41 Creative Christmas Tree Contest Ideas For 2023: Decorating Tips

Looking for some amazing Christmas tree contest ideas this year? Well, I have found a bulk of ideas for you. From vintage to the evergreen Santa theme, you’ll find here a variety of unique DIY Christmas tree decoration ideas. Follow all the tips and tricks to make your Christmas tree stand out from the rest! 

Whether you’re participating in an office Christmas decoration competition or just want to impress your family and friends, these ideas will surely take your Christmas decorating game to the next level.

christmas tree contest ideas

101 Creative Christmas Tree Contest Ideas For 2023: Decoration Tips

Each year, people worldwide eagerly wait for the Christmas season to arrive. It’s that time of the year when people come together with their loved ones to celebrate, exchange gifts, and indulge in delicious food. And what better way to kick off the festivities than by decorating a beautiful Christmas tree?

But why stop there? Take your holiday celebrations up a notch by participating in a Christmas tree decorating contest! Not only will it add some friendly competition to the mix, but it’ll also give you a chance to showcase your creativity and spread some holiday cheer.

To help you get started, here are 41 creative Christmas tree decorating contest ideas for 2023:

#1. Vintage Vibe

Going old-school with your Christmas tree decor will surely make you the talk of the town. Why not take a trip down memory lane and use vintage ornaments? Think about glass baubles, tin soldiers, and hand-stitched angels. 

To kick it up a notch, drape some tinsel around the tree, reminiscing about the Christmases of yesteryears. Don’t forget those big, colorful bulbs that our grandparents loved. A vintage tree is not just a visual delight. It’s a sentimental journey, too!

#2. Upcycled Elegance

Who says you need to break the bank for your Christmas tree decor? Scour through your home and collect things that you’re not using anymore. Old buttons, strands of beads, and even cut-up pieces of fabric can make unique and beautiful ornaments. 

Tie them together with twine or colored ribbons, and voila! You’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that’s both sustainable and chic.

#3. Candy Cane Lane

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this one’s for you. Decorate your tree with various candy canes in various sizes and colors. Intermix them with red and white baubles for that added flair. Hang gingerbread ornaments and string popcorn garlands to amplify the theme. Trust me, it’s so sweet. You might just get a toothache from looking at it!

#4. Nature’s Finest

Why not bring the great outdoors in this Christmas? Opt for a rustic look by using pine cones, dried fruit, and even bird nests as ornaments. Of course, you’d want to spritz them with a bit of cinnamon or pine essential oil for that authentic forest aroma. 

Tie it all together with a burlap ribbon, and you’ve got yourself an eco-friendly tree that Mother Nature herself would be proud of.

#5. Starry Night

Reach for the stars—literally! Transform your Christmas tree into a celestial spectacle with star-shaped ornaments, fairy lights, and maybe even a few hanging planets. 

To make it truly out of this world, use a combination of gold and silver ornaments that will shimmer and shine as they catch the light. Look up in the sky! It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane; it’s your awe-inspiring, star-studded Christmas tree!

#6. A Nautical Noel

Who says Christmas can’t have a beachy twist? Imagine seashells, starfish, and coral branches adorning your tree. Substitute traditional tinsel with nautical rope and add a touch of the sea with shades of blue and turquoise baubles. Your Christmas tree is ready to set sail into the hearts of everyone who sees it!

#7. A Child’s Fantasy

Tap into your inner child, or better yet, let your kids take the reins on this one. Plush toys, Lego figures, and even their own handmade ornaments can bring a whimsical charm to your tree. 

There’s no limit to the imagination here; just go wild and let your inner child roam free. It might just be the most fun-filled tree you’ve ever had!

#8. Movie Buff’s Paradise

Film enthusiasts, here’s your time to shine! Deck out your tree with iconic props from your favorite movies. Think about Star Wars ornaments or maybe even little Wizarding World trinkets for Harry Potter fans. 

Toss in some popcorn garlands as a cheeky nod to movie snacks. Grab the popcorn, folks! Your Christmas tree will win “Best Director” in a holiday spectacle!

#9. Globe-Trotter Goals

For those bitten by the travel bug, why not make your tree a testament to your wanderlust? Use ornaments from places you’ve visited or miniature landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. Intermingle them with postcards and little flags. It’ll be like taking a round-the-world trip without ever leaving your home.

