Themed Christmas Tree???

Updated on October 18, 2011
J.T. asks from Victoria, TX
24 answers

How many of you change the theme of your Christmas tree. It just dawned on me that people actually get an entire new set of ornaments every year and totally do different themes for the year. Or perhaps use them for about five years then start all over. I usually buy one or two ornaments for the year and just add to the collection that I started over ten years ago. Am I the only one? Do you do new decorations for the tree every year??

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So What Happened?

My grandmother has a all white or clear is acceptable tree. It is beautiful! My aunt has snow babies but keeps up with trends by making hug bow on top and ribbons changing. But the snow babies are there to stay. My mom has changed her tree over the years but uses the same one for about eight years. I started a collection of halmark ornaments (mostly wizard of oz) ten years ago. After having kids I wont hang those but hang everything else. Lucky for us my mil painted a ton of wooden ornaments that the kids cant break. When she was dieing from cancer we bought a little red funky tree and have that in our sons room now with his own random ornaments. Just wondering if people change there tree yearly. Looks like it is an upperclass or elite thing mostly because they can afford it. I am sentimental towards my ornaments so having a new theme would cursh me. I am really wanting to inherrit the tree skirt that my great aunt made. Think red poodle skirt with siquened christmas characters. Thanks for all your input.

Featured Answers


answers from Houston on

I would love to do that(a new theme every year) but i inherited all of my moms really cool ornaments from the1950's to 1970s......i couldnt bear to not use them. In and of itself its its own theme........classic, well made, intricate ornaments.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Every couple years I change the color of wired ribbon used as garland and balls. Right now, the ribbon and balls are maroon and gold. For a while they were pink, before that was silver. It's a way to update and keep it fresh, without spending a lot of money. Same ornaments, just differant color scheme. I carry that ribbon over to the mantle and weave it into the garland and on the wreath. A couple spools of ribbon is $5

I think the theme of mine is old fashioned Christmas toys. I have all sorts of random things, but when I buy ornaments, it's always tricycles, ragdolls, toy soldiers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have a military Christmas tree, it's white with red and white lights and all the MArine and Navy ornaments. It goes in the piano room.
THe other tree is live and gets the rest of the ornaments. It sits in the living room. THat has no theme.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Heck no! It's enough just keeping up with and storing what we already have. Besides, many of ours are very special - pics of kids, homemade etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi, Jackie -- We also go the route of old (or new!) and much loved ornaments. I love to get new ones each year but only a few, and only significant ones -- we tend to get them when we travel, or they represent interests and activities of our family.

Themed trees can be wonderful, though. If you're at all tempted, and have the room, think about doing a small tree (maybe even a tabletop tree for the dining room, or an outdoor tree for a deck) and having your kid or kids decide on a theme. An all-sports tree if that's what they're into. Or a tree with all dog or all cat stuff on it -- both ornaments and gifts for the dog and/or cat! Doesn't have to be expensive; have the kids make ornaments, hang some tennis balls for sports or toy soccer balls, old dance shoes if into dance; then buy a few nicer ornaments to keep for later years; or use pet photos or sports or dance photos or whatever to make ornaments, etc. Gosh, now I want to do it myself....We've got enough ballet ornaments (daughter), lighthouse ornaments (husband) and nutcracker ornaments (me) to do a tree of each! But they look better all mixed together!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on you, we look forward to adding a few new ones to the old favorites every year on our big tree.
I also have pencil trees that we decorate with the same, tiny, hand made, crocheted ornaments that were made by my Grandma.

In another life (BK-before kiddo) I used to do a gorgeous fruit and berry tree. I haven't even unpacked that stuff in about 8 years...I can't say I miss it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

the theme for my tree is "family heirlooms"! LOL

I consider every ornament made by my sons, nieces, & nephews to be an heirloom. I have some of my childhood ornaments. BUT most importantly, I have some of my great grandpas' ornaments...& some from my grandparents, too. They are the real treasures on our tree.

OH, & my daughter passed away 18 years ago. Each year we buy a SnowBabies ornament in her memory. I usually buy it on her birthday & keep it out until the tree is up. Her ornaments are the 1st on the tree!

EDIT: Whooops! I forgot the rest of the story....I do themed trees for other rooms in the house. I have an angel tree in our hallway which is lined w/ family photos. I have a fishing tree in the main bathroom...which goes with the decor of the room. & the basement family room is retro...complete with a silver tree from the 60s. Until a few years ago, I had a small tree in each & every room...themed to that room, but it began to feel very dated.

