Nontraditional Christmas Trees

A close friend told me about her boyfriend’s sweet family tradition: On the second Saturday of December, her boyfriend’s entire family (approximately 50 people) goes to a Christmas tree farm and spends the day drinking mulled wine, eating warm soup, and picking out the trees that they will cut down and decorate. They have been carry on this tradition for 20 years, and since friends are also welcome, the guest list grows each year. I have already secured an invitation for next year’s family Christmas tree hunt. My family used to purchase Christmas trees, but many years ago, we decided that we wanted to engage in a more ecofriendly activity, so we now have nontraditional Christmas trees.

Rather than purchase a plastic tree, we enjoy making a nontraditional tree every year. In recent past, we have made trees from paper, books, lights, and flowers. We have also drawn chalkboard trees and organized photos from the that particular year in the shape of a tree. Here are a few of my favorites:

Book tree

I have a huge library, and all of my shelves are full, so we decided to make a book Christmas tree a couple of years ago. We took all of the damaged books and folded the pages to create mini trees. We made around 70 of them and stacked them in our formal dining room at varying heights. We draped Christmas lights around and above the trees to create a little forest of pages. It was one of the more visually stunning nontraditional Christmas trees we have made, and guests loved how magical it felt. Here is a tutorial for folding pages into trees.

Lights tree

One year we all had the flu and were so sick that we were delayed in decorating for the holidays. We decided to keep it simple and string lights in the shape of a tree using tape. It was simple, pretty, and sweet. Surprisingly, guepaper sts responded to our tree really well and we saw versions of it decorating the walls of our loved ones the following year.

Tissue paper tree

My family loves tissue paper. When we travel, we pack our clothes in between tissue paper. We cover our clothes with tissue paper in closets. We make tissue paper flowers. We wrap presents with tissue paper. So, it seemed natural that one day we would make a tissue paper Christmas tree. We followed this tutorial last year, and it was a family favorite. We enjoyed spending the evening chatting, eating snacks, and making our tree. The creation stage was such a lovely bonding experience, and we enjoyed relaxing in the company of loved ones. We attached small, light ornaments to our tree and outlined it with a simple string of lights.

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