#10. Family Heritage 

How about dedicating your Christmas tree to your family’s heritage? Decorate it with items that represent your cultural background or ancestry. Think flags, traditional garments, or small handicrafts. 

Attach some family photos to make it even more personal. This isn’t just a tree; it’s a living family album. It’ll not only be a hit in the contest but also a topic of conversation, bridging generations together.

#11. DIY Tree

Roll up those sleeves—it’s time to get crafty! Instead of store-bought ornaments, challenge yourself to make each decoration from scratch. Knit little Christmas stockings, mold clay into festive shapes, or even recycle old CDs into glittering ornaments. 

Who says you have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful tree? A DIY tree is a testament to your creativity and ingenuity, bringing a unique, personal touch to the holidays.

Want to see something crazy? Check out the below DIY project video on making a Christmas tree with cardboard.

#12. Cat Lover

Calling all cat lovers! Why not decorate your tree with all things feline? String up some toy mice, hang scratch pad ornaments, and, of course, leave some room for an actual cat to curl up in the branches—if your pet is into that sort of thing. 

Top the tree with a plush or ceramic cat figure to oversee its feline domain. Just remember: the tree should be as sturdy as possible, especially if your furry friend decides to explore this new jungle gym!

#13. Musical Holiday

For those who can’t get enough of holiday tunes, this tree will be music to your ears. Deck your tree with small musical instruments like tambourines, harmonicas, and mini trumpets. Sheet music can be rolled into cones to serve as unique ornaments. 

And don’t overlook the power of sound! Hang some bells that jingle every time someone walks by. For the pièce de résistance, place a music box underneath the tree that plays your favorite Christmas melodies. Now, you’ve got yourself a symphony of holiday spirit!

#14. Bookworm Tree

Got a soft spot for literature? Turn your tree into a tribute to your favorite books. Create ornaments shaped like miniature books, or simply use real ones if they’re small enough. Bookmarks can be hung like tinsel, and quotes from holiday stories can be written on decorative ribbons wrapped around the tree. 

Top it off with a pair of reading glasses or even a small, plush book character. This tree’s not just for show; it’s a love letter to all things literary.

#15. Emoji Face

Feeling festive but also feeling lazy? Look for a simple yet quirky tree by using emoji ornaments. Smiley faces, holiday-themed emojis and even the infamous poop emoji can be strung up on your branches. 

Add in some fairy lights or garlands to give it that holiday touch. It’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face, and who knows, maybe Santa will leave an emoji-filled gift under your tree this year! 

#16. Rustic Wonderland

Imagine a Christmas tree that looks like it was plucked straight out of a cozy countryside barn. Use burlap ribbons, pine cones, and handmade wooden ornaments to bring this tree to life. 

Consider adding small antlers or faux fur to give it that outdoorsy feel. Mason jar lights can complete the look by lending a soft, welcoming glow. End it with a woven tree skirt that brings the whole rustic theme together.

#17. Snowman Central

Want to turn your Christmas tree into a towering snowman? Start with a white tree as your canvas, then build your snowman from the bottom up using black and orange ornaments for buttons and a carrot nose. 

A top hat on the pinnacle could serve as the crowning glory. Wrap a scarf around the middle for added charm, and don’t forget the twig arms jutting out from the sides! Let it snow around your tree with fluffy cotton or snow spray for that frosty finish.

#18. Winter Woodland

Create a sanctuary for forest critters right in your living room. First off, focus on earthy colors like browns and greens for your ornaments. Adorn the branches with miniature owls, foxes, and deer. 

A sprinkle of snowflakes can add a wintry touch. As for the tree skirt, opt for a mossy texture or even faux fur to represent snow. Hang a lantern or two for a woodland glow, as if you’re lighting the path for lost wanderers.

#19. Fairy Tale Fantasy

Ready for “once upon a time” to leap off the pages and onto your tree? Choose your favorite fairy tales and deck your tree with iconic elements. Glass slippers, magic wands, castles, and dragons could all find a place. String some twinkling fairy lights for that magical sparkle. A crown on top could be the perfect finish, making your tree the king or queen of the forest.

#20. Sci-Fi Spectacular

Blast off into another dimension with a science fiction-themed tree! Think futuristic: metallic colors, weird shapes, and even small, hanging spaceships. You could also decorate it with famous icons like R2-D2 or a lightsaber. 

For lighting, consider a string of LED lights with a cool blue hue to mimic the inside of a spaceship. The tree skirt could be metallic or shimmery, bringing the whole intergalactic look home.

