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  • Writer's pictureEmily Tirpack

My Tree Christmas Tree is A Labor of Love!!

I am not a theme tree girl. My tree is an accumulation of my family's life. It includes ornaments from my childhood, ornaments that belonged to my parents and grandparents, ornaments that our kiddos have collected and or made, ornaments that represent places we have visited or have sentimental value, and ornaments that have been given to us by loved ones. My tree is my family's tree and has great sentimental value to me. That is why it is so time consuming, it is truly a labor of love!


Do you know how many lights are on your Christmas tree? Rule of thumb is 100 per per foot, so if you have 8' ceilings, your tree is probably 7' tall, so you might have somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 lights. My 7.5' tree has 2100 lights... yes you read that right. 2100 LIGHTS!!! It takes me 2.5 hours to light my tree, 30 minutes to add the red beads and tree topper and lastly another 3 to 4 hours to add the ornaments. It is quite a process. My time lapse video has reduced the lighting (and bead) process down to just a few minutes.


Here are my tips on how I successfully light and prepare my tree for my ornaments. These tips work whether you are following the 100 lights per foot guideline or you go overboard like I do!

  1. beginning at the top of the tree, wrap as many of the large, thick branches as possible

  2. wind the lights around the tree trunk a few times (you want it well lit)

  3. wrap the largest, most sturdy branches out from the trunk to the tip of the branch and back

  4. wrap lights around the trunk once (twice if there is a a large gap)

  5. ** here is where it gets tricky** since I need room for A LOT of ornaments, I start hacking out BIG pieces of the tree (it may look weird but in the end it will be ok!

  6. move on the the next branch & repeat the wrapping process

  7. as you move toward the bottom of the tree where the branches are longer and heavier you will want to keep those branches from drooping too low so once you have wrapped a branch wrap the lights up and over branches above (close to the trunk)

  8. when finished I start back tat the top with a few strands of twinkling lights

  9. you can wrap those lovely, placement is not important, there will be a nice soft twinkle

  10. add some well placed beads, I like to make large loops and I will even criss cross them

  11. Lastly, add ornaments, be sure to place the heavier ones closer to the trunk, lightweight long ornaments look great on the ends of branches and try not to create ornament clusters






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