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No-tree Christmas Tree Decor

No-tree Christmas Tree decor.

We have a lot to thank the Scandinavians for.

Beautiful fjords … well-made, affordable furniture … hot-looking blond guys… Then, there’s all that gorgeous, nature-based holiday decor. For small apartments and houses when trying to haul a gigantic spruce through the door isn’t feasible (I’m thinking of my six-story walkup in Washington DC with no elevator, here) there are so many clever, beautiful options for holiday decor.

Such as…

No-tree Christmas Tree Decor

The branch Christmas tree:

This is my favorite and the easiest to make. Simply cut sturdy branches in decreasing lengths to make the tree shape. Bind with strong twine and anchor at the top with a star. You can hang lights and delicate ornaments and voila! Your tree. I love the antique clock used here at the base. I really love aspen wood for this – the chalky white bark looks so pretty. Sneaky inside tip: You don’t want to overdo on the lights or heavy ornaments, the structure is still relatively delicate and once one branch goes, they all do.


The Tree of Lights:

There’s a couple of ways to approach this. Try a delicate cluster of lights (I like these tiny fairy lights because they group together so beautifully) arranged over a wire frame or just attached to the wall. Or, go the old-school route and create a symmetrical tree shape against the wall. Big bulb Christmas lights look especially sentimental.

BTW: Are you trying to ratchet down the kid’s overwrought gift expectations this year? Have a look at our four “Something I Want … Need … Wear … Read” tags.


The Star Branch:

A pretty branch, spray-painted white and hung lengthwise is a gorgeous base for lights, rustic stars and a perfect place to pile the gifts underneath.


BTW: while we’re mixing up the holidays, are you looking for some new family traditions? Here’s five fresh ideas.


The Ski Lodge Chic Christmas Tree:

You just need a well-chosen pine tree branch for this – I’ve had the best luck with this type by visiting our closest forested area up in the Unitas when they’re doing some clear-cutting for the winter. It’s easiest to anchor something delicate like this in a sturdy pot. You can always hide the pot if it’s not attractive in something prettier, like this antique chest. This also adds a bit of height if you’re looking for something with more presence. Once again, super lightweight ornaments work best here.


The Sort-of Christmas Tree:

Maybe you don’t want a tree at all, but you’d still like a holiday decor focal point? I love this look because it still incorporates the style and imagery of a tree. A wreath and a stand underneath for a bible, or a special book, greenery, and candles. It’s simple, but it still holds a place where it’s clear that this is your holiday tableau!



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(Header image: Cottonbro)

(Branch tree: Image credit: Pascal Claivaz)

(Tree of lights: Image credit: Kristina Paukshtite)

(Star branch: Image credit: Lina Kivaka)

(Ski lodge: Image credit: Simon Matzinger)

(Sort-of tree: Image credit: Blue Ox Studios)

(Box of ornaments: Image credit: Peter Fazekas)


The Whisper Challenge: “You Put The Guava Where?” – 12.3.18

The Whisper Challenge: “You Put The Guava Where?” Welcome to Todd & Erin’s “Santa just threw up all over our house,” tour. And today, we’re teaching you the “Whisper Challenge,” something you can play with your friends when the party gets boring. You’ll be shocked at what comes out of the mouths of perfectly innocent party guests.


Meet our “Shop Locally” Legend today- Pure Romance by Brenda Winters. She’s going to spice up your holiday in a big way. And right now she’s rolling out the 12 Days Of Christmas romance packages. The holidays are meant to be romantic my friends! Let Brenda help you spice it up. You can find all of our “Shop Locally” Legends here.


(Image credit: Linnaea Mallette )

And the tragic tale of a beautiful, 80-foot spruce – what, like 100 years old? – that was cut down in a Baltimore city park and dragged over to be placed in the front of city hall. “The Mayor wanted a tree. She didn’t tell us where to get it from, so…”

Creating Holiday Traditions – The Christmas Tree Memory String – 11.27.18

Creating Holiday Traditions – The Christmas Tree Memory String. What are your holiday traditions? One of our favorites is the Christmas Tree Memory String- the bottom disc of each year’s tree attached to a ribbon. It’s so fun to count through the years and remember all the highlights. What’s your favorite ritual during this time of year? For instance…


Creating Holiday Traditions. Zoe and I (our 7 year old) are really getting into baking tiny desserts. Some are Pinterest-worthy, others, more like “nailed it!” The Teeny-Tiny Pumpkin Pies (with a one net carb, sugar-free version!) are freaking delicious. Add the recipe to your baking traditions from here.


Oh, by the way- every single food item is out to kill you. Seriously. The federal government has recalled just about anything you can put in your mouth and chew. Oh, honey. Romaine lettuce was just the beginning… pork wontons… ground beef… ground turkey… and the most egregious, evil thing of all- Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter cereal. You will have to pry my Cap’n Crunch Cereal from my cold, dead hands. Which apparently could be an option. Salmonella has been one busy pathogen this fall…


Also, meet our new “Shop Locally” friend- Kathy Cushman of Utah DIY Weddings, one of the smartest businesswomen I know.

How To Create Your Halloween Tree – 9.23.18

How To Create Your Halloween Tree. Today’s show is subtitled: “Tell Erin why The Todd should not sleep in the tool shed for the next six months.” You’ll see why. Behold ladies and gentlemen! The Halloween Tree! Take a look at our step-by-step guide. You’ll never guess who’s about to offer you medical insurance (Hint: big blue logo? Greeters at the doors?)



Tell Me Something Good involves a school bus, a hurricane and a gigantic bunch of rescued pets. Prepare to sniffle a bit.

If you want to get anything you saw in the video for your decor, click here