Now I focus more on all naturals.....pine boughs & holly from our yard. A little bit of beading or raffia & that's about it! I love the simplistic approach!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I love Christmas and collect many different items. I also put up more than one tree.

One of the things I do to change things up a bit is buy new ribbon (metallic, plaid, red) then also buy one other thing to tie it together. For example, one year I had red plaid ribbon and red poinsettias (I found inexpensive bushes that had about a dozen on each and cut them apart). I wrapped the ribbon through the tree, then when I am finished with ornaments, I placed the flowers throughout the tree, standing back frequently to balance overall. I have all my favorites, and for about $20-$30, the tree looks new as well! I have done it with gold ribbon and some gold balls that I found super cheap one year ($1 a box for a dozen glass gold balls).

I have spent as little as a few dollars, up to about $30, and because I have been doing this for years, I mix and match now, or come up with new ideas. One idea I have never had the time to do, but would like to try is to get the family to make paper origami cranes and use them as the theme. That is inexpensive and would be fun, if we can find the time!

One year I bought little glass lollipop ornaments, for a few dollars for each dozen. I used those and real candy canes for a candy tree. Another year I found glass icicles that were a dozen for around $3-4 dollars, spread though the tree they were really pretty and gave it an overall theme. I haven't used those in a while, so maybe this year I will look for some pretty sparkly silver ribbon and use them again . . .

One year, (along Rachel D's suggestion), I had a small tree in my daughters room that I decorated with her small stuffed animals, and it was one of her favorites.

I think the color theme works best if you place all your usual, sentimental ornaments on first, then choose something (anything you like!) last, so it stands out and you can make sure it is even over the tree.

I will also choose to highlight certain items, like putting Santa's more prominently one year, maybe snowmen the next. Grouping like things together gives them a bigger impact.

As soon as I get an ornament or decoration, it is sentimental, so I can't imagine getting new each year!

Not sure if you were just asking the question or looking for ideas, so I hope my answer helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I have a hodge podge assortment of ornaments. Some from my childhood, some for both of my children, some given to me, some were my grandparents, some were my husbands from childhood, etc... We do purchase a few new ornaments every year. Usually one for each kid and maybe others that catch our fancy. At this point not all of our ornaments go on the tree ~ maybe I should have 2 trees like others. I put the glass ones up top and the others down low for their safety. My ribbon is blue and silver as is my tree skirt and I have dozen matching blue and silver bows on the tree. Somehow it all comes off looking perfect to us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have a couple traditions in our house.
#1 each kid gets a new ornament each year. they put it on the tree each year that they are still living at home. when they get married and move out the box gets handed over to them on the first thanksgiving after they are married. that way it can start going on their own tree.

#2 there is a big tree in the family room. this tree is decorated by all of the family. me and hubby, the kids and their girlfriends/spouses and grandkids.

#3 The regular 6 foot tree in the front living room window is mine. It is covered in angels. I buy an angel each year and also on whatever vacation we are on. the kids pick them up for me wherever they are. They range from Popsicle stick angels to very elaborate angels. the only year I myself did not do it was the year I was in chemo and in no shape to do it. my kids did it for me. I have great kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

We collect ornaments from around the world as we travel. We have special occasion ornaments (first Christmas, baby's first Christmas, etc.). We cannot imagine decorating with plain old ornaments. :) They are all special to us. We add to the ornaments every year, at least one anyway. Our tree has sentimental value to us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I can't afford to do that, switch it every year; besides, I love all my old, sentimental ornaments :) We each get a new one every year! I have, however, seen people who have tastefully done themed trees... one of my best friends mom has done a Barbie tree (with all the old vintage Barbie ornaments), and my personal favorite, a pink flamingo tree :) That one ROCKED!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We do a themed tree every year. We are crafty and artistic, so we generally make most of the ornaments. This year, we are doing a color theme. We actually bought the ornaments this year, because we found a killer sale at Hobby Lobby last week. We've done a Charlie Brown theme, Dr. Suess, a Tiffanys theme, white Christmas, and a few color themes. We were going to do an origami theme this year, but we ran out of time to make all the ornaments. I'm going to start early making all the origami ornaments, so we can have that theme next year. We also plan on having a small tree in my son's room, so he can do his own theme every year. Christmas for us is so fun, because we have this great excuse to make absurd amounts of things!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Sort of, but not.

How's that for clarity??

