This Christmas, in the year of Covid, I have noticed two polar opposite Christmas decorating trends. One trend is to go all in with decorating. Big live tree, lights galore and every single room, table and staircase decked out to the nines.
The other trend I am seeing though is a very minimal amount of decorating. I have heard a variety of reasons why, ranging from “I’m too busy”, or “I’m just not feeling it this year” to “We downsized and there is no room for a tree”.
Let’s face it, decorating a tree is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. One year I actually kept a time log of how long it took me to decorate. You can read my post here.
No Matter what the reason, for those of you decorating for Christmas without a tree, I have seven ideas for creating a festive home with a minimal amount of effort.
1. Decorate a small or unconventional “tree“
Even if you decide to skip the tree this year you can still decorate something that resembles a tree. My designer friend Maureen Break Coates of Luxury Transitions, recently downsized to a condo. She decorated some pretty branches as a stand in for a big traditional tree.
Designer Carla Aston of Carla Aston Designed did something similar with a decorated potted plant in her entrance.
2. Bring out a few of your favorite Christmas collectibles
Most of us have at least a few favorite Christmas collectibles. Putting them on display will add the Christmas spirit without all the work of decorating a tree.
Carla Aston created this cute display of her most treasured Christmas collectibles on her staircase.
Think outside the box when it comes to displaying your collectibles. These gold bottle brush trees are hanging from the chandelier.
Almost any spot or item in your home can be decked out to create some Christmas cheer.
3. Decorate your dining table
When we moved into our downsized condo we didn’t have furniture for that first Christmas. Nothing fit from our previous home so while I figured out what we needed to buy, we made do with outdoor chairs in the living room and a plastic Staples office table for the dining table.
Since our condo is so small, a decorated table acted as the focal point of our living area. My mid December table decorating was great except we had to eat all our meals at the kitchen island and in the finished basement for two weeks. I didn’t want to disturb my table until Christmas Eve when everyone would arrive for dinner.
My friend Mitzi Beach who also recently downsized, chose to keep her Christmas decorating very simple this year as well. She is skipping the traditional tree and instead, setting up small Christmas vignettes around her home to bring in the Christmas spirit.
Mitzi was smart since she and her husband can still eat at the table without disturbing her Christmas decor!
4. Bring Christmas to your coffee table
This is my coffee table this year. I decorated it with a compote bowl filled with vintage glass ornaments, a favorite nutcracker I have owned for almost 40 years and some florals. It’s really all the Christmas I need while sipping wine by the fire.
Here is another pretty Christmas coffee table, photographed during a Christmas stroll I attended a few years back. Candles, flowers, greenery, a decorative box and a nutcracker.
This country wood coffee table is perfectly simple, adorned with a wooden Christmas tree, a snowglobe on a Christmas book and a pretty red poinsettia.
5. Decorate your mantel
Anyone lucky enough to have a fireplace and mantel has a prime spot to create some Christmas cheer when decorating for Christmas without a tree.
Hang some stockings, display your favorite collectibles, or string some garland and the magic of Christmas is there.
If you want to keep it really simple, head into the the woods to gather some branches, add some candles and you have a beautiful winter look. Side note….Be careful not to leave the candles unattended as I did one year and almost started a house fire.
6. Add some Christmas plants
A beautiful Poinsettia, Amaryllis or a Paperwhite is an easy way to incorporate symbols of Christmas.
Although I adore the look of Paperwhites, I have come to believe they are the cilantro of the flower world. People either love the smell or it makes them sick. I am in the camp where the smell makes me sick. Too bad because I love the look of them so much.
7. Fresh greenery for the win!
If you are going to be decorating for Christmas without a tree then you can’t go wrong with fresh greenery. It will bring in the smells of Christmas and everything will look Christmasy with fresh greenery!
There are no rules that wreaths have to be hung outside. Hang a few inside and enjoy the fragrant smell of Christmas.
Fresh greens can be scattered throughout your home and tucked into the smallest places.
Designer friend Linda Merrill of Decorative Surroundings created a festive feeling of Christmas in her kitchen with some copper pots decked out in Christmas greens.
Decorating for Christmas without a tree should not lessen the feeling of Christmas for you. Just a few decorative items or greenery here and there will bring joy of the holiday inside your home. If ever there was a Christmas to go simple it’s this year!
I will leave you with this….
Seriously Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel??
I don’t know if this ” Christmas decor item” that both Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel are selling, is meant to be a joke but save yourself $99 (on sale from $149!) and go DIY this branch on a string.
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