Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas Decorations on the Cheap Part 2: Stating the Case for a Small Tree

I almost kind of lumped all of the Christmas decorations into one post, but then thought better of it because some things deserve some more attention than that.  This, my friends, is one of those cases.

Around here we have a small Christmas tree.  Minuscule compared to some.  It was a 10.00 clearance tree from Target that we bought three or so years ago to replace our other tree that wouldn't keep branches on it.

It is a slim diameter...three feet might be generous at the bottom.  Some people have called it a hallway tree it's so slim.  It stands at about five feet with the star on top of it.  My son broke the cheapy tree stand last year and my husband quickly built a tree stand out of some scrap wood for it.  At least it's stable now with the wooden tree stand and some duct tape to fill up the play in the tree stand, the tree is pretty darned sturdy now.  I still have a ribbon strung around the center of the tree and tacked to the wall behind it, just to be a bit safer in case my son decides to do something crazy, but it's pretty stable I think.

Not a catalog perfect tree for sure.

But you know what?  I love that tree.

Why? Well there are some really good reasons to love a small tree!

1.  One strand of LED lights takes up the entire tree, so I don't have to worry about storing more than one strand of lights for the tree every year.  And this also helps to reduce energy consumption in that you only have on strand of lights, compared to 3 or more.

2.  I can string the lights by myself and not worry about them tangling because even my small slim arms can wrap around the tree as I wrap the lights.

3.  It doesn't take many ornaments to fill the tree.  I was able to put away all of my breakable ornaments when we bought the tree (thank goodness since my son got into the habit of climbing the tree...thus the wooden tree stand) and just left ornaments that are safe for the kids to play with on the tree and I never had to buy more ornaments as the tree was just that much smaller than our previous one.

4.  Here's a thrifty tip for you.  Instead of tinsel or garland for the tree I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics a long time ago and bought like 15 yards of gold rope.  Using a coupon for 40% off or something like that I got out of there spending less than 10.00 for the rope.  And I've used that rope on our tree instead of garland now for six years or so and it's still going strong toward many more years on the tree.  That's a lot cheaper than having to buy garland for a tree every year or two, it doesn't get stuck to everything and it's easy to store.

5.  The best part of a small tree, especially one slim in diameter is that if you put four gifts under the tree the underneath looks full, so you don't feel this need to make the underside of the tree look "catalog stuffed with presents" perfect.  I really do think this helps to reduce holiday spending because you don't feel this need to fill space in.

6.  My son can now reach the topmost branches of the tree (he's grown tall enough) so I don't have to worry about him pulling down the tree to get at an ornament he wants.

7.  The tree came in three sections and all the branches are pre-secured to the trunk.  So, I can put the tree up in fifteen minutes if you count shaping time.

8.  My kids love this tree just as much as they would a eight foot tree and it takes up about 1/4 of the space of a bigger tree in my den.

So, there you are folks.  Why we have a small tree and why I'm hoping this one will last for a while as replacing it with anything less than a ginormous tree might end up being hard.  I'm really happy I was able to find this 10.00 tree and hope that I can somehow make it stay in one piece for many years to come.

Oh and another benefit of having a tree with a small diameter like this?  You can actually see the hand quilted tree skirt I got at one of our local thrift stores years ago for .50 (yes, fifty CENTS for a hand quilted tree skirt.  I couldn't believe it when I found it!).  I think it's so cute, but it always got buried underneath a really big tree.  Now I can really enjoy it as it takes a while for the gifts to bury the tree skirt now :).

And if you look close you can see a shot of our cat, Ginger under the tree there.  Every year we put up the tree and she camps out under it until the gifts stop her from doing so.  It's pretty funny.


  1. I have one of those trees too! We actually have 2 trees, but this one we use in my daughter's "playroom" for her to decorate. it is definitely perfect for small spaces. I love your thrifty tree skirt too. I have a great aunt who does quilting and she gave me a quilted tree skirt and matching stocking as a wedding gift. It was one of my favourite wedding gifts ever! Our Christmas tree is a big draw for our cats as well. Love the cute shot of hidden kitty though!!!

  2. Gorgeous tree!! Those are my favorite kind, full of "memory ornaments". Great idea about the gold cord! Tinsel is so dangerous for cats...they eat it, and it can become tangled in their intestines. Your home is lovely.