I love Christmas trees. I own all the accoutrements: tree stands, tree aprons, tree toppers, lots and lots of lights, garland, and, of course, boxes of ornaments. BUT, I have also lived in many different places, many of which cannot accommodate a full-size tree. In fact as of the writing of this article, this is the third year in a row I haven’t had the space for a full-size Christmas tree.
One alternative I have for a full-size Christmas tree is to display several small trees. You can either group several together (as I have for the photo) or spread them strategically throughout the house. Either way, I would choose a theme for my trees, such as gold trees, ceramic trees or frosted trees. You will not be able to use your store of Christmas tree trimmings, but you will certainly be able to give your home a festive flair that you can easily move and set out of reach of pets. This is also a good option for the person that will be traveling through the holidays.
Save any pretty cloth ribbon you find, and pack it in your Christmas box. Actually, I keep a separate Christmas box just for ribbon and bows, so I can get to it easily. Collect your ribbons, then go around the house and decorate everything. Pay attention to what you are doing, so you don’t tie your CD player shut. If you don’t have a collection of ribbons, you can buy ribbons and bows quite inexpensively and in bulk at discount stores, at fabric stores, or at hobby stores.
I discovered floating candles several years ago when I was getting ready for a party. I float my candles in festive green bowls, but you could float them in any container that will hold water, including an unused sink or an outdoor fountain. Light your floating candles while they are still dry–i.e. before you float them in water! Any water on the wick will extinguish your match.
If you can’t have a tree, clear off one or two shelves of a bookcase and set up a special holiday display. This will give you the opportunity to display your favorite holiday decorations. With Christmas trees scattered around the house, ribbons on everything, candles floating around and your special shelf, your home will look quite festive.
On December 26, go shopping for Christmas decorations that you will use next year. Look in places that you already are, like the grocery store, at the post-Christmas sales – you will be surprised at what you find. I have been doing this for twenty years now, and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve had to shop for wrapping paper, ribbons, or household decorations before Christmas. Shopping before Christmas for Christmas decorations and supplies can be awful: there are too many cars in the parking lot, the check out lines are too long, there are so many people in the Christmas aisles that you can hardly browse, etc. You can avoid that next year. If you mostly give away baked goods, as I do, wrapping paper will last for years.