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In my small apartment, I have never had room for a standing Christmas tree, so I have used several smaller desktop decorated trees which I take out every year. However, in order to have the tree experience, I use pine boughs from the local Christmas tree stand and put them in vases and decorate them!
You can usually get these boughs for free, or for a small bit of money. My hubby tipped the guy trimming the trees. And the arrangements give off a nice pine smell, too!
By pam munro from Los Angeles, CA
One year I was unable to go to the Christmas Tree Farm with my children due to a broken foot. So I took long lengths of green garland and used it to zig zag a Christmas tree shape on the wall above a small bookcase. I used small hooked picture hangers to support the garland at the points of the branches and zig zags.
I was able to hang all of the family's favorite ornaments, even the heavy clay ones that young children sometimes make at school. I cleared out the bookcase and used the shelves to hold the gifts. Large gifts went on the floor in front of the bookcase.
That tree is still one of my favorites ever, and I was able to do it all with what I already had in the house, so it was frugal, too!
By Frances from Boston, MA
Growing up, there were a few years that we didn't have enough money to get a Christmas tree and we ended up getting creative. We decorated a twig one year. Made a tree out of lights on the wall another. We tacked up CDs in the shape of the tree on the wall and we have decorated houseplants.
One year, we cut down a small tree in our yard (in Washington, volunteer Douglas fir and cedar trees pop up in your yard on a regular basis). This tree was very much a Charlie Brown Christmas tree! It wasn't strong enough to hold ornaments, so we hung ornaments from the ceiling with tacks and fishing line to look as if they were on the tree. I have to say, this was one of my favorite trees we had. I don't have pictures on my computer of these, since most of these trees happen before we had a digital camera.
One year my mom bought one of those white wire trees with lights attached that are meant to be used as a lawn ornaments. She didn't like the pink lights on it, saying it looked like an Easter tree, so she made my friends and I paint all the pink bulbs blue! This ended up being our Christmas tree for many years.
Needless to say, creative Christmas trees ended up being a tradition in our family. Now that I have a little family of my own, I have chosen to keep up the tradition. I do love to have a real Christmas tree. I especially love going to a you-cut tree farm to get a tree. But, since we have relocated to Vietnam where my husband's family is, we can't get a fresh Christmas tree. All I can find here are artificial trees and I don't care for those much. So, last year we decorated an A-frame ladder.
This year we bought a bamboo ladder, and I think we may have been a bit too excited and got the tallest one! It may be a bit too tall, but I still like it. We decorated it last night and plan on making some more ornaments in the next couple days. I also want to try and make a big star for it.
It has been fun and reminds me of all our alternative Christmas trees as a kid. Who knows what we will come up with next. There may be a palm frond tree in our future!
How about the rest of you, what creative Christmas trees have you had?
I'm not going to buy a tree for just myself this year. Instead, I am going to put all my twinkle lights in every houseplant (and that's a lot) I have.
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I got this rosemary plant during the summer and brought it in for the winter. With a little trimming it became a wonderfully aromatic Christmas tree in the corner of my parlor. Double duty and lovely!
Use a tree branch to create a lovely painted Christmas tree for a tabletop display or in place of a larger one. Add lights and ornaments and you are ready for the holidays.