Thanksgiving is over, which means the inflatable lawn turkeys will soon be replaced by inflatable lawn candy canes and holiday lights. And for those who celebrate and decorate for Christmas, it’s time to decide whether to chop a real, live outside tree and bring it into their home for a few weeks, or dust off the artificial tree in the basement and light some pine-scented candles.
Either way, Christmas trees can be a major hassle—and that’s not even getting into the tangled strings of lights. But here’s the thing: There’s no rule saying that you have to have a Christmas tree. If you have kids old enough to understand the whole Santa-chimney-presents-tree situation and/or young enough to care, the tree may be nonnegotiable.
But for everyone else, there are plenty of ways to decorate for Christmas with festive greenery that don’t involve a tree. In an article for BobVila.com, Savannah Sher provides a few examples. Here are some to consider this year.
Like trees, wreaths come in both real and artificial varieties, are widely available, and possible to make yourself. Sher says that if you opt for a fresh wreath, it’ll eventually dry out as it’s hanging—and that’s not a bad thing. The wreath will still look great and should last all season.
Another holiday classic, and a particularly versatile decoration, garland can be placed in any room in your home—framing doors and windows, wrapped around a banister, draped across the mantle, or used as a table runner. While there’s plenty of artificial garland in stores, it’s also relatively easy to make fresh garland yourself. Pine, cedar, holly, and fir branches tend to work especially well.
Think of these as a small wreath you lay flat on a table, and usually have some sort of candle, light, fruit, or tchotchke in the middle. (If you’re opting for the kind with the candle, may we suggest an LED artificial candle instead of something with a flame near dry branches?)