Woman fixing white and gold themed Christmas decorations in a blue room

The tradition of Christmas decorating is always something to look forward to. As the year draws to a close, you deck your halls with festive ornaments and let the spirit of the season fill your home. To inspire your upcoming plans, here’s a primer on everything you need to know from the most popular Christmas decorations to tips on holiday preparations.

Types of Christmas Decorations

Here are the key items used in traditional Christmas decorating:

Artificial Christmas Trees

different artificial Christmas tree sizes, colors, and lights

Think about the tree’s height and shape relative to the space you’re decorating. Foliage properties—like color and realism—and lighting options are important things to consider, too. Some artificial Christmas trees have special features that match your needs, such as our easy set-up Flip Trees™.

Artificial Christmas Trees 101: Terms to Know

  • Branch Sample Kit: A Balsam Hill™ exclusive preview kit containing individual branches of our most popular trees
  • Classic Needles: Thin, papery needles made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), typically seen on traditional artificial Christmas trees
  • Corner tree: A space-saving tree designed to fit snugly in a corner
  • Flatback tree: A space-saving tree that lays flat against a wall
  • Flip Tree: Our easy set-up Christmas tree that rolls into place and flips upright to eliminate heavy lifting
  • Flocking: An added element that creates a frosted or snow-like effect
  • Fluffing: The technique of shaping branches or foliage to achieve its ideal shape
  • Full trees: The classic tree profile, characterized by a wide silhouette and abundant foliage
  • Hinged branches: Tree branches that are pre-attached to the center pole for quick assembly
  • Pre-Fluffed™: Trees with professionally shaped memory wire branches that fan into place after the tree section is untied
  • Narrow trees: Christmas trees that are smaller in width compared to full trees
  • Slim trees: Our most slender trees for small spaces
  • Tree stand: A sturdy, X-shaped steel base included with every Balsam Hill tree
  • True Needle™: Our most realistic artificial Christmas tree foliage made from injection-molded polyethylene (PE) plastic

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES »

Christmas Tree Decorations

elegant Christmas tree decorations set up in the corner of a white room

FEATURED: BH BALSAM FIR

After deciding on your artificial Christmas tree, consider your theme and the type of decorations you want to use. Dress it with assorted ornaments, tree picks, and matching ribbons or garlands. To complete the look, pick a tree topper and a skirt, collar, or replacement stand.

Christmas Tree Decorations 101: Terms to Know

  • Antiqued: A technique to make a new object appear gently weathered
  • Christmas tree collar: An alternative to tree skirts that serves as a decorative cover for the base of a tree
  • Christmas tree garland: Chains of beads, crystals, lights, or other Christmas-themed elements
  • Christmas tree skirt: A wide circular fabric covering for the base of a Christmas tree
  • Christmas tree topper: An accent for the top of a Christmas tree, such as a star or an angel
  • Ornament: A decorative item hung on a Christmas tree; often sold in coordinating sets
  • Picks: Decorative slender sticks inserted within the branches of a tree

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS »

Christmas Lights

Christmas tree lights of different types

FEATURED: SILVERADO SLIM

For an extra festive look, brighten up your tree with Christmas lights. Pre-lit Christmas trees are a convenient option, since they minimize the time you spend setting up. Choose between traditional incandescent lights or energy-efficient LEDs. Go classic clear, multicolored, or switch between both with our Color + Clear™ trees. We also offer trees with fairy lights and light show options for magical displays.

Christmas Lights 101: Terms to Know

  • Bulb remover tool: Used to remove an individual bulb in case of burnout or breakage
  • Candlelight™ LED: Clear LED lights that give a warm glow similar to traditional incandescent bulbs
  • Color + Clear: Lights that allow you to switch between clear, multicolored, or both using a remote control
  • Easy Plug™: Exclusive Balsam Hill technology that connects light strings through the trunk for quick assembly
  • Foot pedal: A circular, step-on pedal that gives you hands-free on/off functionality for most pre-lit trees
  • Incandescent lights: Traditional Christmas lights that heat a metal filament to produce light
  • LED lights: Light-emitting diodes that don’t burn out or produce much heat

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS »

Wreaths, Garlands, and Other Greenery

White front porch with various artificial greenery wreaths, garlands, and topiaries

FEATURED: OUTDOOR WOODLAND EVERGREEN FOLIAGE

Complement your Christmas tree and decorate other parts of your home with artificial greenery. Wreaths and garlands are great accents for entrances and mantels, while potted trees add cheer to dining rooms and small areas.

