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Balsam Hill’s Holiday Essentials: The Tree Skirt

A tree skirt is a piece of cloth underneath a decorated Christmas tree, which is often bright-colored, and sometimes embroidered with intricate designs. Its origin is closely tied to the tradition of bringing home an evergreen fir during holiday celebrations.

Balsam Hill’s Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt (Photo courtesy of My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia)

Balsam Hill’s Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt (Photo courtesy of My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia)

Let’s take a closer look at the history behind this classic holiday accent piece, and how to use it to create the perfect finishing touch for your favorite Christmas tree.

History of the Tree Skirt

In earlier times, Christmas trees were brought in fresh cut from the woods. They lit up like the ones we have today, but instead of using artificial lights, people back then used wax candles.

Candlelit trees meant having to deal with wax drips and falling leaves. The tree skirt became a practical solution to this problem: a round piece of paper or cloth was placed like a “skirt” underneath the tree, and helped manage the mess by shielding the floor from clutter.

With the advent of electric lighting and artificial Christmas trees, shed foliage and candle wax are now things of the past. Only the skirt remains, which has evolved into an essential decorating piece that serves to elevate your holiday spread.

The Modern Tree Skirt

Below are tips on how you can use the modern tree skirt to elevate your Christmas tree decorating:

A tree skirt makes your Christmas tree “float”. Your Christmas tree is the centerpiece and highlight of your room. Placing a skirt under it creates a visual focal point, and further accentuates your tree. Maximize this “floating” effect by making sure the skirt doesn’t match the color of the floor, like the one pictured below.

This light-colored tree skirt stood out beautifully against the dark hardwood floor, and made the whole Christmas tree display “float” (Photo courtesy of A Blissful Nest)

This light-colored tree skirt stood out beautifully against the dark hardwood floor and made the whole Christmas tree display “float” (Photo courtesy of A Blissful Nest)

A tree skirt is the largest ornament for your tree. Focus on your decorating theme. Whatever your style is, remember that the tree skirt ties the whole look together, and make sure that the skirt you choose is a few inches wider than the base of your tree for maximum display. The navy-blue tone and gold beading of this Studded Velvet Tree Skirt matches well with the blue and metallic accents of the tree it is placed under, creating a harmony of color and detailing.

Colors of our gold and blue-themed Georgetown Ornaments perfectly align with one another

Colors of our gold and blue-themed Georgetown Ornaments perfectly align with one another

A tree skirt effectively hides the stand. A tree stand provides support to the Christmas tree and keeps it from toppling over. However, most stands are created more for function than design. The Juliette Fringed Tree Skirt pictured below makes a beautiful spread for gifts and shields the clunky tripod from view.

The tree stand completely disappears under this beautiful skirt inspired by Moroccan wedding blankets (Photo courtesy of Courtney of French Country Cottage)

The tree stand completely disappears under this beautiful skirt inspired by Moroccan wedding blankets (Photo courtesy of Courtney of French Country Cottage)

A tree skirt provides a cozy space for presents. Children love the space under the tree because that’s where they find those carefully-wrapped gifts to open on Christmas morning. The Ivory Lodge Faux Fur Tree Skirt pictured below is made from downy material that creates a special spot for presents.

Our ivory-toned skirt makes for an elegant spread (Photo courtesy of the Idea Room)

Our ivory-toned skirt makes for an elegant spread (Photo courtesy of The Idea Room)

Tree skirt designs have become more diverse through the years, and offer finer material, intricate weavings, and never-before-seen themes and colors. Visit Balsam Hill for more tree skirt decorating ideas this holiday season.

About the Author

On the Balsam Hill blog, we hope to provide our readers with inspirational decorating ideas the entire family will love. Beautifully appoint your home for every holiday with our decorating tips and tricks.