Tips to make your Christmas tree the shining star of the holiday season.

By Real Simple
Updated January 10, 2005
Lit Christmas tree
Credit: Ellen Silverman

Every holiday season, when you hang the lights on your tree, the crossing strands form a wire net that’s a bear to remove. But there’s a solution: “The trick is to go up and down, not around and around,” says David Stark, co-owner of Avi Adler, a Brooklyn floral and event design company. Here’s a pro-tested technique that ensures orderly wires and a dramatic display.

  • Divide the tree vertically into three sections and string lights by section.
  • Plug the lights in before you begin, to weed out defective strands. Leave them plugged in as you place them so you can spot dark spaces in the tree.
  • Beginning at the bottom, weave each string in and out of the branches, to the top of the tree and back.

Need more proof that this tactic is the way to go? Decorators at New York City’s Rockefeller Center (and who would know better how to light a tree?) use a trunk-to-tip method to create “not just a shell of light but an inner glow and a three-dimensionality that cannot be achieved any other way,” says David Murbach, the manager of the center’s gardens division.