Branching out beyond the traditional Christmas tree

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Branching out beyond the traditional Christmas tree

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
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The Christmas tree is the centrepiece of holiday decor in many Canadian's houses. Evergreen branches--a symbol of life in the middle of winter--decorated the homes of pagans and many other ancient people. The custom of decorating our homes with branches and trees at Christmas can be traced back to the 1500s.

As soon as trees moved indoors, people also began to decorate the trees themselves. Topped with a star, strung with lights, hung with ornaments, draped in ribbons--or even strewn with tinsel--the Christmas tree has evolved through the years.

And they continue to evolve. While evergreens may be traditional, there are lots of options these days for alternative Christmas trees.

2-D tree

 Walls & flooring by Vinyl Impression
Vinyl Impression

Christmas tree decal decoration wall sticker

Vinyl Impression

There's no way around it. Christmas trees, no matter their size, take up space. For those with smaller houses, it can be hard to fit a tree into your home. However, a solution does exist--a flat Christmas tree.

This Christmas tree decal, when stuck onto a wall, takes up no floor space. But it still adds a feeling of fun and festivity to your home.

This vinyl wall sticker is easy to put up and is completely removable, making it easy to take down after the holidays. Even better, no watering or needle sweeping needed.

Check out our Clever tips for small home decor.

Little leafy tree

 Garden  by Loop the Loop
Loop the Loop

Galvanised metal plant pot

Loop the Loop

Option one for a different kind of Christmas tree is a small potted deciduous tree. The little leaves are a departure from the evergreen's spiky needles. Incorporating a deciduous tree can make your holiday decor feel soft and truly inspired by nature.

Set in a sturdy metal pot, this tree is perfect for a more rustic decor scheme. And it does not require ornaments or decoration. However, if you do want to decorate, some white twinkle lights will enhance, not overwhelm, the tree's small stature and natural beauty.

When selecting a deciduous tree, consider a miniature citrus tree. The bright orbs of oranges are a perfect substitute for ornaments. And oranges have a historical association with the holidays.

The best part about choosing a potted tree is that it will last long beyond Christmas. Some varieties can even be planted outside, enhancing your landscape year round.

Modern wooden tree

Inspired by a traditional evergreen shape, this wooden tree is a clever interpretation of a Christmas tree. Rectangular sticks fan out from a central axis. Small wood ornaments even dangle from a few branches.

The simple design and linear shapes combine to create a modern rendition of a traditional tree.

A tree like this is an ideal accent, whether your home decor is classic or modern. Displayed on a tabletop or sideboard it's a playful addition to your Christmas decorating scheme.

Forest of candleholders

People learned a long time ago that candles and Christmas trees do not mix. However, nothing beats candles for creating a beautiful holiday atmosphere. These ceramic candleholders are the perfect way to mix Christmas trees with candlelight.

The holders come in a variety of shapes, each a stylized interpretation of a Christmas tree. Available in different shades of green or white, the mini trees work on their own or in a group. We can imagine one sitting on a counter, bringing a bit of Christmas to the bathroom, or a cluster on the holiday table, casting a beautiful glow over Christmas dinner.

Green or white, big or small, ridged or smooth, everyone in the family is sure to have their favourite.

Glowing tree

Lights are nearly as important to Christmas decor as trees. This version lets you have your tree and light it too--all in one fun, energy-efficient package.

These shining trees are lit from within by LED lights. Through the LED system, you can select from 15 different colours. The trees are also available in a variety of sizes--from a 12cm nightlight up to a 113cm life size version.

The shining tree is a perfect substitute if you're looking to make a statement with your Christmas decor.

See a home illuminated with innovative lighting.

Invisible tree

To create a unique Christmas tree, it turns out you don't even need a tree.

Set a pole in the ground. String lights from the top of the pole to the ground. When lit, the cone shape will appear like an invisible tree bedecked in sparkling Christmas lights.

An installation like this works best outside, where you can securely anchor the pole and lights to the ground.

See more garden lighting ideas.

Our homes are where we express our personal style. And Christmas should be no different. When selecting a tree, choose the one that is perfect for you and don't be afraid to try something new. It may lead to some unique holiday memories--and isn't making memories what Christmas is all about?

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