We are both completely and utterly overly protective of our trees. She has two in her house - one for the kids to put up and one for her that she can spend hours on, working out the exact best location for each gorgeous bauble and turn the tree into a miniature work of art. I'm similar. I will spend weeks rearranging baubles that I am not happy with, right down to the day before it comes down.
The whole house would smell of orange, cinnamon and spices and there would be real holly and ivy dripping off the mantlepieces that mum retrieved from the garden with a pair of secateurs, held together with fat church candles and oranges studded with cloves. Fires would be lit and the only light would be from the fireplace, the tree lights and the dimmed lamps throughout the living room.
Lights go on first. Single string, no flicker, white bulbs only please. This is Steve's job as I just get into a tangled mess with the lights and it gives me time to sort out the decorations and check for any breakages.
Understated and elegant sparkle on a tree is so important to me. I start with amber droplets, placed to allow the lights on the tree to make them glow from within.