How to Decorate a Christmas Tree in an Old World Style Theme


For those craving tradition and comfort at the holidays (blankets of snow outside, a warm fire inside, a cup of hot cocoa, and plenty of laughter with friends and family), using an old world style holiday theme will be the perfect way to bring these simple pleasures into your home decor. With its early European influences and use of rich colors, your Christmas decorations will evoke images of a Thomas Kinkade holiday scene. This article will help you get started by showing you how to decorate an old world Christmas tree.

Step 1

Once your tree is positioned in your home, begin the decorating process by choosing appropriate lighting. White lights are simple and create a welcoming glow. Make sure to use enough lights to cover the height of the tree completely. For those who desire more of a Victorian style, lights that depict small candles can be used (as opposed to real candles that were used during the actual Victorian era).

Step 2

Large- and medium-sized bulbs should be used as the main ornamentation for the Christmas tree. Other ornaments will be used as well, but you should make sure the bulbs are strategically placed on the tree so there is a variety of color and sizes throughout. Place the ornament hooks on the bulbs and stagger them on the tree. Make sure to step back now and then to get an overall view of how the look is progressing.

Step 3

Ribbon and bows in varying sizes can bring in an element of softness to the design. Bows should be scattered throughout the tree like the bulbs. A large bow can also be used as a tree-topper, with ribbon cascading down the length of the tree from the bottom of the bow.

Step 4

Using traditional glass ornaments is important in creating an old world style Christmas tree. These ornaments should reflect what is special to you and your family. Santa figurines, bells, wreaths, pine cones and angels are a few traditional options.

Step 5

After you add the glass ornaments, step back and look at the finished product. Do not be afraid to add more bulbs, bows or ribbon if you feel that something is missing. Remember that you can add these elements in other decor as well for a more cohesive look: wreaths, centerpieces and garland along a staircase. The last step is to add the skirt to the bottom of the tree. All that's left is to add gifts wrapped in cream, maroon and gold wrapping paper and bows under your old world themed tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be aware of safety hazards as you are decorating, especially with lighting. Overloaded outlets and faulty wires are common causes of residential fires during the holiday season.

Things You'll Need

  • Large real or artificial Christmas tree
  • White Christmas tree lights
  • Artificial candle lights; small, white (optional for more of a Victorian style)
  • Ornament hooks
  • Large and medium sized Christmas bulbs (cream, gold and maroon)
  • Fabric bows; small and medium (gold and maroon)
  • Decorative gold and/or maroon ribbon
  • Selected traditional glass ornaments
  • Tree skirt in a solid corresponding color (preferably a soft fabric like velvet)


  • NCTA Holiday Safety Facts
  • BHG 12 Styles of Christmas: Old Fashioned Tree

Who Can Help

  • Front Gate--View a Large Selection of Traditional Hoilday Decor Items
Keywords: Christmas, Decorating, Traditional

About this Author

Lindsay Bayer is a freelance culture and lifestyle writer from the Midwest. Her articles, ranging from interior design ideas to beauty product reviews, have been features on She holds a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication from Augustana College where she studied the influences of popular culture in the media and society.

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