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How To Decorate A Glam-Inspired Christmas Tree

DIY

It's something about Christmas that I truly love. One of those things is trimming the Christmas tree! I mean – what's Christmas without a Christmas tree?!


I remember growing up, my great-grandmother made sure she put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. She had a small tree but propped it on a wooden table, so from the window outside looking in, it literally looked about 6 ft tall (haha). The tree had colorful lights that blinked on and off to the sound of Christmas tunes, colorful ornaments that would break –if you held it to tight, and mad silver tinsel EVERYWHERE! On the wooden table around the tree, there would be more tinsel garland, baby Jesus in the manger, and other biblical figurines that she proudly displayed. Spray snow was placed around the window seals for a frosty look (that wouldn't later come off for nothing), more colorful lights, and electric candlesticks in just about every window in the front of the house. Not many gifts under the tree, but the VIBE of love and the season of giving was PRICELESS. Man, those were the good ol' days! But I digress.

I feel like the Christmas tree is the foundation of Christmas. Once it's up, and decorated beautifully, you get a sense of the MOST WONDERFUL time of the year! I'm not going to be giving out tips on how to achieve my great-grandmother's tree, but I will be dishing out 7 steps on how to decorate/trim your Christmas tree Vogue-style!

Choose A Theme.

To make styling your tree a little easier, I would suggest for you to come up with a theme. Maybe you love black and white and want to create a Chanel inspired Christmas tree. Whatever it is, DO IT! Make sure your theme is cohesive with the colors you choose. My theme for my tree this year is The Vogue Room-inspired. Yes, my actual business and brand! (Is that vain??) I wanted my Christmas tree to exude GLAM! I am loving blush/champagne tones, along with silver and a hint of gold. Therefore, I thought those would be the perfect colors to incorporate on the tree as well.

Set Up Your Tree.

I suggest you go with a flocked or colored (maybe white, or even silver) tree to achieve the super glam look. However, if you have a green Christmas tree, that will work too. Moreover, make sure you setup your tree and fluff the branches! I typically start to fluff at the bottom, and work my way up. I suggest you put on a good Christmas music playlist, for entertainment purposes and TAKE YOUR TIME! You should fluff one branch at a time, so your tree will look full!

Step 2a: If you don't have a pre-lit tree, after you fluff your branches out completely, add lights to your tree. I like to wrap the lights around the branches and in between the sprigs.

For Added GLAM: my tree is pre-lit, BUT because I'm extra, I added more lights for MORE TWINKLE and you should too!

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Add Faux Fur Or Ribbon.

When I think of faux fur, immediately my mind says GLAM! Therefore, we are going to add faux fur, ribbon or whatever material you choose to wrap around your tree. You can use a few techniques below:

Faux Fur Method:

This can be done with faux fur garland, a faux fur rug (you can always cut it into rectangles), or if you want to save a few coins, you can use white dusters! Yes, you read it correctly, DUSTERS! Starting at the top, I placed the fur between the branches and went all the way around the tree. Therefore when I finished, it created a "spiral" look around the tree.

I do understand everyone may not want to use faux fur and if that's the case, you can use some old faithful ribbon. There are at least three ways to wrap ribbon around the tree:

  1. The Spiral: some people start at the top and wrap it around the tree like a maze or spiral.
  2. The Waterfall: start at the top on each side of the tree and create a cascading look, which causes a waterfall look.
  3. Random: I like to go with the "random" approach. I start at the top and simply tuck the ribbon in and out of the tree. Essentially, I do this all throughout the tree in different random sections with different ribbon lengths. Trust me, it's going to look good!

Add dusters as faux fur to complete this spiral look.

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Add "Chic" Large Ornaments.

This step is pretty straightforward. Starting with the largest ornaments, place each ornament on the tree in different spots. I like to start at the top of the tree and work my way down (but whatever works best for you). Remember – try to put a decent amount of space between each ornament.

For Added GLAM: make sure your ornaments are SUPER chic. Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, and At Home stores are my top places to go to for nice glam ornaments. I normally select ornaments of varies sizes, shapes, textures, and of course, BLING!

These ornaments are from Hobby Lobby and if you look closely, they have added bling to them.

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Add Florals & Sprays.

Besides getting very nice ornaments, this step has to be my favorite! Florals and sprays are a good way to add definition and dimension to your tree. These elements are great fillers that takes your tree from average to POPPIN'! There isn't a specific technique I use for this step. Once again, I like to get my sprays and florals from Hobby Lobby and At Home. They come in the form of glittery feathers, fluffy feathers, glittery sticks, antlers, etc. Simply, stick them in the tree and even on the garland. Make sure it's secured, and there you have it! The more sprays and florals, the better!

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Add More "Blingy" Ornaments.

You thought I forgot about the rest of those cute ornaments – of course not! Evaluate your tree, take a step back, and see where you may have gaps and spaces that need to be filled. We want to add the rest of your medium to smaller size ornaments here. I like to place a variety of ornaments on the tree. For smaller sizes, I like to place them deeper inside the tree and some on the outside branches.

For Added Glam: The "blingy-er" the ornaments, the better! Glitter, disco balls, and sequins are just a few of my favorite types of ornaments to style with.

Top It Off With Something Visually Interesting.

Add something super interesting to the tree for VISUAL interest. Whether, it's between the branches or an over-the-top topper to set off your tree. You need something interesting that will seal the deal to your overall theme. In my case, I added a few Vogue pictures I had in frames on the wall to the tree. Because my tree is The Vogue Room-inspired, I thought these pictures would be visually interesting and would give my tree the right "pop" I was going for! Mission accomplished!

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

Ebony Staten/The Vogue Room

And there you have it! You have successfully decorated and styled your GLAM Christmas tree, in true VOGUE style! I hope this was helpful and let me know, how your Christmas Tree turn out on Instagram. Happy Holidays!!

Originally published on The Vogue Room.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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