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Decorating Without a Christmas Tree for the Holidays

Updated on September 21, 2017
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Sadie Holloway writes about enjoying the good life while living on a modest income. She loves finding creative ways to save money.

Check out these "hearth-warming" options for decorating your home this holiday season, even if you don't have a Christmas tree.

There are many reasons for not putting up a Christmas tree. Perhaps your apartment is small. Perhaps you're single and plan to head to your parent's place for Christmas. If they're putting up a tree, why set one up in your own home when you won't be there to enjoy it? Families with infants and toddlers may be concerned about the potential fire and choking hazards that a lit tree full of bite-sized bulbs and ornaments presents. Others just want to be gentler on the environment by not harvesting a live tree.

Check out these tips and suggestions on how to create a festive mood in your home even if you aren't putting up a Christmas tree!

An outdoor tree can be just as lovely as an indoor tree when you can't put up a Christmas tree!
An outdoor tree can be just as lovely as an indoor tree when you can't put up a Christmas tree!

Decorate an outdoor Christmas tree! Who says that the prettiest Christmas trees are only found indoors?

If you're pressed for space in your home, a strategically placed outdoor tree can offer a festive view from your living room. For example, one year, when my husband and I didn't have space for an indoor tree in our tiny apartment, we bought a small cedar shrub and placed it right outside the patio window. We decorated it with outdoor lights, large weather-proof baubles and some suet feeders to attract chickadees and cardinals. We placed all of our Christmas presents on the floor in front of the window and imagined it was an indoor tree. We were blessed with a white Christmas that year and the tree looked absolutely magical covered in real snow!

An artful arrangement of pointsettias makes a lovely focal point for your home if you don't have a Christmas tree this year.
An artful arrangement of pointsettias makes a lovely focal point for your home if you don't have a Christmas tree this year.

Holiday flower arrangements make scents! Bring the smell of Christmas home by decorating with fragrant winter bouquets.

For about the same amount of money that you'd spend on a live Christmas tree this year, plus the cost of lights, tinsel, garland and new ornaments, you can purchase a lovely floral centerpiece, a fragrant cedar wreath or a scene-stealing bouquet. Floral arrangements are an attractive alternative to a Christmas tree, especially when you live in a small apartment.

Please note: If you are not putting up a Christmas tree this year for safety reasons, remember that some floral arrangements and Yuletide plants are poisonous. Mistletoe and poinsettias can be toxic to pets and people. Holly leaves can be prickly and the red berries are poisonous, too. Talk to your local garden center expert or florist for more information on safe indoor Christmas plants and flowers.

What festive touches would you add to dress up this living room without a Christmas tree?
What festive touches would you add to dress up this living room without a Christmas tree?

Here's another bright idea for decorating without a Christmas tree: If you don't have time to hang Christmas lights on the outside of your house, try switching a few of the light bulbs in your year-round outdoor accent lights with red, green and blue bulbs. Bathing your house in flood lights fitted with festive colors can give the illusion that your house has been decked out just like all the others in the neighborhood.

Play festive Christmas music in the background. It will put your guest in a festive mood!

Wrap your family and holiday guests in plush comfort! Christmas-themed blankets and pillows add a cozy touch to any home for the holidays!

Even if you aren't hosting a big Christmas dinner with turkey and all the fixings, you'll likely have people coming and going throughout the season. Plumping up your couch with some festive pillows is a wonderful way to add a warm vibe to your living room. When you focus on making your guests feel comfortable, they probably won't even notice that you don't have a Christmas tree.

If you aren't putting up a Christmas tree this year, a  large wreath hanging over your mantel can serve as a fragrant stand-in for a live tree.
If you aren't putting up a Christmas tree this year, a large wreath hanging over your mantel can serve as a fragrant stand-in for a live tree.

If you can't put up a Christmas tree this year, make one area of your living room a festive focal point and gather large decorations around it.

For example, a fresh, evergreen wreath complete with holly, cedar, and pine boughs will give your living room a fresh and festive holiday aroma. Hang the wreath over your fireplace and gather your presents and gifts in a decorative "pile" nearby. (Don't put the presents too close to the fireplace though! You don't want to see them go up in flames or get damaged by sparks or smoke!)

For tips on how to make a decorative a wreath at Christmas, check out the video tutorial below!

Why aren't you putting up a Christmas tree this year?

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© 2014 Sadie Holloway

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  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

    great, so even if I couldn't get a fake xmas tree, I could decorate outside the lawn

  • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

    Jamie Jensen 3 years ago from Chicago

    I will be putting up a Christmas tree but I love these suggestions for other decorations I could do. I get really into holidays... :)

    Voted interesting!