How to decorate your tree

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“The most important thing is to choose a colour scheme with two colours – three at the most – and keep to it. Once you‘ve got the the colour scheme right, you don’t have to have the most expensive decorations or the biggest tree.”

And if you really want to save yourself trouble, you could take a leaf out of joker Leon Schuster’s book and simply break a brtanch off a tree and hang a lantern on it (see box below).

Here are Shelly’s handy hints on how to decorate your Christmas tree.

Step 1: If you buy a tree, get a green or white one about 1,5 m high. It’ll fit easily into most houses and flats and is also easy to unpack for the beach house. Choose a spot near a power point so the cord of the electric lights is not in the way.

Step 2: Start with the lights. Bend the topmost point of the tree to form a loop and anchor the lights and cable in it. Arrange the lights in a spiral between the branches and keep as close to the trunk as possible.

Step 3: Buy a standard pack of Christmas balls in various sizes. Start in the middle of the tree and hang the biggest balls first. Use balls in the colours of your colour scheme and spread them evenly in the tree. Hang the smaller balls at the top of the tree. Make sure the balls hang right around the tree and not just in the front.

Tip: Take a few steps back and make sure all the balls are evenly spread. Don’t hang up too many balls because the tree will look excessive.

Step 4: Buy just a few more expensive, special Christmas balls for decorations. It’s a good idea to let children choose their own decorations and hang them in the tree themselves.

Step 5: If you want you tree to sparkle more, weave angel’s hair through the branches or hang tinsel on them.

Step 6: Round off the tree with a star or angel at the tip.

Step 7: You can extend the theme by asking friends and family to wrap their presents in gift paper that fits in with your colour scheme.

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