By Mary Carol Garrity
A towering pine tree decorated to the hilt will always be king of the Christmas-tree forest, in my opinion. But I have to admit that I’ve recently developed a huge crush on the big tree’s smaller “siblings.”
Little Christmas trees have captured my fancy in a big way because they come in lots of different looks — from vintage to classic to contemporary — and are super-affordable, virtually unbreakable, easy to store after the holidays and, best yet, a simple way to help any display shine for the season. Here are some secrets for getting a big holiday look from little Christmas trees.
When I decorated my dining room for a holiday open house, I knew I wanted to include a small Christmas tree. I found the perfect spot on my buffet for a silver tree made of real sticks — simply tucking this decoration into an existing display. The little tree’s silver finish made it a natural for this year-round grouping, which already included silver accents like my buffet lamps, a three-tiered epergne and a tray.
To create a similar look in your home, fill your buffet with some of your most beautiful serving pieces, like a silver coffee pot or glass compote. Then add one or two little trees. When picking trees, go for a variety of heights so the display has more movement and interest.
We’ve used little Christmas trees many different ways in tabletop displays at the Nell Hill’s stores this season, and we continue to be blown away by how many looks you can get from these proven winners. Create a bright and cheery centerpiece, for example, just by clustering a few vintage-looking bottle-brush trees on top of books wrapped in holiday paper.
Or, instead of using lots of little trees, have three taller bottle-brush trees march down the table’s center like toy soldiers. It’s a simple but darling look.
Pull the dead summer plants out of those outdoor garden urns and bring the urns inside to help you decorate for the holidays. Iron garden urns are my favorite tree stands for mid-sized Christmas trees because they make small trees look majestic and the urns are heavy enough that they won’t topple over like a conventional stand will, taking the tree and its ornaments with it.
This year, I placed a mid-sized tree in a black iron urn, giving it one more boost by putting the urn on an iron pedestal. I positioned the tree in a corner of my dining room that was also visible from my front door, doubling its impact with no added work.
Think about your home’s entry. Is there a spot you could place a dramatic mid-sized tree held in a beautiful container, like an urn or a china cachepot?
I really like to put decorative items in my windows during the holidays. What could be easier than dressing a windowsill with a tiny tree? For a rustic look, put a little tree wrapped in a burlap bag in your main floor windows.
Expecting guests? Don’t forget to give the guest room a bit of holiday cheer. It’s easy to do with a mini-tree or two. Put a small tree in an interesting holder and display it on a bedside table or dresser.
You won’t believe how many young moms come in for decorations for mini-trees they put up in their children’s bedrooms every year. The little trees give the kids a chance to have a hand in decorating their own space for the season.
So many fireplace mantels these days are super-skinny, making them harder to dress up with elaborate holiday displays. But tiny trees, with their petite girths, are a great solution. Try grouping a cluster of mini-trees in a variety of heights on either side of the mantel.