8 Christmas Tree Alternatives That Will Bring Just as Much Holiday Cheer

published Nov 11, 2021
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Credit: Alita Ong/Stocksy

You love the holidays! The lights! The pretty decorations! The mess the tree makes! Well, probably not that so much. Whether you live in a small apartment or somewhere you’re not allowed to have live trees — or maybe you just don’t feel up to wrangling a huge tree and all those ornaments — we’ve got alternatives that’ll help you deck the halls with a minimum of fuss. How about a new plant that shows off your holiday spirit but can be enjoyed for years? Or a pretty ceramic tree that can stay out all winter long? There even are paper alternatives that fold flat and don’t hog precious storage space off-season.

Here are our favorite alternatives to a Christmas tree:

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West Elm

Add a tea light to these pretty trees, and you’re all set for the holidays! Available in three sizes, they add ambience and a welcoming glow when grouped together on a coffee table or nightstand. The earthenware has a warm white finish that works with any color scheme. They’re also pretty and understated enough to leave out all winter long.

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Crate & Barrel

If you have allergies or never seem to have luck with live plants, this realistic-looking cypress tree is for you! It comes in three sizes from 2 to 6 feet so it fits even in tiny spaces. Its sturdy branches even can hold ornaments or lights, so it will feel like a real tree without the effort. Keep it up year-round, or store it for next holiday season.

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If you’re looking for a tree that’s out of the ordinary, yet destined to become an heirloom, this real wood beaded tree will become your favorite Christmas decoration. Available in sizes ranging from 36-inches to 96-inches, it can be disassembled for storage. The simple, elegant shape allows you to showcase special ornaments, too.  

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Grandin Road
was $69.50

These retro mercury glass trees are absolutely stunning — and they’re zero mess! They’re available in dark blue, light blue and soft pink, so they work in a variety of décor settings. There’s an on/off switch or optional timer. Nestle them on an end table or use them as a gorgeous centerpiece for holiday dinners.

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The Sill

This lovely tabletop tree has a light citrusy scent, natural “Christmas tree” shape, and pretty chartreuse color. Give it bright light and it will love you forever! In warm weather, it can go outside on your deck or patio. Like the Norfolk pine, its foliage is delicate, so stick with a lightweight battery-operated string of LED lights if you want to dress it up.

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If you’re looking for something a little different, consider this two-foot-tall lighted battery-operated tree. This pretty birch comes with a built-in 6-hour timer, so the lights will automatically go on and off. It’s a lovely addition to any room of your home, plus its elegant lines are pretty enough to keep up all winter long.

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West Elm

No space? Check out this cute paper tree that’s been hand-cut and folded in India. Available in a neutral ivory color and small and medium sizes or a set of three, this accordion-fold tree will look smashing on a foyer table, mantel or end table. Its understated elegance is a nod to the season without taking up too much space. When the holidays are over, fold it flat to store.

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This adorable little pine is the real deal, but it’s so much simpler than dragging home a live tree. Give it bright light and keep it ever-so-slightly moist, not soggy, and it will live for years. The soft needles are not able to hold heavy ornaments, so stick with bows or lightweight battery-operated LED strings of lights if you want to decorate it.