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Alternative Christmas trees: All of the spirit, less of the mess

By John Kirchner December 15, 2010

How many battles will be lost to Christmas trees this holiday season?

Between all the sap stains, fallen pine needles and horror stories about house fires that started with a dried-out Christmas tree, it’s a wonder we even bother.

But it’s a tradition, right? If not for the Christmas tree, where would the gifts go, along with the ornaments, lights and candy canes?

For those not up for the hassle of erecting a 12-foot Evergreen in their living room, here are some fresh takes more inspired than the traditional green plastic Christmas tree:


(from Shelterrific)

This fake bonsai tree is Christmas gone minimalist, but it works well in a smaller room or as a centerpiece. The sparsity of the tree creates a charm like something from A Charlie Brown Christmas.


(from DigsDigs)

BUILD, a Seattle-based architecture firm, came up with this plywood Christmas tree made of two leaves that notch together. There’s no trouble with establishing ornamental symmetry here and the lighter wood really makes the ornaments pop.


(from Remodelista)

This Christmas tree, made from recycled wood planks, gives Christmas a rustic feel perfect for a cabin on the lake. There’s very little of the traditional red-and-green seasonal colors, yet it still feels festive and lively.

Of course, no matter what you go with — real or alternative — it’s not about the Christmas tree, but rather the people gathered around it.