12/20/2012 01:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Christmas Tree Tips: How to Make Your Decorations Rock

Once a year, the Christmas tree makes decorators and designers out of all of us. For me, tree-trimming is an occasion for some over-the-top fun. Whatever the tradition means for you, here are some tips to make your tree a beautiful and stylish centerpiece for holiday celebrations.

How to make your Christmas tree memorable and fun!

Go ahead -- get the big tree (you know you want to):
Without fail, kids always want to pick the biggest tree in the lot. You know what? They're right: in this case bigger is better. Choosing a tree that's oversized for the space it's meant to stand in gives it an irresistible, look-at-me presence.

Go beyond traditional colors:
Red and green? Well, the tree gets you halfway there -- so what else are you going to do? For my tree, I've chosen a palette of bold, modish colors. For your tree, don't feel bound by tradition - -put your favorite colors on display!

Lights do more than twinkle:
Lights bring your tree to life. If you use different size lights, as I've done here, you can also give an added sense of depth to your tree's branches. Wind larger and brighter bulbs around closer to the trunk and inner branches in addition to draping smaller bulbs over the outer boughs. Of course - the goal is always to hide the cords and show the lights.

Divide and conquer:
Use oversized ribbons and ornaments to divide the tree into three or four zones -- I've used hot pink pinecone wreaths, but any big, bold ornaments will do. This gives the tree various focal points to guide the eye.

Ornaments -- work your way up:
Once you've established your zones, give your tree an overall sense of balance and structure by generally placing larger ornaments on the lower branches and smaller ornaments up top.

Save the best for last:
We all have a few ornaments with special meaning -- the ones that were presents or that have been handed down from grandma's tree with the greatest of care. Add these last, in places where they'll have a chance to be seen and admired.

Have fun:
Understatement? You must be thinking of another holiday. Christmas is a celebration of light and wonder amid winter's dark. Decorate your tree accordingly, and don't be afraid to break these and any other "rules" you might imagine are holding you back. Start a new tradition today!

Read Matthew's post on How to Have the Wedding of Your Dreams!