Last year I explained that I still choose to get a Christmas tree because I want to participate in the kind of togetherness and unity that the holidays bring. If you purchase one that was grown on a local farm, they are usually re-planted for the next year and then the tree population and air quality doesn't suffer. I thought about getting a living, potted tree this year but traditional living Christmas tree types are not supposed to be inside for more than a week and for me, it's not worth getting a tree for such a short amount of time.
Smaller is better
I usually get the smallest tree possible because, quite simply, it needs the least amount of decorations and uses the least amount of resources (plus tiny trees are real cute and tons easier to manage!). To make my tiny tree visible in the window, I just put it on top of a crate or table and when looking at it from outside, my bite-sized tree ends up looking like the top of a ten-foot-tall tree!
If you still need a tree stand, I recommend getting a sturdy and beautiful vintage one and then there is no need to cover it up with an extra item like a tree skirt. A vintage tree stand can be a neat piece all-year round to hold other plants, paintbrushes, or writing utensils and eliminates the need to store a seasonal or ugly plastic item for most of the year. Win.
All-Natural & Locally-Sourced Decorations
Using all-natural and locally-sourced decorations helps ensure that both planet and people aren't compromised in the production, transportation and disposal of the decorations. You can forage for things outside in your area, or find a shop nearby that carries some. These are my favorite, all-natural, Christmas tree decorations right now:
I love the snowy appearance of cotton and the organic shapes of raw cotton balls. You can leave them in their original state or roll them into smaller rounder, balls and then I would just tuck them in the branches like snowy polka dots. I've found some from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, and the Southwestern United States but check for some harvested closest to you! When you are ready to compost your Christmas tree, the cotton balls can stay on and be composted too or you can take them off and keep them.
Wool & Natural String
If you're looking for more structure in your decorations, felted wool can be found in lots of different shapes and designs. I love this wool and hemp snowball garland from California and this acorn garland made out of real acorns, wool and hemp string. Both of these could be re-used for multiple seasons and are also biodegradable at the end of their lives.
Recycled Paper & Natural Twine
What if instead of storing stockings for eleven out of twelve months, we used our Christmas trees to display our tiniest of presents, tucked in their branches? This is a tradition that I am starting this year since my husband and I don't own stockings yet, and we're not looking to own a lot more unnecessary things. This way, the tree gets decorated with adorable little presents that we can write and draw on, and after Christmas, the tree is already undecorated. With a fuller tree, you can just rest the packages on the branches and with a sparse tree, the packages can be hung like ornaments. For recycled paper and biodegradable tape, I recommend EcoEnclose and for biodegradable twine, Thatch & Thistle Supply Co. If you find products and materials sourced closer to you, even better!
Cheers & Happy Decorating!
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