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Choosing A Theme For Your Holiday Tree


Rustic is perhaps the easiest tree theme to create, considering the Rogue Valley's natural abundance of organic ornamentation.

"Try filling the tree with twigs, manzanita branches and pinecones," suggests Pam Hammond, owner of Paddington Station in Ashland. "Dip the pinecones in glitter for extra sparkle."

And don't forget the kitchen when you're foraging for tree trimmings. "Cut slices of oranges and lemons and hang them with twine," says Laurel Walter, co-owner of Confetti in Ashland. "They dry real nice and look magnificent on a natural tree."


Sleek, modern rooms take to a contemporary-themed tree. For this look, think new and fresh. Search out ornaments with a Dr. Seussian shape in bold, bright colors and even polka dots.

"Instead of traditional greens and reds, tweak it a little and go with lime greens and hot pinks or purple," Hammond says.

Look around your home and yard for modern dÈcor ideas — you might find inspiration in a candy dish!

"Go candy-themed like yellow and pink with a little blue," says Walter. "This looks best on a fake white or pink tree. Use real candy, like ribbon candy and big swirled lollipops."

Or make it a contemporary counting Christmas by collecting unusual numbers and letters to hang on the tree.

"I also like just plain green trees — lots of them in groups or alone throughout the house for a really clean modern look," says Walter.


Victorian trees offer a rich feast for the eyes in a palette of red or burgundy, green and gold. Gold or bullion-trimmed ornaments, old-fashioned Santas, snow globes, birds and glass-encased figurines all harken to an era gone by.

Give your Victorian theme a classical aura with millions of musical notes. "Make cones from sheet music and hang them throughout the tree," Walter says.


Create a beautiful traditional tree by focusing on the classic color combination of red, green and gold. For something a bit different, use just one of those colors — an entire tree filled with red ornaments, lights and ribbons.

"Ribbons are a wonderful and affordable touch," says Hammond. "Get a spool of French wire ribbon and make several bows that you tie here and there around the tree."

Ribbon also makes a great garland, as does an old-time string of popcorn (use air-popped instead of oil-popped to avoid greasy kernels).

"Swirl a garland from top to bottom of the tree in a loose, flowing pattern," advises Hammond. "Wrapping it horizontally makes the tree look like it's in bondage."

And for any tree theme, choose one or two unexpected, oversized items to tuck into the branches. "I've used a pair of vintage show shoes for a very traditional look, but you could also use ice skates or maybe a contemporary architectural star that usually hangs on the wall," Hammond says. "This will draw the eye's attention instead of a whole bunch of tiny ornaments which the eye can just pass over."

Pass up the expensive store-bought tree skirts and opt instead for a homemade version. Purchase a couple yards of fabric that complements your theme, swath it around the tree and tuck in the edges. Try skirting a woodsy tree with burlap sacks tied around the base of the trunk with twine or ribbon.

Now all that's needed is a pile of festive, beribboned gifts! Happy holidays!

Choosing A Theme For Your Holiday Tree