While tree sellers conveniently stationed in store parking lots and artificial trees displayed in retailers have led fewer people to venture into the wilderness, the Christmas tree is still an important component of holiday celebrations.

Germans who decorated trees inside of their homes are credited with starting Christian Christmas tree traditions during the 16th century. It took the popularity of England’s Queen Victoria and her German Prince Albert appearing around a decorated Christmas tree to eventually win over much of Europe, Canada and the United States.

Trees are very popular today and require decorating. The following secrets and tips can help celebrants do just that:

• Prune the tree first. Be sure to shape the tree as desired, since natural trees will have branches sticking out. Wear gardening gloves to avoid being covered in sap.

• Position trees away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, vents or radiators, which can cause the tree to dry out prematurely and become a fire risk.

• For added safety, anchor a tree to a wall or ceiling, so it will not tumble over onto children or curious pets.

• In homage of the first German Christmas trees, decorate with natural ingredients, such as berries and pinecones. Also, use apples, nuts and marzipan candies.

• To free up more space for presents, place a narrow tree stand inside of a waterproof planting container. Place the tree inside. This will provide a more streamlined look that’s neater than a tree skirt.

• For a whimsical approach, match the tree decor to home decor and the colour of furniture.

• Make handcrafted ornaments with the whole family.

• Hang the most delicate pieces toward the top where they won’t be disturbed.

• Step back and enjoy your handiwork, which will also give you a chance to find any blank spots that need filling in.

GuidedBy is a community builder and part of the Glacier Media news network. This article originally appeared on a Glacier Media publication.