Sometimes, having a Christmas tree isn’t practical. If you spend Christmas week visiting out of state family or friends, it does not make much sense to put up a full-sized tree. Maybe you have to work over the holidays, so you won’t be home enough to enjoy the Christmas tree. It is completely possible to have the same type of Christmas excitement without a tree. By stepping up the other seasonal décor, your home will still look and feel like Christmas.
Another technique is to mimic the shape of the Christmas tree, the elongated triangle, with perhaps unexpected materials. Just stacking items in a triangular shape can be a subtle depiction of the Christmas tree. A live tabletop Christmas tree can also be a more manageable and dramatic focal point of your holiday décor. Group several small trees together to increase their impact. Here are a few ideas that are festive and fun–and some are even kid-friendly.
1. House plants. This might allow you to use what you already have. If you have a collection of house plants, purchase some inexpensive pots in holiday colors of reds and greens or silvers and golds. Simply drop the plant in its current pot into the Christmas pot. Group them together or tuck them in various spots throughout your home. Another idea is to perch each plant on top of a gift-wrapped box. Make sure the paper is metallic or colored cellophane so it will be waterproof. Use different sizes and heights.
2. Christmas plants. Add to your collection of houseplants with a few plants grown specifically for the holidays. Flowering plants like amaryllis, poinsettia and Christmas cactus will give a spectacular show of flowers during the Christmas season.
3. Pallet Christmas tree. If you are a DIY expert and have a farmhouse décor, this project will be perfect for you. Cut your rustic pallet into the shape of a Christmas tree. Paint it white and add some strings of clear Christmas lights and some gold and silver ornaments. If your décor is more traditional, use your pallet tree outdoors or on the front porch.
4. Chalkboard Christmas tree. If you have a chalkboard wall or even a message board, decorate it with a large drawing of a Christmas tree. It can be as simple as a triangle outline made with a ruler to a Victorian-style scroll-work tree. This can also be a fun project for a kid’s room. Hang little chalkboards and draw a tree for them. Then, let them decorate with different colors of chalk.
5. Tabletop Christmas tree. These small trees come ready to add a Christmas feel to any room. They are potted living trees that are usually 14”-24” tall. They can be purchased already decorated or without decorations so you can customize your tree. Highlight your live tabletop Christmas tree by placing it in a prominent spot. In your kitchen, trade the evergreen for a rosemary plant in the shape of a Christmas tree. When the holiday season is over, you will have a great herb to add to your windowsill herb garden.
6. Tomato cage tree. If you have a vegetable garden, you probably have tomato cages stored away for winter. Pull a few out and make your own trees with this easy DIY project. Turn the cage upside down and pull together the spokes that would have gone into the ground. Secure them with wire, tape or even a chenille stem. You now have the basic Christmas tree shape. Cover the cage with evergreen garland, starting at the bottom. Secure the garland to the cage every few inches with wire or chenille stems. It usually takes two garlands to cover the cage, depending on how tall your cage is. If your garland has lights, have the end that plugs into the wall at the bottom. Make one or several. Add a star or the tree topper of your choice.
7. House shrubs. If you have a large potted house shrub like a money tree or fiddle leaf fig, let that stand in for a Christmas tree. These are big plants and staples of your existing décor. Just add some Christmas lights and even a few ornaments. Surround your plant with gift-wrapped boxes and everyone will recognize your one-of-a-kind Christmas tree.
8. Evergreen cuttings. If you can’t have a tree this year, substitute a generous bouquet of evergreen branches. Leave them as is for a minimalist look, or add some lights and ornaments. Your evergreen cuttings will fill your home with the holiday scent of Christmas. You can purchase a collection of evergreen branches from different varieties of trees or, sometimes, Christmas tree lots have branches for sale.
Hang the wreath on the front door and drape your home with garland. The Christmas spirit will be vibrant in your home–even without the Christmas tree.