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How to Decorate Without a Christmas Tree

Updated on February 19, 2012

While a Christmas tree can light up an entire house and make a room look magical, it is possible to make your home look amazing for the season without having one.

There are many reasons people choose not to have a Christmas tree; they can’t afford to buy one; they don’t have the room; their old, artificial tree has seen better days and is missing pieces; or they have pets who like to climb the tree and chew on the branches. But don’t despair; there are lots of ways to decorate over the holidays without a tree.

First of all, take stock of what you have in your home that can be decorated. Great places to decorate are fireplace mantels, stair banisters, bookcases, doors, windows, and shelves. Basically, you can decorate anything that has any surface at all.

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I have an old, artificial tree that is crooked and is missing parts. Last year I kept it in the box. Instead, I hung all the Christmas tree decorations that would fit on my living room mirror. This mirror is a piece of modern art; it features a small mirrored area with shoots or arms coming out of it. On these shoots are round reflective bits. I hung all the small ornaments I had on these shoots. You can see the photograph on the right. I was very happy with this and it looked very festive. Extra ornaments that either did not have a hanger or were too large were placed on various surfaces around the apartment.

Nutcrackers

I have a large collection of nutcrackers that I add to every year. I spread these nutcrackers throughout my apartment, placing them on any available shelves, the bathroom counter, the TV and the artificial fireplace mantel.

I also have several Christmas books which I put on display every year; those include picture books such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas and seasonal stories such as A Christmas Carol and A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Also, my cassette tape of Patrick Stewart reading A Christmas Carol is also propped up. I also put a pile of Christmas movie DVDs such as Love, Actually, Jack Frost and A Christmas Story on my coffee table.

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas

All of these items add up to a very Christmassy look. If I am having guests over, I will decorate my coffee table with a wrapping paper top. That adds to the decorations and also helps to protect my coffee table from spills. And of course, I have created a playlist on my iPod with hours of Christmas music that plays in the background.

Lights that you would have strung on your Christmas tree can be placed in a window, wrapped around a banister, or wrapped around your front door.Garlands and wreaths can be hung over the windows or the front door; if you like you can hang tree decorations from them. You can use Christmas stencils to spray designs on your windows or walls.

With all the decorations in every part of the home, you will not miss the tree. Gifts, instead of being piled under the tree, can be piled on a table or the floor, creating a decoration of their own.

Do you put up a Christmas tree every year?

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Think of the Trees

So, as you see, you can have a perfectly lovely Christmas without a tree. Just think of how kind you are being to the environment without having to dispose of either a real tree or eventually an artificial one. Mother Nature will be very happy with you.

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  • owhorspecial profile image

    owhorspecial 4 years ago from Nigeria.

    I also Love the Ideas and thanks for the info. Interesting HUB indeed.

  • Mike Robbers profile image

    Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

    We have really simplified all of our holidays. We've stopped exchanging gifts and we spend the time doing something special that we enjoy, such as going for a walk.

    Decorating without a Christmas tree is a great idea, I will definitely follow your suggestions :)

  • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

    Ms. Immortal 4 years ago from NJ

    Great ideas, I especially love wrapping the table in Christmas paper!

  • ThePracticalMommy profile image

    Marissa 4 years ago from United States

    We don't put up a tree, but our house is decorated with garland, red bows, and other little Christmas décor. It is simple but still attractive!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Fabulous ideas Susan! I always have a tree, but there have been years when I preferred not to. I like the mirror idea.

  • Kris Ajax profile image

    Kris Ajax 4 years ago

    My family didn't always get a Christmas tree, and when we didn't, we would put ornaments and tinsel on our window shutters. It really made the room look more decorative and festive. Now, with my own family, we get a tree every year, but we also decorate our window shutters!

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    So true, so true. I felt like taking this year off so didn't decorate at all. Normally, I have so many decorations that the lack of a tree would hardly be noticed. I think I decorate next year BIG, tree and all! Still, it can be done w/out a tree. I was surprised that more voted that they DON'T put up a tree every year. Great hub with great ideas.

  • profile image

    ter 5 years ago

    i can't have a tree for biblicial reasons.. its hard weaning myself off having 1 i have 2 really teeny ones like 3 inches or so til i can make a clean break altogether and but still wanted color and fun so ty for the ideas would like even more ideas cause i don't have a fireplace ect

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

    Great ideas here. Thanks for sharing. I'll always remember the first Christmas I had with my b.f. we had a tree but no decorations and no money. I made all the ornaments from material or paper and natural things like berries and pinecones. EVERYONE loved our tree, LOL

    It's amazing what you can do to spruce up the place and make it festive without the spruce!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Charlie makes all the holidays doesn't he? Great hub. We never have more than a small tree we put on a table top to add presents to anymore. It really is just too much hassle and mess and less sad when a big tree is taken away. Thanks!

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

    What a well presented and useful hub.

    I get as excited as the kids when Xmas is on the way and this hub has certainly put me in the spirit!!

    Is it a little early ????

    No NEVER !!!

    Take care and enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image
    Author

    Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Hi all, I'm glad so many are interested in this subject.

  • profile image

    A.CreativeThinker 5 years ago

    You have some really great ideas here Uninvited Writer.

    Thanks for sharing and take care. :)

    Regards,

    A.CreativeThinker

  • RedSturtz profile image

    RedSturtz 5 years ago from A land far far away....

    I am not much of a fan of Christmas... I find that having a short tree in the middle of the dining room table is cheaper, quicker and just as nice. Throw a few pressies around it and you've got a festive way to dine!

  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

    We've spent many Christmases in our RV where there is no room for a tree, so we did other creative things to make our living space festive. I used inexpensive fleece throws in red and green on our furniture, got a nice poinsettia plant for the table, and put tiny white Christmas lights around our windows. Your suggestions are really useful, and show that you can have a very festive house without a tree. I love the idea of decorating mirrors that would reflect the decorations making them twice as festive.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

    Great ideas for decorating. But I would sure miss my beautiful Christmas tree - maybe bring in some evergreen boughs and stick them in a large vase or something and sort of fake it - that might work for me. But buying, storing, and putting up a tree can be expensive and a lot of work for some folks.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

    I'm not sure about not having a christmas, because I love to decorate the tree and I've never not had one at christmas time. We get our tree from a local nursery 5ft one for $20.

  • Sally's Trove profile image

    Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    These are wonderful ideas. I was particularly taken by the gifts being piled on a table or the floor instead of under a tree, making a decoration of their own.

    For a couple of years I wrapped white light strands into fake pine garlands and strung these up as swags all over the living room and dining room walls, where the walls meet the ceilings, adding ornaments that would have hung on a tree. Cat proof!

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Love the decorating tips and the idea of going without a Christmas tree is very appealing. We usually travel over the holidays and it seems like a waste to have a tree when we're not even home to enjoy it much.

  • profile image

    leann2800 5 years ago

    The mirror is cute. I usually give Christmas books for gifts but I hadn't thought to decorate with them. That's a cute idea. Why didn't I think of that?

  • Uninvited Writer profile image
    Author

    Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks TToombs :)

  • TToombs08 profile image

    Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

    I love your ideas. I just never know how to decorate the years we don't have a tree. Now I have the beginnings of a plan. Thank you, uninvited writer, for another great hub!

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