“Simple but festive and sparkly” spell the perfect holiday style for Jay Lynn. The winner of Balsam Hill’s Secret to the Perfect Christmas Tree contest garnered the highest number of votes on Facebook when he shared one heartwarming holiday decorating idea with BH fans.

Underneath his magnificent 7.5-foot Aspen Estate Fir artificial tree lay a sprawling miniature Christmas village: simple, festive, sparkly. But the vision of elegance doesn’t end with just the tree.

As Jay reveals to Balsam Hill, his favorite part of the house to decorate exudes just as much warmth and welcome as his beautiful evergreen. Find out more in this interview.

BH: Do you have a signature ornament you use on your tree year after year?

Jay: For our ornament collection, we do what other families do: we acquire pieces over time. Each year, we try to add one or two very special ornaments. At the same time, we also keep an eye out for some of our ‘favorite things.’

Some of our preferred themes and styles are hand-blown glass pieces, jewel-toned ornaments, vintage Santa Claus figures, mid-century modern era/1950s items, and nativity-themed adornments. We also love signature cardboard glittered snowy Christmas village houses.

BH: What’s your favorite spot in the home to decorate for the holidays?

Jay: Apart from the Christmas tree, my favorite has to be the mantle above the fireplace. A pine garland is a must. We chose the Balsam Hill Mountain Meadow garland with clear lights. We embellished it with Christmas village houses plus some very special ornaments. It’s so warm and festive above the fireplace. The hearth is truly the centerpiece of our holiday gatherings and conveys warmth and a welcoming presence to our friends and loved ones.

BH: When you decorate for the holidays, are there any guidelines you try to follow?

Jay: Having something simple but festive and sparkly is central to our holiday decorating style. Balancing carefully placed garlands, wreaths, candles, and lights are also a must since all this creates a relaxing atmosphere for rekindling that holiday magic of the yesteryears we love.

BH: What’s your favorite family holiday tradition?

Jay: It has to be hosting our annual holiday party that’s always held the last Friday before Christmas. We festively decorate our home for the occasion and we serve great food and cocktails. Life can be so busy, but this is that one special time of the year we dedicate to catching up with our friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones.

BH: Where do you go for holiday decorating inspiration?

Jay: My holiday decorating inspiration is no other than my mom! I was raised in rural Pennsylvania, and we used to decorate our house with a fresh pine garland. Many of my mom’s ornaments were made during the 50s. These included the glittered cardboard Christmas village houses we placed under the tree – which has fascinated me ever since. The houses are illuminated with lights at the back. I’ve also collected quite a few of the Radko Sparkle Town Houses and added those to what my mom gave me. Those are placed under the tree every year.  It’s a magical setting and just the perfect final touch to our tree.

BH: Are there any products you’d like to see in the Balsam Hill lineup?

Jay: Balsam Hill makes the absolute most realistic, highest-quality artificial trees. They are truly the most successful brand of Christmas trees that I am aware of. I think expanding the tree product line with LED technology in the Color + Clear™ option would be very well received.

Congratulations to Jay for his stunning holiday masterpiece! Watch out for more holiday decorating ideas from Balsam Hill.

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