Our alternative Christmas tree(s)

17 Dec 2013

Christmas is becoming a big business and money making affair. While, I love the magic of Christmas and all of the traditions that go with it, I am not keen on spending huge amounts of money for it. I much prefer to enjoy a nice meal with family and buy a lovely present for my daughter than spend a fortune every year on decorating the house.

Alternative Christmas tree solutions

 Don't get me wrong I love my house to look good and I love decorating it. But Buying a Christmas tree is something we have done without since P and I got married and will (try and) continue to do so for as long as we can. 
We rarely spend the actual Christmas day at home as we travel to, at least, one side of our family across Europe. So spending money on a tree that has been chopped down and will die after a few weeks is not my priority. Apparently, buying fake plastic trees is not environmentally-friendly at all either. A tree needs to be reused for at least 20 years before its environmental impact makes it worth it over a real tree.

Wooden homemade Christmas tree
an alternative Christmas tree at my parents'

I have been inspired by my parents who stopped having a 'real' Christmas tree when my brother and I grew up and moved out of the house.

We have been through different set ups with dead branches picked up in the forest and decorated in various ways. 

Branch as a Christmas tree alternative
an actual Christmas at 'home' (back in the U.K.) caused by an imminent baby birth

With a child, though, we had to find something that looked more like a tree. After some internet searches, we found something we liked: a tree made out of wood scraps. 

Upcycled wood as a Christmas tree
current recycled Christmas tree
It looks (roughly) like a Christmas tree and we can decorate it in a more traditional way. All of the wood was destined for the bin and we simply cut it to size. Upcycling at its best, sustainable and handmade by my father.

LJ commented this year that it was not green! But forgot all about it when it came to decorate it. This is our tree and we love it. 


  1. That wooden tree is fantastic!
    I don't get to have a tree because we usually go away for Christmas.

  2. I love your tree!! I've been struggling with this and you've just presented my solution. I'm pinning this and next year we are going to make a version of your tree. Thank you!! Do the wood pieces rotate so you can store it flat?

    1. Yes, they rotate to make the effect you like and they also can be taken out for easy storage. They are all piled up on a long big screw (if you see what I mean). All the pieces have a hole in them to slot them on the long screw.

    2. Jody, this post actually has a picture of the current tree being built http://www.thepiripirilexicon.com/2013/03/one-layer-at-time-tights-and-other.html Much better than my explanation.

  3. What a great idea! Looks fabulous, too!

  4. So creative! I love these ideas!

  5. This is fantastic, Annabelle! I love all your trees and we don't have a traditional Christmas tree for exactly the same reasons you mention here. We do have a plasic tree though, but for practical reasons: our tree travels with us when we celebrate in a cottage/hotel (yes, did this twice, having family reunion) or elsewhere. And it needs to take little place when stored or taken with us in the car. Your wooden tree is beautiful!

  6. What cool alternatives! I'll link to this post from my Christmas abroad post on Sunday if that's okay.

  7. So cool! love it :) My mother-in-law decorates enormous ficus.

  8. Love this! Not a big fan of chopping down a tree either. We actually have a magnificent fake we found discarded on the curb on year. Bonus: it came equipped with 1000 working lights that you don't have to string on. They are in the "pines". :-)


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