Last year I decorated a flocked Christmas tree three different ways (natural, red & white and lastly with blue & silver ornaments).  This year I brought back our oldie but goodie 10 foot tree because it fits the living room so much better and is such a gorgeous tree.  Then I reached way, way back in time to a color scheme I never thought I would revisit…GOLD!!!  Not a bright and shiny gold, but rather an aged gold with a story to tell.  I could not be happier because it is my most elegant Christmas tree ever!

​It says glam Christmas tree without being gaudy.  

It says elegant, classy and valuable without costing me a fortune.  

It looks beautiful during the day bu when the lights come on in the evening it just gets better and better.

Come along as I share all the details with you on how to create an elegant Christmas tree.

How do you make a Christmas tree look elegant?

​Prior to decorating or designing something new, I always do research to get my creativity flowing so I searched for images of  “elegant” or “glam” Christmas trees.  Some versions of elegant were too much for me because you could barely see the tree branches.  Thick ribbons everywhere with masses of ornaments and then some were covered in so much tinsel that it the tree looked like a huge tinsel monster.  That was definitely not the look I had in mind and it was not helping to make my dreams and vision for this tree to come true.  

Dream ornament in Austrian crystals hanging on a Christmas tree

Then I searched “Christmas in a mansion” and I found more trees that were overdone and would not fit in our more simplified home.  

Finally, I searched “Christmas in an upscale hotel” and found my inspiration.  There was an article by The Hotel Trotter entitled “The Best Decorations at the most luxurious hotels of the world”.  Here is a link because you must check it out too. 

Scroll down until you find Aman Venice.  There it is!!! Finally a tree that sang to my soul.  One that was gorgeous and you could still see it’s branches with gold, glass and richly colored ornaments, no ribbon, and exquisite but refined gifts at the base.  This to me said “elegant” and “glamorous”.  

​Now let’s go step by step on all the elements that create this elegant and glamorous Christmas tree and I will show you those elements on my tree.

Lights

​Warm clear lights are a must for an elegant feel.  I prefer a pre-lit tree, because the lights are hidden very well and wrap back and forth up and down the branches so that the lighting extends into the middle of the tree.

Having lights deep within the tree brings the tree to life. Be sure to hang a few ornaments deeper in on the branches so that there is something shimmering from within.

Ornaments

When it comes to the ornaments, it is a must to have a few ornaments that are indeed of a high quality.  I was blessed to inherit my mother’s crystal ornaments.  Here is one of my favorites, this beautiful glass one below – it is about 10″ long!

Vintage glass Christmas ornament

As well, each year I try to purchase a few good quality glass ornaments.  The crystal and feather snowflake ornament below is one of my favorite finds. Off to the left of the photo you can see a brown branch with crystal beads on it. I am the only one if the family allowed to place these in the tree because they have become so fragile. They bring just the right amount of shine and sparkle to the tree.

Crystal and feather snowflake fancy ornament

Many years ago, I found the beautiful Austrian crystal encrusted ornaments. You can still find them on Etsy, just search up “Sparklers” but they do not appear to be sold in stores anymore.

Rhinestone ornament in the shape of the word "Peace"
Rhinestone ornament in the shape of the word "Believe"

​Mercury glass ornaments are also perfect for an elegant Christmas tree.  They have both the glamorous side and the aged patina that would lend perfectly to upscale home decor. These look so expensive but I actually found them on Amazon!

Mercury glass ornament hanging on a Christmas tree

​If you are lacking on the higher end ornaments, be sure to check out thrift stores, Facebook marketplace and estate sales.  

There was something missing though…

After searching through all my bins of Christmas ornaments, I no longer had anything that was gold. That was disappointing in itself but even more so because this year I was determined NOT to purchase any new ornaments.  

If you too are on a strict budget like me then do as I did, search through all your totes of Christmas ornaments especially the really, really old ones and see what you can paint gold!  I found all these plastic ornaments that I had purchased in bulk that were perfect for this project.  I did not want shiny gold ornaments that looked new but rather ones that looked high end but also old like they had been passed down through so many generations.  

With my thinking cap firmly in place, I considered the options. There was just one solution and that was gold leafing! It would give them the exact look I wanted.

