The last time I bought a Christmas tree was six years ago. The five-foot tree cost me nearly $70. That’s when I decided my days of fresh trees had come to an end. Now that I live in a different apartment, I don’t have room for a tree anyway. I do have ornaments to hang though, so I found new ways to display my decoration collection without spending a fortune on something that will die in a few weeks.
Artificial Christmas Tree
I don’t have room for an artificial tree, but my parents’ tree is gorgeous. They found it for $180 at Costco, and still have it four years later. That brings their cost down to $45 a year, which is far more affordable than the $100 minimum they’d have to spend every year on a real 7½ foot tree. Artificial trees usually come pre-lit, so you also don’t have to worry about burned out bulbs or untangling mangled strings. As a final benefit, they’re flame retardant. Not having your house burn down is a major cost savings!
Fresh or Artificial Pine Garlands
One year I ordered fresh pine garlands that I hung over the two main windows. I then attached some lights and my ornaments to the garlands. The affect was lovely, the smell was delightful, and it was more affordable than a Christmas tree. I just spritzed it with water every few days. You could also do this with artificial garland.
I currently have a gold ornament tree that I stand on top of my entertainment center. In case you’re unfamiliar, an ornament tree is usually gold, but it can be silver. Mine stands about two feet tall and has four levels or four arms each. Each arm has one to three loops to hold ornaments. It’s perfect for displaying my favorite ornaments. Sometimes I add some brightly-colored Christmas balls in the back to add color and fill in holes. The best part of the ornament tree? The cats can’t reach it.
Live Mini Christmas Tree
Of course, I like to have a little something fresh, so I usually pick up a live 18-inch tree and attach a few simple ornaments to it. I can usually find them for $12-20 at Trader Joe’s. This one can be reached by the cats, so I only put cheap ornaments on it.
If you want to buy a real tree, just make sure you factor it into your total holiday budget. If you want to save, consider one of the above options. Spend the money you save on extra eggnog to drink while you decorate.