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Christmas wouldn’t be the same without good ole Christmas decorations—a tree to decorate, stockings to fill and ornaments to hang. These essential items help transform your home into a festive, wintry wonderland, so it’s important to pick pieces that will fit with your overall holiday scheme. Read on for some great tips for whipping up some wonderful decor with Christmas decorations so you can sleep soundly the night before — even with the sugarplums dancing in your head.

Choose a Christmas tree.

Artificial Christmas trees come in all shapes, sizes and colors — you can even buy an upside down Christmas tree. Therefore it’s important to choose one that not only fits in your home but matches the holiday design you’re aiming for as well. While you can opt for a real tree, artificial trees are easier to decorate, are non-allergenic, last longer and don’t require water or maintenance. They’re also a great eco-friendly option, since that’s one less tree that needs to be cut down during the season. Other pros include the ability to select a pre-lit tree and fewer shed needles to be tracked through your home.

Add a Christmas tree stand and tree skirt.

If nothing but the real thing will do, make sure you have a tree stand with a deep water reservoir for your live Christmas tree. Be sure to fill it up only after you’ve set up your tree. After the tree is in place, whether artificial or living, wrap the base with a tree skirt. This helps hide the stand or supporting structure and helps contain any shed needles. It also provides a decorative place to stack those alluring gifts.

Add some Christmas ornaments.

Start by determining what color scheme you want your holiday décor to follow. Popular combinations include red and gold, blue and white or silver and the classic red and green. However, feel free to pick something unconventional as long as it doesn’t clash with the room your tree is in. Whatever you choose, layer different colors among the green branches of the tree for a full, 3D effect. Stockings, other holiday decorations and even your wrapping paper can join in the colorful fun too.

An alternative to a color scheme is a holiday theme. If you love the look of angels, snowflakes, Santas or snowmen, these characters can help you choose the perfect Christmas ornaments and decorations.

Decorate the mantel with colorful or personalized Christmas stockings.

Whether fabric or knit, holiday stockings can be hung with specialty holders that grip onto a shelf or fireplace mantel. If you selected a color scheme or décor theme earlier on, you can search for a set of holiday stockings and a stocking holder that matches. Personalized stockings are great for keeping each family member’s stash separate, and children will love being able to easily hone in on which bundle of gifts is theirs.