Christmas Trees for Kids’ Rooms

Even if it doesn’t grow to enormous heights like the one of Clara’s dreams in The Nutcracker, a Christmas tree can create a bit of magic in any child’s room. To illustrate just how enchanting they can be, we asked two local decorating masterminds — from Sandra Sampson Interiors and Cityview Florist and Gifts — each to create two kid-themed trees, big or pint-sized.

Drawing inspiration from childhood interests and holiday traditions, they came up with creative reminders that through the eyes of children, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.


When deciding how to design her kid-themed Christmas trees, Charmaine Crosley of Sandra Sampson Interiors knew two things. She wanted them to be interactive, and she wanted them to tell a story.

For her first tree, Crosley used motifs from Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem ’ Twas the Night Before Christmas. With multiple layers of detailed decoration, the tree unfolds scene by scene, starting with Santa’s arrival on a sleigh filled with gifts and followed by his descent down the chimney. The most entertaining aspect comes in the form of a music box embedded in the tree. Using a special magic wand, children can tap on Santa’s bag to play Christmas carols or tap on Santa to hear a reading of ’ Twas The Night Before Christmas.

For her second tree, Crosley again focused on a special narrative. This time, the theme she chose was the annual cutting down of the Christmas tree and transporting it home. To give the illusion of a tree actually being hauled off the lot of the tree farm, the tree (fully decorated) is nestled inside a yellow Tonka truck that can later be used as a toy.

Tips for decorating for or with kids

Charmaine Crosley advises using interesting or interactive elements, such as the Tonka truck or music box, as a way to keep children excited about the days leading up to Christmas. She says she likes to create trees that draw from tradition or from things that are personal to people. “I like designing trees for children that they have an interest in because they can relate to it,” she says. These often include sports, cars and fishing themes for boys and ballet and tea party themes for girls.

Real or artificial

Raised in the North, Charmaine Crosley says while she has a special affection for real trees, she doesn’t find them practical for a child’s room (or for most households in general). An artificial tree is a safer and more convenient choice, she says. Crosley advises using unbreakable, soft ornaments in fun, bright colors for small children’s trees.


Holli Ackerman and her team at Cityview Florist and Gifts are as well-versed in decorating for the holidays as they are putting together beautiful, live centerpieces. “We love Christmas. It’s a big time of year for us,” Ackerman says. Ackerman and company have designed a variety of kid-friendly Christmas trees for clients, including one last year with a robot theme.

Opting to decorate two gender-specific Christmas trees this time, Ackerman first designed a fun, cowboy-motif tree to be used in a boy’s room. It is topped with glittery six-shooters and wild turkey feathers. Ackerman filled the rest of the tree with Western details like lassos, cowboy hats and cowboy boot ornaments from MD Anderson Cancer Center.

To inspire her second tree, Ackerman looked to her daughter, Claire. Packed with sparkle and whimsy, the princess-themed tree is a little girl’s dream — complete with crowns, pink flowers and angels.

Tips for decorating for or with kids

Holli Ackerman says the great thing about the cowboy-themed tree, locally, is that it can be kept up until it’s time for the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. The same goes for the princess tree, she says, which can be adapted easily for Valentine’s Day. “People like to multi-use their trees,” Ackerman says. Even if that means using elements that are not just for the holidays.

Real or artificial

For practicality (and convenience), Holli Ackerman suggests using artificial trees for kids’ rooms. Because people put their trees up early and leave on vacation during the holidays, Ackerman says, a tree that won’t make it to Christmas or requires a lot of cleanup isn’t a good idea.