For many of us, the Christmas tree is central to the whole festive season. There's the whole routine about when it can go up (December 1?), decorating it, and accumulating gifts beneath the tree. But before that, there are the debates…
Should we have a real tree? Some people love the look and smell of a real tree, some object to the mess, others object to the waste of killing a tree. One answer to this is to have a potted tree – a live tree or plant that can be kept in a pot plant and brought inside each year, or a new tree planted out in the garden in the new year.
Do we need Christmas lights – especially if the dog/cat/baby will chew on the cord? Bought or home-made decorations??
Glass baubles for appearance, acrylic for safety?
An angel or star at the top? Tree skirts? Tinsel? Artificial snow? And so on…
Real Christmas enthusiasts will have all this sorted out, but for the rest of us who don't have much time, space or money to spend on a tree, here are some ideas for more unusual Christmas trees…
- Have your tree and eat it too!
You can buy or make tree-shaped decorations.
- Space-saving two-dimensional trees!
You can buy Christmas tree decals to go on the wall or window of your apartment, office or other area that you don't want cluttered up with a three-dimensional tree.
Or get some butcher's paper or large card and make your own! Children can draw on decorations, or make them and stick them on the wall tree. (see 0to5 for Christmas templates and crafts for children)
- Real Living Trees
Buy a potted plant and decorate it. They don't have to be very big if you live in a small space. After Christmas keep it in the pot (for next year) or plant outside.
- Setting makes all the difference. If you have a small tree, put it up on a small table, or the reception desk in your office. If you decide to have a flat tree, choose a wall space where it can be seen from different vantage points.
And a word of caution to anyone who wants a virtual Christmas tree. There are lots of them online, but be careful of viruses and other gremlins.
What sort of tree will you have this year?