Tip: If you look in the craft stores right before or after Christmas you'll find spools of ribbons at a good price. I used about 100 feet of ribbon to decorate this tree.
I've collected several spools over the years. I like to vary it from one year to the next. Sometimes I used pretty prints such as these golden pears (right). This year I chose two solid colors. I would recommend using no more than two different colors or one solid color and one print ribbon on a tree.
I took a whole spool of ribbon (20-30 feet) and placed one end at the top of the tree, draping it down one side. I weaved the ribbon in irregular waves among the branches, tucking it in at intervals. I took a second spool of the same color and did the same on the opposite side of the tree.
I took a third spool of ribbon and tied it in an enormous bow with long spiraling ends. I placed this at the top what I consider to be the front of the tree. I have a large fabric angel that I use as the tree topper.
I began hanging the angels on the tree, beginning with the largest ones and spacing them evenly around the tree. I like to put the largest decorations toward the bottom of the tree and the smallest ones near the top of the tree. I don't like to see any decorations hanging below the bottom branches. I consider the bottom edge of the tree to be as the "hem of a dress," and nothing should be lower than it. I filled in with round gold ornaments to give the tree some added glow. Tip: Don't feel like you have to have it all at once. I've been acquiring Christmas decorations for 37 years. You start out feeling like you don't have very many, and before you know it you have more than you know what to do with. Do the best you can with what you have and enjoy it. Collect a few a year, and they will add up fast.
Finally, I added some antique clip-on tree candle holders and white candles. Tip: Be on the look out for these little treasures at antique stores. I landed a find of 24 of them for a quarter a piece . . . only six dollars for a piece of history and added charm for my tree. They are amazingly designed with swivel heads for straightening the position of the candles. I understand that in the days before we had electric lights for our trees, people would attach candles with these holders. Everyone would gather around the tree on that special night and light the candles briefly for some memorable moments. Then they would hurriedly extinguish them so the tree wouldn't catch on fire. Of course I don't light my candles, but they give the tree that look of yesteryear.
Tip: You can purchase these candles online. Look for candles for Scandinavian Angel Chimes, a Christmas tradition in my family from our Swedish background.
The Setting: The Angel Tree is in our dining room, a setting where we often pray together as a family, a fitting place for a visual that reminds us of the multitude of the heavenly host that sang, "Glory to God in the highest" on the night our Savior was born.
Tomorrow I'll continue the tour of my themed Christmas trees.
Christmas Decorating Series