#21. The Upside-Down Tree

Challenge gravity with an upside-down Christmas tree. Yep, you heard right! Hang the tree from the ceiling and decorate it like a right-side-up one. It’s a space-saver and a surefire conversation starter. Ornaments should be securely fastened so they don’t fall off. A sky or cloud pattern tree skirt above the tree would be an ironic, humorous twist.

#22. Sports Galore

Game on! For the sports enthusiasts out there, a tree-themed around your favorite game can be a home run. Footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets—you name it, hang it. Use turf or a basketball court texture for the tree skirt. String some pennants or mini jerseys between the branches, and top it off with a trophy or a foam finger for that ultimate sporting spirit.

#23. Pop Culture Central

In the age of social media and trending topics, why not have an Instagram-ready tree? Decorate with all things current: memes, famous celebrities, or trending hashtags. Maybe throw in a couple of smartphones, selfie sticks, or even TikTok icons. Light it up with neon for that glam vibe, and for the tree skirt? How about a pattern of emojis or social media icons?

#24. Birds of a Feather

Create a natural haven for bird lovers. Hang different bird species, from robins to eagles, all over your tree. Use a net as a tree skirt to represent a bird’s nest. Incorporate other elements like feathers, eggs, and small birdhouses. Add a few sound ornaments that chirp or sing to make the tree come alive with birdsong.

#25. Animate Me

Pay tribute to your favorite animations or cartoons. Whether it’s classic Disney or contemporary anime, use ornaments representing iconic characters and elements. A Pikachu here, a Cinderella there—let your imagination run wild. 

You can light up the tree with colorful LED strings that sync with tunes from the animations. How about a tree skirt resembling a comic strip or film reel?

#26. Food Lovers

Feast your eyes on a tree decked out with all things edible. Ornaments could range from miniature burgers and pizzas to fruits and cupcakes. Consider adding a few kitchen gadgets like spatulas or whisks. 

For lighting, chili pepper lights can add a flavorful twist. A tablecloth pattern or even a pizza design would make a delightful tree skirt.

#27. Flowers Paradise

Turn your Christmas tree into a blossoming garden. Adorn it with different types of flowers—roses, daisies, orchids, and more. Include some butterflies and ladybugs for that complete garden feel. Floral lights can add an ethereal touch. The tree skirt could resemble a grassy meadow or even a koi pond for an added dose of nature.

#28. New Year’s Countdown

Ring in the new year with a tree that counts down the days. Decorate with clocks, calendars, and maybe even a disco ball or two. Add confetti ornaments that you can pop when the clock strikes midnight. Use numbers as ornaments to represent the countdown. For the tree skirt, think black and gold to represent the glamour of New Year’s Eve.

#29. Ugly Sweater Tree

Embrace the infamous ugly Christmas sweater tradition with a tree decorated entirely in sweaters. Use miniature versions of your favorite (or least favorite) holiday sweaters as ornaments. 

Decorate with abominable snowmen, reindeer, and other classic symbols. Go for bright, mismatched colors and patterns for that quintessential ugly sweater look. And top it off with a festive pom-pom beanie or Santa hat.

#30. Comics Superhero

Comic book lovers, this one’s for you. Adorn your tree with all things superhero—from Marvel to DC. Use comic book pages as ornaments, and add some action figures for good measure. String lights in the colors of your favorite heroes. A cityscape tree skirt could set the scene for these caped crusaders.

#31. History Recall

Step back in time with a tree that celebrates different eras and milestones. Consider including ornaments like vintage cars, busts of famous historical figures, or even miniature pyramids. Antique-style lighting can set the mood. Consider a timeline tree skirt that guides you through different epochs.

#32. Cartoon Zone

Relive your childhood with a cartoon-themed tree. Include ornaments from all the classics—think Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, or even modern hits like Adventure Time. 

Use a bright and vibrant color scheme to make the tree as animated as possible. A tree skirt with comic book exclamations like “Pow!” and “Zap!” could add a fun touch.

#33. Galaxy Theme

Transport yourself to outer space with a galaxy-themed tree. Imagine swirling nebulae and distant stars captured right on your Christmas tree. Use dark blues, purples, and blacks as your primary colors for ornaments, complemented by silver and gold accents to represent stars. 

LED string lights can mimic constellations, while metallic tree skirts can reflect the sheen of celestial bodies. For that extra oomph, consider adding small, hanging planets to create your own solar system.

