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Decorate a Library Christmas Tree

Updated on October 25, 2014

Celebrate a Merry Library Christmas with a Unique Christmas Tree

With 30 years of library experience, I love the holiday season in the library. Decorating the library tree doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. Turn the tree into a focal point and a public relations asset.

I've gathered here a variety of ideas to make the library's Christmas tree special. Also included are some ways to reduce the work and the cost of this annual ritual.

(photo of Christmas tree by Virginia Allain)

Christmas Tree Made with Old Card Catalog Drawers

Get Outside Help Decorating the Library's Tree - Enlist the help of community groups to decorate the library's Christmas tree

Get the community involved in decorating the library Christmas tree
Get the community involved in decorating the library Christmas tree | Source

Each year, ask a different community group (scouts, 4-H, garden club, Rotary, bird watchers, school groups) to decorate the library's Christmas tree. You need to contact them in October so they have time to vote on the project, get a committee working on it and get the decorations in place in early December. Make sure the theme of the tree gets your approval before the work gets too far along.

Make sure to publicize their efforts on the library's webpage and newsletter and in the local papers. Take a photo of the group decorating the tree, write a press release telling about their choice of decorations and invite the public to drop by to see the special Christmas tree.

Example of a Library Having Community Groups Decorate Trees - for Christmas

One advantage is it brings lots of traffic to the library during what can be a slow time of year. Each group promotes their tree decorating efforts so friends and family come to see it.

One disadvantage is it ties up the library's meeting room so you can't have programs or meetings during the tree display time.

Look for Christmas Ornaments with a Reading Theme - Here's one from Amazon

A natural theme for a library holiday tree is to decorate it with book characters. It's possible to find Alice in Wonderland tree ornaments and other storybook characters. Finding them is rather time consuming and can be expensive. Enlist the Friends of the Library group or some volunteers to work on this. Start some months in advance.

2011 Hallmark READING IS A BALL! Curious George Ornament - QXI2509
2011 Hallmark READING IS A BALL! Curious George Ornament - QXI2509

Curious George will be familiar to young and old.


Decorated Christmas Trees as a Library Fundraiser

The Orlando Free Library invited teens 13-18 to decorate a 3-foot Christmas tree. The decorated trees were on display at the library from Dec. 12-19. Raffle tickets were sold to people in the community at $1 each for a chance to win the tree they liked best. Decorating parties were held on 2 dates (after school). Some decorations were provided. Participants could also bring supplies of their choice. All proceeds will be used to purchase furniture for the Young Adult area in the Library. The drawing for the trees will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Need not be present to win.

Find Inspiration on Pinterest

Check out the pinboard where I pin unique ideas for trees for libraries. From there, you can follow the links to the original blog or web page for how-to info.
Check out the pinboard where I pin unique ideas for trees for libraries. From there, you can follow the links to the original blog or web page for how-to info. | Source

Decorate with Storybook Characters

Look for Storybook Characters - Here are ornaments from Dr. Seuss

And since the Grinch movie came out, you'll have lots of admirers for these ornaments.

A Small Warning

Since some of the book character ornaments or local-themed ornaments are very appealing to library patrons, some might disappear. Some ornaments are fragile and easily broken by young admirers. It's best to put a tree with these ornaments in an inaccessible, but still viewable area.

Decorate a Tree with Wizard of Oz Characters

I love these characters. And you know, they usually run the Wizard of Oz on television in December.

Alice in Wonderland Ornament for a Christmas Tree in a Library

Disney Alice in Wonderland Ornament
Disney Alice in Wonderland Ornament

Who is peeking out from that big chair?


Another Set of Storybook Characters - Ornaments from Winnie the Pooh

These ornaments would look so great on a little tree for children.

Decorate with a Local Theme

Go with a Local Theme - Ornaments for a Florida Christmas Tree

Oh boy, can't have enough alligators, flamingos and seashells for this one.

Local Theme - Christmas Ornaments for a Texas Library

Think of things that symbolize Texas, then fill a Texas tree with cut-out figures of armadillos, cowboy boots, sombreros, chile peppers, howling coyotes and other Texas symbols like bluebonnets. Use lariat rope draped gracefully around the tree like a garland.

Make It a Library Wish Tree

The Library Christmas Tree as a Wish List

Cut out pictures of book covers from publisher's catalogs (or print them out from Amazon). These should be titles that the library would like to add to the collection. Glue them onto paper or cardboard Christmas ball shapes. On the back of each put the price of the book. Hang these on the Christmas tree.

Put a sign explaining that the library needs angels in the community to buy the books on the Wish Tree. Tell them to bring the book ornament that they choose to the check out desk and make a donation for the amount needed to buy the book.

Glue a new backing to the paper ornament and write "Thank You to Lori Adams for buying this book for the library." Return it to the tree so others can be inspired by their donation and to give that donor some recognition.

Publicize the library's wish tree in the newspaper and in the library's blog and other places.

I Love My Library Ornament


Hold a Program to Make Ornaments and Decorate the Tree

This can be a children's program or one for adults. At the program, the participants make the ornaments demonstrated by the staff member or volunteer who is leading the program. Have everyone make several of the craft ornaments and place them on the Christmas tree.

How about this pine cone pixie! You'll need small pine cones, acorns, markers, felt, scissors and glue. Everyone will have a great time.

Do Christmas Trees Belong in Libraries? - A dissenting opinion

Because Christmas is a religious holiday, some people feel it should not be celebrated in government supported places such as a library or city hall. This is something for you to consider before making your plans. Some libraries decorate only with non-religious, generic holiday decorations for this reason.

Visiters Come from All Over the World

Librarians and Friends of the Library come from all over the world to get ideas for their holiday tree.
Librarians and Friends of the Library come from all over the world to get ideas for their holiday tree. | Source

Comments? Ho ho ho! - I'd love to hear your suggestions for library Christmas tree decoration

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Your library tree is beautiful. I love different theme trees. There is just something so very magical in the lights of a Christmas tree.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I always enjoy see the Christmas tree and decorations at our library. It's a wonderful idea. - Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the idea of a "wish list" tree for donations. I imagine there's a way to do something like this year-round? A bulletin board or something?

    • Paul Ward profile image


      6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I can't blog inn praise of public libraries and pass this lens by - Angel Blessed for a great set of ideas and resources,

    • profile image

      jseven lm 

      6 years ago

      A very nice idea, you are full of them!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      Oh, I love these ideas for ornaments and a library tree!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What wonderful ideas for decorating a Christmas tree in the library! Blessed!

    • jenokson profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much for the terrific ideas! I can't wait until Christmas!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      7 years ago

      Great ideas for a library Christmas tree. Thanks for featuring my Wizard of Oz ornaments page!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      Lensrolling this to mine. These are great ideas not just for a library but for any themed tree. I remember spending every Christmas decorating the library tree. My mother was a librarian so most of my memories are library related.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love my libraries...I have the choice to go to many different ones in the area

      and all for free.

      The Christmas decorations here are so appropriate and so cute.

      Well done lens.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 

      8 years ago

      Great ideas, I love the reading ornaments!

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 

      8 years ago

      I love books. These are wonderful ideas. Everyone should share the love of reading all year long. Great lens.


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