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)

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