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5 Fun alternatives to the Christmas tree

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

5 Fresh alternatives to fir

If you're in the mood to trade tradition for a modern Christmas, ditch the spruce and check out these five fun alternatives to the Christmas tree. And don’t worry: You don't have to settle for a noble faux. These alternatives are truly inspired.

Wooden Christmas Tree

1Christmas Cactus

If you have little ones, a prickly tree might not be the best idea, so skip to number two. Otherwise, a cactus is a great alternative to a traditional tree, and it requires a lot less water. There are tons of different species from which to choose; for this particular purpose, try a tall variety or one with multiple arms for decorating. Adorn it with the usual lights, tinsel and a few light ornaments. When the season's over, you can plant it. If you already have indoor foliage, such as a tall indoor palm tree or ficus, decorate it for the festive season.

2Metal ornament tree

If you just can't stand to let your ornaments stay in storage all season long, invest in a wire ornament display tree such as this one. Perfect for showcasing all your favorite ornaments, these come in every style and variety from tabletop to full size. The best part is that this type of tree requires no maintenance.

3Christmas in a cone

The season isn't just for red and green anymore. Just ask Jo Pearson, manager of Where Creativity Happens for Michaels. She suggests painting a Styrofoam cone, then glittering it in the same color. (She says bright pink, lime green and turquoise are the new holiday colors.) Leave the cone as is, or decorate it with ribbon or Christmas picks.

4a plywood little Christmas

Celebrate the season in eco-conscious style with a tree that's 80 percent more environmentally friendly than a traditional tree. It comes in three sizes, so get them all and decorate your whole home in earth-friendly Christmas style. You can paint it if you want or leave it au natural. Either way, this tree will brighten your home before you even get the lights up. Just click to see how cool this modern take on the Christmas tree really is.

5Forget the fir

Give up the green altogether and decorate your home with pinecone wreaths, glass bowls full of glass ball ornaments, and seasonally fragranced candles. Don't forget the poinsettias, which are available in many other colors besides the traditional red and white.

Holiday how-to

How to display holiday cards

Do you love the annual flurry of holiday greetings, but not the tumbling mess it creates on the mantel? This creative solution is a fun and easy way to show off your cards.

More holiday decorating tips

6 Ways to decorate green for Christmas
Christmas decorations on a budget
25 Ways to decorate your Christmas tree

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