The tradition of decorating Christmas trees is thought to have started in 16th century Germany, where small evergreens were laden with fruits and candles.
Over time, the practise spread across Europe and today anything goes when it comes to decorating your tree.
What makes a great decoration? Firstly, something of quality – you want to know that it will at the very least last the season!
The best decorations should be able to stand the test of time, and be treated as old friends as they come out of storage each December.
It should also be able to be placed easily and remain steady on the tree – in this round up we couldn’t include any baubles that had too small a hanging loop or any garlands that weighed the boughs of the tree down.
As with anything aesthetic, fashions change and personal taste plays an enormous part in how a tree ends up looking.
For this guide a variety of styles are included – from dazzling glitter jewels to traditional figurines and shiny comedy characters. We’ve also been mindful of budget and there are some proper bargains here.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
11 best Christmas stocking fillers for kids that are cheap and fun
8 best Christmas mains delivery boxes that aren’t turkey
Best Christmas puddings to suit every guest, from vegan to traditional
12 best Christmas wreaths: Dress up your door this festive season
Next pack of eight snowflake baubles
The effect of these dazzling silvery snowflakes suspended by their ribbons from the branches of your tree in a low-lit room is really magical – we truly cannot believe that this pack of eight baubles are sub £5! They are very glittery but actually are a great complement to more muted, matte decorations. Brilliant, timeless staples. They are sold out online but available selected stores.
Buy now £4.00, Next
Red Candy pizza delivery santa bauble
There’s been a growing trend for joyfully gaudy baubles for the tree and we think Santa delivering pizza could be the pick of the kitschy bunch. It’s shiny and jolly and a rather fabulous antidote to neat, colour-scheme perfection of Insta-ready Christmas décor. It’s a decent size – the palm of an adult hand – so there’s no chance of it not attracting immediate attention.
Buy now £16.00, Red Candy
Wild Strings tree Christmas bauble
Made from offcuts, these charming decorations are a brilliant choice for anyone trying to approach the festive season with sustainability in mind. Featuring sequins and embroidery, these are handmade, unpretentious and really pretty.
Buy now £5.50, Wild Strings
Sass & Belle felt stegosaurus
A pink stegosaurus with Santa hats on his spikes? Why not? This felt decoration is adorable: perfect for dinosaur enthusiasts and anyone who loves a pop of millennial pink.
Buy now £9.00, Sass & Belle
Emma Bridgewater personalised tiny jug
This tiny, personalised jug decorated with Christmas holly and suspended by a silk ribbon is the bauble we never knew we needed. It’s a very sweet addition to any traditional, homely Christmas tree – and best of all, the ribbon can be easily removed so that the jug might spend the rest of the year as a working vessel!
Buy now £14.95, Emma Bridgewater
Argos pom pom garland
We love that this looks far more expensive than it actually is. It’s got a very traditional, Nordic aesthetic not only thanks to the colours but because of the wood and felt materials. It’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t weigh the branches down.
Buy now £9.00, Argos
Meri Meri angel mouse tree topper
If you’ve always wanted an angel mouse tree topper but haven’t known where to find one, call off the search. We love this little beauty who attaches to the top of the tree with a little gold loop. It’s beautifully made with intricate detailing – taffeta dress and tinsel halo to boot – and brings a delightfully playful element to Christmas.
Buy now £20.50, Meri Meri
Matalan metallic pinecone baubles
Six shiny gold pinecones for less than £10? That’s a total bargain and they look so fancy – way more expensive than we know they are! They are also bigger than they might seem here – the size of a large lemon, so they really make a statement.
Buy now £9.00, Matalan
Niederegger marzipan bauble
This traditional round bauble, painted with a festive scene including a commemorative “2020” is made by German confectionery company Neideregger who have been creating sweet treats for more than 200 years.
Inside this bauble, three marzipan chocolates are hidden. We found this bauble to be the most exciting for small children, who were fascinated by the secret element of the decoration. We love that even when the goods are gone, the bauble will be a lovely traditional touch for years to come.
Buy now £6.95, John Lewis & Partners
The verdict: Christmas decorations for the tree
Pretty, well-made, timeless and barely a dent on your bank balance for eight, yes EIGHT decorations – the Next snowflakes are a clear winner.