We make new decorations every year. Most of our decorations are homemade by the kids in this house, family kids, neighborhood kids, and so on. We make different kinds every year. So we keep a few from each year for each kid that did them and then decorate the tree with mostly the new stuff. It is awesome for them to have the memories of the previous years of decoration making. It's a good way to keep continuity because we move a lot and it reminds them where they have been and it's something we can do no matter where we are....PLUS...if the movers lose our holiday stuff (and they have) we know we will just make more.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No, we use the same ones every year and get a few to add..


answers from Lakeland on

Since my daughter was born I have been using cheap plastic ornaments or some that are no big deal if they break. Since moving to Florida I have gotten some tropical themed ornaments and of course Disney ones. My MIL and I were looking at fake trees and we saw a fake lighted palm tree, she is thinking about getting one and going with the tropical theme.
I think I might let my daughter pick out what she wants on the tree this year, I bet it will be mostly princesses. I do like the different color themes. But I don’t want to spend money changing the stuff every year, and I have no storage.


answers from Los Angeles on

My SIL does this, I don't. We have an eclectic menagerie of ornaments and it's fun to look at. The only thing that I update every now and then are the lights and the strings of baubles. Otherwise, I'm not too much into themes. Gets kind of boring.



answers from Dallas on

I use my ornaments again each year. I do try to buy 1-2 new ones every year. But all my ornaments are different. No 2 are alike. I have some from my childhood, some new ones, some I have found at garage sales that I love. It keeps it interesting and I can tell stories about my childhood ones to my kids as we are decorating. Oh - and I have religious ornaments and fun ornaments also. Lots of angels, some nativity, some Disney, a pink flamingo or 2, etc.


answers from Los Angeles on

I have done it for the last three years.
With that said my tree is only 3 ft tall and the box of (small) ornaments was a cheap 5 dollar box at Target. First year was all green, second was all pink, third was a mix. Not sure what I will be doing this year. All of my sentimental ornaments are packed up at my deceased parents house. I think I have 3-5 that my boyfriend and I have bought together and those are our sentimental ones. I think once I get my big tree I will go get the ones that are sentimental to me at my parents house, and stick with the ones I like and stop switching.
So I don't really spend a lot of money on it, and I guess I do it because I really don't have any sentimental ones and I want a change. =)



answers from Charlotte on



answers from Biloxi on

We have done colors - ornaments and tree skirt in a single color. One year was blue - all white lights and various hues of blue ornaments and a blue tree skirt, one year purple, etc.

But, we also have "special" ornaments that we hang on our tree no matter what color we did that year. And we have made a ton or ornaments in the past - we buy clear ornament bulbs, and squeeze various colored acrylic paints into them, swirl around, drain upside down in a cup. When dry they are beautiful - and we have them in a never ending variety of colors.

Hmmm, Now I want to decorate for Christmas. {Sigh} I guess I need to wait.


answers from Austin on

I decorate homes for Christmas, We design Christmas Trees for clients. These are people that are now living in huge homes and no longer can or want to climb on ladders or strain themselves to haul the decorations into the rooms, etc.

The people with children still living at home, have "Family Trees".. these trees we set up with lights and they decorate or the children decorate them. They are more traditional trees with all sorts of ornaments that the family has collected.

The Trees in the Main rooms we decorate. They are usually to match the decor of the home, but have the clients style on them.

Some of these clients we are now on the 6th, 7th and 8th years of decorating them. The Ribbons will be updated and many times, they have found some ornaments they want to add.

We have yet to come across a person that just wants to change out all of the ornaments, instead they usually want to add a new tree, or have purchased a new home or a second home and need some new designs.

When I was in retail, there was a woman that had a tree in EVERY room of her house! Yes, even the bathrooms and the laundry room. She would let people tour her home.. She said she had an "upside down" tree in one room. It hung from the ceiling! Each of the trees was a theme. She allowed people to tour her home during the holidays.
Over the top.. But she said her husband loved helping her. I never did take her up on visiting her home, but I always wondered about the dust, the life of the lights and her electricity bill.

I guess if that is what makes her happy, there are worse things she could have been into.


answers from Dayton on

Oh no, of course not. I love my tree.
I did buy a small silver tree to put my childhood ornaments on.
I'd say we add at least 5 new ornaments a year.
I have to have all those Fisher Price Toy ornaments from Hallmark! ;)
And then DD and DS get at least one.

ETA: Our theme is...Vintage Toy? Our first Christmas together DH bought me every single Rudolph ornament from CVS. Then over the years we collected more. So those are front and center. Love it!



answers from Cincinnati on

my parents do several trees in their house (they have a big house) the main tree is in the family room, but the tree I like the best is in the living room. It is a victorian themed tree. its so pretty!

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