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Best Christmas tree decorations 2021: The best Xmas baubles, garlands and lights from £5

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Want to spruce up your Christmas tree? Here are this year's best tree decorations

Many of us have fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree when we were nippers. A ritual in its own right, adorning the fresh (or artificial) branches is a marker that the festive season has really kicked off and that it’s not long until the big guy makes his annual visit (that's Father Christmas, not your rotund Uncle Pete).

There’s still something really special about handling those delicate ornaments and arranging them around the fairy lights (and fear not if the kids get in there first and hang them all in clusters at the bottom – you can always do a bit of re-distributing when their backs are turned). So whether you’re after a traditional Nordic theme, a silver and white winter wonderland or a contemporary colour fest, read on to find the best Christmas decorations for this year.

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Decorating a Christmas tree

What kind of themes can I decorate my Christmas tree in?

There are many options – the sky’s the limit, really. Among the most popular are:

Rustic: if you’re going for a traditional theme, look out for the natural, hand-crafted look when it comes to ornaments, usually made from wood, metal or fabrics.

Contemporary: You can go minimalist and stick to one colour (even one type of decoration) or opt for a range of modern decorations. Decorations should be bold and bright colours can work well, especially ones that aren’t usually associated with Christmas – think pink, purple or blue.

Frosty: silvers and whites look striking on a Christmas tree. Look out for snowflake themes, glittered decorations and clear glass decorations.

Retro: Who says tinsel went out of fashion in the 1970s?

Kitsch: Some might say pineapples or cactuses have no place on a Christmas tree, but with a kitsch look, anything garish goes. A look that may not draw on vintage styles, it’s always eye-catching.

American: A red-and-white combo, including candy canes, can give a gorgeous aesthetic, inspired by the American Southwest.

How do I decorate my Christmas tree?

Always – and we mean always – start with the Christmas tree lights. This means you can distribute the lights easily and evenly without knocking anything else off the tree, as well as hiding the wires. Don’t forget to make sure you can reach the plug socket when all the decorations are up. Next up, go for your strings of beads or pearls and tinsel, if you’re using them. Again, focus on even distribution. Now’s the time for garlands and ribbons. Pop the fairy, star or other treetop decoration on the tree so you don’t have to send the baubles flying off later on. And finally, hang your baubles and other decorations around the branches.

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The best Christmas tree decorations to buy

1. Paperchase Hanging Christmas Tree Decorations: Best novelty decorations

Price: £5-£10 | Buy now from Amazon

If it’s kitsch you’re after (or a more topical take on a Christmas tree decoration), look no further. Paperchase's extensive range of glass baubles spans everything from current affairs to the natural world, stopping off at popular foods and drink on the way. Our favourites include the in-vogue vegan sausage roll and the festive Tequila bottle.

2. Sirius Star Tree Topper with Lights: Best star for the top of the Christmas tree

Price: £40 | Buy now from Trouva

Stars should shine bright, and this one certainly does. You’ll need two AAA batteries (not included), but once you pop them in the neat battery holder, you’ll have a fabulous star with 30 LED lights – the crème de la crème of tree toppers. Thankfully, it has a timer function to save you climbing up and down the tree on a daily basis and there’s even a remote control. At 15cm x 15cm is a good size, but we’d recommend it for a tree with a thicker tip so there’s no chance of it sliding down or toppling off.

Buy now from Trouva


3. Winter Scented Ceramic Bell Decorations: Best large contemporary tree decorations

Price: £20 | Buy now from The White Company

Spice up your living room with these beautifully-scented baubles, which lend a delicious fragrance of cinnamon, clove and orange zest to your room. They also look gorgeous, thanks to their large bell shape that creates a striking contrast against the green pine needles of your tree. As you'd expect from The White Company, these baubles are also really well-made, with lovely details including a slim but strong rope for hanging from your tree's branches.

Buy now from The White Company


4. Manta Makes Baby's First Christmas Bauble: Best keepsake bauble

Price: £8.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Perfect for a traditional Santa's workshop theme, this keepsake etched wooden decoration is a lovely way to mark a baby’s first Christmas. It comes with laser-engraved writing – personalised before checkout on Amazon – surrounded by a collection of very cute festive critters and finished with a red polka dot ribbon. You can get cheaper alternatives, but this is less fragile than a glass bauble, which might matter with little hands trying to decorate the tree with it in years to come. Made from sustainably sourced wood in the New Forest, England.

5. Gingerbread Garland: Best Christmas garland

Price: £36 | Buy now from Anthropologie

Like the idea of draping a garland around your tree, but not keen on the more predictable beads, pearls and ribbons? This handmade felt garland of 100% wool gingerbread men is a stunner. It’s versatile, too – if you decide you don’t want to hang it on the tree, you can use it on a mantlepiece, on the wall or around the window. Anthropologie is an excellent source of high-quality, artistic Christmas decorations which, while not bargain-bucket, won't break the bank either.

Buy now from Anthropologie


6. Twelve Traditional Wooden Christmas Tree Decorations: Best wooden decorations

Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

These little wooden decorations sell for a few quid each in many Christmas markets and high street stores, but you can bag yourself a bargain here with a dozen of them for under a fiver, all presented in a handy storage box. The quality is impressive and they won’t pull the branch down with their weight. Although they come with simple gold thread to hang them with, you can swap that for ribbon to suit your colour theme if you prefer. With rocking horses, drums, toys and angels, there’s real variety here, too.

7. Light Up Bauble Garland: Best garland of Christmas lights

Price: £19.50 | Buy now from Marks and Spencer

M&S has a superb range of Christmas lights and other decorations, most earning four to five stars from verified buyers. It's hard to choose a favourite, but this battery-operated string of lantern-shaped lights is probably the most versatile way to add a dash of festive glamour to your room. Drape it around the tree, hang it on the mantelpiece or string it around a mirror, then flick on the switch to give a warm golden glow. They look pretty good when not lit up, too. Unlike most battery-operated strings of lights, this one has a built-in timer, so you can set it to switch off rather than run down the batteries.

Buy now from Marks and Spencer


8. Christmas Baubles 54-pack: Best value bumper pack of baubles

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon


Less than 15 quid for all the baubles a tree could possibly need? Yes please. The 54 traditional baubles in Amazon's value pack look and feel anything but cheap and nasty. You get a lovely mix of sizes, colours, and finishes, all of them festive rather than garish, including pearlescent gold and the classic shiny red and green.

The baubles are very lightweight (so they won't weigh down your branches, like some more expensive decorations), and they're made from shatter-proof plastic, so you won't end up with tiny shards in the carpet if you drop one. Each one has a detachable hook with lace rope for easy hanging, no additional accessories needed.

9. Not on the High Street Knitted Santa Hat Tree Topper: Best unconventional tree topper

Price: £26 | Buy now from Not on the High Street

Some people think it’s a toss-up between a fairy and a star when it comes to what takes pride of place at the top of the Christmas tree. But this handmade decoration shows you can be more imaginative, with the hat of the Big Guy perching on the top branch. It’s bigger than we expected, but without being domineering, and it’s satisfyingly chunky, with a lovely fluffy pompom. An original, fun idea, it looks great and the 100% Merino wool means it will last you many Christmases to come. You can’t wash it, but you can dry clean it (although you might get a few odd looks when you pop it on the desk of the dry cleaners).

Buy now from Not on the High Street


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