It is simple too. Just give the ornaments a good cleaning. Then mix the gold leaf adhesive as directed. Mine calls for adding a little bit of water to the adhesive (so simple). Then brush it on and let it sit for an hour. It will feel tacky when ready and then all you have to do is lay the gold leaf sheets on the ornament and brush off the excess. Easy peasy and look how pretty they came out.

I love that the bit of embossing on the ornament shows through – it makes them look even more authentic.

Gold leafed dollar store ornament

​They couldn’t all be gold leafed though so I took some and painted them with acrylic paints. The first coat was a coppery gold and the top coat was a champagne gold.  These also turned out perfectly and filled my need for metallic ornaments.  You could also paint wooden ornaments in this fashion too.

At night time all the golds blend together so it is easier to see during the day.

Elegant Christmas tree adorned in gold and crystal ornaments

​Although my main color on this tree is gold, I also mixed in some other metals such as silver along with greyish blue glass ornaments.  This added a little more interest and variety.

Garland

When it came to a garland, I wanted something very special.  One that incorporated crystal and gold and I found the most beautiful one at none other than Michaels.  The best part about it is that it was 50% off!  

The gold beads are various sizes and have so much detail such as deeper gold cutout caps on the larger gold beads.  The mix of gold beads and crystals gives the garland a hand-made vibe. They look so sparkly and special on our tree.

Gold and crystal Christmas tree garland

​A pearl garland or an old fashioned bell garland would both be perfect for achieving an elegant Christmas tree.

Tree Skirt

The perfect tree skirt for an elegant tree is a faux fur one.  You could either use a faux fur tree skirt or wrap it in a faux fur blanket as I did with ours.  Faux fur comes in many colors such as pure white, brownish grey and even black.  I went with a greyish brown faux fur blanket because it is the most realistic. That to me spelled elegant! It looks more grey in this photo but in real life it has more brown tones in it.

Look how dreamy it loosk with these two ornaments laying on top.

Fur blanket with mercury glass ornament and also an Austrian crystal ornament "Dream"

Tree topper

When it comes to a tree topper, this is an important decision because it takes the top position on the tree.  To me, it should be something that means a lot to you. It could be a vintage angel, a lit gold star or perhaps even a crystal snowflake.  

If you don’t have anything like this, search antique stores, online classifieds, estate sales and even ask relatives if perhaps they have an heirloom that they are ready to pass on.​

Gold Star Tree Topper

For our home, I searched and searched for a vintage star but could not find any.  I will continue to search. In the meantime, I took this arge paper star from Ikea, painted it with metallic champagne gold acrylic paint. Now it is our larger than life tree topping star! The way the light bounces off it in a soft way is dreamy and not overpowering. It harmonizes well with the elegant theme of the tree.

Elegant Christmas tree with gold and glass ornaments

Gifts

You probably thought you were done, but no Christmas tree is complete without impeccably wrapped gifts at it’s base.  Do not abandon the theme at this point.  It is important to choose your tree theme early and pair up the perfect wrapping paper and bows.  I chose a simple white wrapping paper with gold embellishments, metallic gold wrapping paper with polka dots and this deep chocolate brown satin ribbon tied in a simple bow.

Does this not say luxury?  

Gold wrapped gifts with dark brown satin ribbon set on a faux fur blanket.

Matching your wrapping paper to your Christmas tree theme will provide you with a cohesive under your tree.

The Finished Look

Elegant Christmas tree decorated in gold and crystal ornaments beside a fireplace

Whether it is daytime or nighttime, it is magnificent.

The reflections of the tree on our windows or in a mirror are breathtaking.

Trying this style did not disappoint and it is already a family favorite!

Elegant Christmas tree with mirror in the background

Taking it one step further

​If you really want to earn some more bonus points be sure to add gold accents throughout the room that your Christmas tree is in.  

Gold’ish bronze candlesticks, gold Tibetan bells, old gold pots and a classic mirror with a aged gold frame are on the shelves flanking the fireplace. Use of these decor pieces pulls the theme beyond the tree.

Book shelves decorated for Christmas with a reindeer painting, an old sleigh with skates and bells and trees

Other styles of glam Christmas trees

A few of my friends are also believers in the beauty of elegant Christmas trees like my friend Brooke from Farmhouse 1820. Brooke shared all her tips on how to turn a dining room into a winter wonderland. While I steer clear of ribbon because it always looks terrible when I do it, Brooke truly has mastered it. Look below – this tree is magazine worthy! Click here for her post.