Christmas Greenery 101: Terms to Know

  • Centerpiece: A foliage item designed to be placed on a table, often with a slot for a candle
  • Garland: A long segment of foliage often used on fireplace mantels, doors, and windows
  • Potted tree: A tree in an ornamental pot mostly used as an accent rather than the main Christmas tree
  • Swag: Symmetrical greenery used on a mailbox, door, or mantel
  • Teardrop: Greenery shaped like a teardrop and often hung on a door
  • Topiary: A small tree clipped into a decorative shape and displayed on patios, along doorways, or in corners
  • Wreath: A circular arrangement often used on doors and windows

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTIFICIAL GREENERY »

Other Christmas Decorations

red and white Christmas stockings, decorative stocking holders, gifts, and miniature trees on a black mantel

FEATURED: PLUSH BRAID STOCKINGS

Create holiday scenes with tabletop accents like musical snow globes and figurines. Console tables and fireplace mantels are also nice display areas for flameless candles, stockings, and more. Remember, the small details matter in personalizing your home décor.

Christmas Accents 101: Terms to Know

  • Christmas scents: Ornament sticks, diffusers, or oils that emit festive aromas, such as cinnamon, hazelnut, citrus, and pine
  • Cloche: A bell-shaped dome used to create centerpieces or protect souvenirs or collectibles
  • Hurricane: A wide cylindrical candle or candleholder often found in the middle of a centerpiece
  • Mercury glass: Thick, double-walled glass that has silvery material in between its layers; does not contain actual mercury
  • Miracle Flame™: Flameless LED candles that glow with the same flicker of real candle flames
  • Nativity: Figurines depicting a Christmas scene, usually with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus
  • Snow globe: A glass ball encasing figurines and artificial snow; set on a stand for mantel or table display
  • Votive: A small, short candle, often used in a holder

Common Timings

Woman hanging a rustic-themed artificial wreath with pinecones, berries, and ribbon on a white wall

FEATURED: FARMHOUSE WREATH

There’s no hard rule when it comes to Christmas decorating, so you’re free to make your own traditions. But, if you’re curious about the most popular times to put up and take down decorations, here are the usual timings according to our informal polls. We also noted the best times to buy if you’re looking for good deals.

When Should You Put Up Christmas Decorations?

Most people prefer to decorate after Thanksgiving and before Christmas Day. The weekend after Thanksgiving is an ideal time to trade in your fall accents for holiday decorations. As an alternative, you may want to wait until the start of December to ring in the season.

graph showing the most popular times to put up an artificial Christmas tree

When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Decorations?

Most people take down their décor after New Year’s Day or within the first week of January to welcome the new year. Then, there are a few outliers who enjoy leaving their artificial Christmas trees and ornaments up for as long as possible.

graph showing the most popular times to take down a Christmas tree

When is the Best Time to Buy an Artificial Christmas Tree & Decorations?

Get big savings on holiday decorating items after Christmas Day up until January as retail stores clear out seasonal items. To beat the rush, shop early during Christmas in July. Also keep an eye out for special deals three months before Christmas, especially come Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.

For updates on exclusive offers and special deals, sign up for the Balsam Hill newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Christmas Decorating Tips

Now you have an idea of what to buy, when to buy them, and when to put them up and take them down. Next, here’s a rundown of tips to guide your Christmas decorating.

Preparations

Woman hanging colorful garlands on a decorated artificial Christmas tree

FEATURED: BH NOBLE FIR™ TREE

STEP 1: Choose a Theme

Start considering a theme as early as three months before Christmas. At Balsam Hill, we’ve curated festive Christmas tree decorating themes to inspire your holidays. Explore them here.