#34. Wild Life

Step into the animal kingdom with a wildlife-centric tree. Whether it’s African savannas or Amazon jungles, your tree can be a tribute to the world’s most fascinating creatures. Think of animal print ribbons and ornaments shaped like lions, elephants, or even exotic birds. 

Adding green foliage or vines can mimic their natural habitats. Your tree skirt could be a grassy field or a sandy desert. To top it off, how about adding animal sound effects for a tree that roars, chirps, or hisses?

#35. Under Ocean

Make a splash with an ocean-themed Christmas tree! Adorn it with sea shells, starfish, and coral ornaments. Don’t forget aquatic creatures like fish, dolphins, and maybe even a mermaid or two. Use colors like different shades of blue, aqua, and sea green to get that oceanic feel. 

Consider adding some real or faux seaweed to serve as tinsel. A sandy or pebble-filled tree skirt can complete the undersea landscape. Opt for blue LED lights to mimic the magical glow of underwater life.

#36. Black and White Elegance

Embrace the timeless allure of black and white. The minimalist color scheme offers a sophisticated touch to the festive season. Think black and white baubles, white feathers, and black ribbons. 

You can go with a stark contrast or soften it up with shades of gray. Add a splash of metallic gold or silver for a luxurious touch. A black and white checkered tree skirt can tie the whole look together. As for lighting, white fairy lights can add a dreamy glow without overwhelming the color scheme.

#37. Neon Glow

Light up your holidays with a neon glow theme. Go wild with bright, neon-colored ornaments—think hot pinks, electric blues, and vivid yellows. The ornaments could range from standard baubles to more unconventional shapes like neon signs or even glow sticks. 

A white tree would work best for this theme, allowing the colors to pop even more. Blacklight can bring out the neon colors, making your tree a glowing masterpiece. A sleek black tree skirt would make the vibrant colors stand out even more.

#38. Pirate’s Cove

Arr mateys, ready to sail the seven seas? Transform your tree into a pirate’s cove. Think skull and crossbones ornaments, treasure chest baubles, and even mini telescopes or anchors. Use a classic red, black, and white color scheme to tie it all together. 

Add some nautical rope garlands for that seaworthy look. Your tree skirt could resemble a sandy beach with hidden treasures scattered around.

#39. Pajama Party

Who said pajamas are just for bedtime? Give your Christmas tree the ultimate comfy, cozy makeover with a Pajama Party theme. Kick things off with ornaments that look like miniature sleepwear—think tiny flannel PJs, plush bathrobes, and even some “sleeping” teddy bears. 

You could also incorporate mini pillows, sleeping masks, and bedroom slippers as additional ornaments. Flannel or fleece fabric would make an ideal tree skirt, giving the impression that the tree itself is ready for a slumber party. 

Read also: How to plan a pajama party?

#40. Scary Tree

Why should Halloween have all the spooky fun? After Halloween, a scary-themed Christmas tree can be a whimsical twist for those who love a good fright. Adorn the branches with mini pumpkins, bats, and spider webs. Ghost and skull ornaments could make a dramatic appearance, too. 

Use dim, orange lights to give your tree a haunting glow. A tree skirt featuring classic horror movie posters could be the cherry on top. It’s eerie, it’s creepy, and it’s a whole lot of fun!

#41. Santa Tree

Last but not least, turn your Christmas tree into a full-fledged Santa Claus tribute! This evergreen Christmas tree decorating idea is my personal favorite. Start with a red and white color scheme to match Santa’s iconic suit. Use ornaments like miniature reindeer, sleighs, and, of course, Santa himself in various poses. 

Don’t forget to add milk and cookie ornaments as a nod to the treats left for Santa. Red and white striped candy canes would work great as additional decorations. A plush, red tree skirt would serve as Santa’s sack, and for the finishing touch, a Santa hat can sit proudly at the top of the tree.

Read also: 15 Creative Office Christmas Door Decorating Contest Ideas


Now, you have some of the most creative and unique Christmas tree decoration ideas for the contest to make your holiday season even more magical. From classic themes like a nostalgic, vintage tree to bold ones like a neon glow or pirate’s cove, there is something for every style and personality. Get creative and have fun with your decorations this year! 

After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. So go ahead and pick your favorite theme or mix and match different elements to create your own one-of-a-kind Christmas tree that will bring joy and cheer to all who see it. Merry Christmas!

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com