Flocked Christmas tree with white ribbon and mercury glass ornaments

Susan of Hen and Horse Design has a wonderful post explaining how to layer your Christmas ornaments. Look at how beautiful her tree is! My heart is all a flutter over her gorgeous ornaments. Look at the green velvet poinsettia pick – have you ever seen anything so luxurious? Click here for her post.

Elegant Christmas tree with gold and deep green ornaments

I am going to sound like a broken record but Missy of Sonata Home Design is truly the master of color. If you are looking for a glam Christmas tree but want it to be lively and colorful, you must check Missy out. How unique is this? Pink ornaments on an upside down tree!!! She is so creative. Click here to learn how to create this beautiful tree.

Upside down glam Christmas tree

What is the Christmas theme for 2023?

​While I have swung over to an old-world glam tree, you may be wondering if it is in style.  I wrote a post on Christmas design trends for 2023. If you would like all the details, just click here.  

2023 Christmas Decor Trends with blue Christmas ornament

​In summary: 

When it comes to decorating a tree, some say minimalist Scandinavian style is in.  Others say earthy naturals and woodland critters are in.  Even mushrooms are apparently hot this season.

Garden style glass ornament with a tree in a pale and birds on the branches
Owl Christmas ornament in flocked tree

​The more I searched, the more I found diverging opinions on what was in and what was out. One style that made almost everyone’s list was the trend of decorating in a luxurious style!  Phew that sure was a relief to find out I wasn’t really missing it with this style.  

I gave it a small try when styling some holiday decor on shelves flanking our fireplace as you can see below.    The elegance of the mirror reflecting the golden flame of a candle, the patina of the old gold Tibetan bells and tarnished pots caught my eyes and warmed my soul.  I was in love!

Book shelves decorated for Christmas with a reindeer painting, an old sleigh with skates and bells and trees

Ok so luxury, glamorous and elegant are in but is the color gold in or out?  

What is the Christmas color for 2023?

​Apparently, as long as you have blush pink in your decor you are on point!  

Pink nutcracker with pink Christmas trees on either side

Other colors that all the designers touted as in style for Christmas 2023 are:

  • sage green,
  • deep maroon or burgundy,
  • shades of brown and
  • burnished metals including gold!!!  

​Yay!  My desire to return to gold was approved by designers in the know.

Do what you love!

​To be honest though, it wouldn’t matter if it was in style or not. My heart was leading me in this direction and I am not one to chase after trends. It has to feel right and make me happy or it has no place in my home.

My suggestion for you is to decorate in a way that makes you feel at peace in your home.  You should never decorate in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, uneasy or like you don’t belong.  Do what makes your heart sing!

If you want to incorporate trends, do so in a way that works with your own home and unique style.  Don’t spend a lot of money on ornaments that are only up for a month of the year.  As you saw earlier, I had to get creative because I was missing the biggest piece to this style!

More Inspo

If you are looking for more inspiration and would like to see alternative Christmas tree ideas, check out my winter tree by clicking this link.

Natural decorations on a flocked tree

Or if you are a lover of red and white, this is the perfect tree decorating post for you.

Flocked tree with red and black ribbon

Looking for ideas of how to decorate other parts of your home? Just click on this link for our full Christmas home tour.

Mudroom decked out with Christmas pillows, skates, snow boots, and a fuzzy jacket

Thank you!

As always, thank you for sticking around until the end. I appreciate your support so very much! If you like what you saw, please leave me a comment as I love hearing from all of you!

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4 Comments
  • Susan
    November 29, 2023

    Thank you so much for sharing my Christmas tree layering post! Your elegant tree looks fantastic! I love the gold details and how you shared all about your journey to decorating your tree this year!!

    • Crystal
      November 29, 2023

      Thanks so much Susan! Your tree is gorgeous and it was an absolute pleasure to share!

  • Missy
    November 29, 2023

    Your tree is STUNNING, Crystal! I love following your research journey and seeing how you beautifully landed on creating the perfect elegant tree. And your embossed gold ornaments are incredible! Thank you for sharing your resources and thank you for sharing my upside down Christmas tree! Great post!

    • Crystal
      December 7, 2023

      Thanks so much Missy! It turned out much better than I thought it was going to and each day I grow to love it more. Thanks for allowing me to share your spectacular tree!