STEP 2: Make an Inventory of Your Collection

After selecting a theme, list down the items needed and set a working budget. If you’re reusing your existing decorations, check their condition and look out for damages. Test light bulbs and repair or replace anything as needed.

STEP 3: Clean Up Before Decorating

It can be tiring to clean and decorate at the same time. So, clean the house a day or two before adding holiday decorations. This makes the task easier and more enjoyable.

STEP 4: Work with a Team

Ask help from family members and friends to make setting up more manageable. Start with the big tasks first, and leave simpler jobs for last.

STEP 5: Don't Forget to Allot Time for Gift Wrapping

Try to match your gift wrappers with your decorative theme for a special touch. If you have indoor pets or young children, you may want to wait a day or two before Christmas to lay out the gifts.

Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Woman hanging Christmas lights on an artificial Christmas tree

Make sure to fluff the branches of your artificial Christmas tree before adding decorations. To prevent dislodging or breaking ornaments, decorate from the top of your tree and work your way down. Start with accents that you need to hang around your tree, such as light strings, ribbons, and garlands.

Spread out ornaments and tree picks in various sections of your tree. Every once in a while, step back to check if your decorations look balanced. Keep your Christmas tree topper and accents in place with secure fasteners, and consider placing thick towels or a blanket under the tree when handling delicate ornaments.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTMAS TREE ASSEMBLY »

Decorating Key Parts of the Home

For the Front Door and Porch:

Christmas-themed artificial wreaths and garlands decorating two front porches

FEATURED: OUTDOOR MERRY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS & WINTER EUCALYPTUS FOLIAGE

Wreaths and garlands instantly make your entryway more welcoming. Greet neighbors and guests with potted plants and topiaries flanking your door. For extra flair, consider stringing lights and displaying decorative figures outside your home.

For the Living Room or Common Area:

A rustic-themed Christmas tree with gifts and a brick mantel with gold tabletop trees and a Christmas wreath and garland pair

FEATURED: VERMONT WHITE SPRUCE™ & GILDED LEAF MAGNOLIA FOLIAGE

Wreaths and garlands instantly make your entryway more welcoming. Greet neighbors and guests with potted plants and topiaries flanking your door. For extra flair, consider stringing lights and displaying decorative figures outside your home.

For the Dining Room:

Christmas wreaths and garlands decorating two dining areas

FEATURED: CHRISTMAS CANDLE RINGS & FRASER FIR WREATHS

Make dinner parties extra merry with decorated greenery as your table centerpiece. You can even put up a narrow Christmas tree in a corner and match your dinnerware with your decorating theme.

INSIDER’S TIP

Use traditional accents like pinecones, holly berries, and sprigs of foliage as easy ways to decorate any room.

For Other Parts of the Home:

A Balsam Hill artificial Christmas tree in the corner of the bedroom and two sparse trees in a teal reading nook

FEATURED: SILVERADO SLIM TREE COURTESY OF NICHOL NARANJO & FROSTED ALPINE BALSAM FIR COURTESY OF WE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Some families decorate their bedrooms, dens, and reading nooks with smaller trees. Try experimenting with creative themes and unique ornaments to transform these special spaces.

Safety and Storage

Man hanging Christmas lights on a tree and photo of Balsam Hill Christmas tree storage bags

FEATURED: EASY WRAP LED LIGHTS & TREE STORAGE BAGS COURTESY OF KIERSTE OF OLD SALT FARM

Keep safety in mind as you decorate. Be mindful of electric outlets and cords, especially if you’re stringing a lot of lights around your home. Only choose UL Listed lights to avoid fire hazards.

When it’s time to take down your decorations, keep them in proper storage boxes and bags. This will help you enjoy your artificial Christmas tree and ornaments for many years to come. Find more storage tips here.

We hope this guide has inspired your plans for Christmas decorating. If you have any questions, reach out to us here. For more holiday decoration ideas, visit our blog.

SHOP CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS