A Small Christmas Tree Can Be Beautiful

by Tammy Taylor

Well it’s finally the Christmas season and time for us to put up & decorate our tree.   When the children still lived at home we always had a standard 7-8 foot tall Christmas tree, fully decorated from head to toe with fragile glass-ball ornaments of all shapes, colors & sizes.  Oftentimes it was a fresh tree cut at a Christmas tree farm.

But when the kids were all in their teens we purchased a 7-foot artificial tree.  Each year RancherMan would drag all four clunky sections of it down from the attic.  Together we’d assemble all the little branches – their exact trunk location based on their length.  Assembling and decorating that tree took quite a bit of time & RancherMan was NOT fond of this task. One year he’d had enough.  He pulled the top quarter off of the tree since it was the only section that was permanently intact.  Then he stuck the plastic stand on the bottom of this tiny section and declared “From now on, let’s make THIS our Christmas tree!”

I love that our tree is small and quick to set up & take down, and I love that my decorations are all sweet memories for me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

OK it’s only about 3-ft tall but don’t laugh just yet… Although I initially protested, I’ve found I really enjoy the smaller size of the tree.  I have several simple yet sentimental decorations for it.  I’ve learned you don’t have to decorate a huge tree to make a big impact.  And I love that the ornaments on this tiny tree are meaningful to me, unlike the fragile glass-ball decorations of Christmases past.

Set The Small Christmas Tree Up High

First of all the tree’s small size needs a little boost to bring it off the floor.  So we bring out a small wooden folding table when it’s time to set it up.  Setting it on that table brings the tree higher off the ground.  It also helps disguise the fact that it’s so tiny.  To hide the folding table I wrap a deep blue tablecloth with snowflake designs around it & clasp the cloth in the back to hold it in place.

Now it’s time to decorate our tree.  I have several things that I enjoy using for decorations.  I always include a baby spoon used by our children when they were infants.  A thin satin red ribbon hangs it on the tree each year.  What a wonderful, sentimental symbol of wonderful Christmases of the past and the blessings we’ve received.  It’s been on our tree every year since they were toddlers.  I also have a very small number of gift ornaments from the kids’ past such as “Baby’s First Christmas” from Hallmark and the like.  But none of our decorations are fragile.

I love that our tree is small and quick to set up & take down, and I love that my decorations are all sweet memories for me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

I also like to use Texas-themed cookie cutters made of both metal and plastic.  They are hung on the tree with a short length of twine.  I’ve been known to take them off the tree, wash them, use them to make cookies & then rehang them on the tree – Now THAT’S a dual-purpose ornament!

Edible Ornaments

And finally is my most fun decoration where I hang candy all over the tree – I call it “EDIBLE ORNAMENTS”.  Sometimes I use bent paperclips to attach tootsie rolls or sweet tarts, but I always have festive candy canes as well.  The grandbabies know that they are welcome to enjoy them each time they come to visit.  When Christmas is over I crush any leftover candy canes and use them for a sweet minty flavor in cookies or stirred into a cup of hot tea.

And of course topping the tree is the very same angel that topped our tree when I was a child.  This angel was already VERY used when it was given to us.  Sweet neighbors that were updating their own decorations gave it to our family when my parents were very young and starting out.  It topped the tree every Christmas for many years.  When mom & dad decided it was time to retire this old tattered second-hand ornament I begged for it.  It’s adorned my tree every year since.  Aaaaahhhh…  sweet childhood memories.

I love that our tree is small and quick to set up & take down, and I love that my decorations are all sweet memories for me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Festive Packages Add A Finishing Touch

Although I’m not near organized enough to have my shopping complete & all my packages wrapped & under the tree, you can see that even with what I do have completed so far the gifts actually help decorate the tree itself.  And the gifts are all wrapped in a way that prevents mountains of trash from heading to the landfill on Christmas morning.  You see, I’m using colorful cloth such as bandanas and reusable cloth bags to wrap our gifts.  (you can read that post here)  I’m even making my own denim cloth bags by repurposing RancherMan’s worn jeans.  And of course we also present low-waste gift baskets filled with our homemade goodies.  All of these methods of wrapping our gifts are environmentally friendly.  So our gifts are festively presented and there’s NO TRASH!  You know I love that.

I love that our tree is small and quick to set up & take down, and I love that my decorations are all sweet memories for me. #TaylorMadeHomestead

This method keeps to a bare minimum the number of decorations that must be packed up and hauled into the attic at the end of each year.  Now you know RancherMan is all over that!

What about you – do you have sentimental decorations that you are sure to use each year?

~TMH~

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40 thoughts on “A Small Christmas Tree Can Be Beautiful

  1. Lisa from Iroquois

    I’ve had a small tree for years. In fact one year I was heading to my parent’s for the holidays and my married sister was headed for Disney World with her kids. At the last minute the kids started worrying about needing a tree in order to have Christmas so my little tree got tucked into a suitcase, decorations and all, and went to Disney World.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      How awesome is that?? Y’all really came to the rescue with your small tree, gotta love it. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Karen Del Tatto

    You’ve given me a wonderful idea!! This year we have our daughter, son-in-law and nine month old granddaughter living with us. They have their own living room space downstairs where they bought a full sized live tree and decorated it. They will spend their evenings downstairs as a family to enjoy the tree with their sweet baby. However, Lexi spends most of her time upstairs and in our living room and we are trying to figure out the best type of tree to put up since she is crawling, standing and getting into everything! lol. I had toyed with the idea of getting a table top tree, but the jury is still out on that. But! I LOVED your idea of having a small tree that only held sentimental ornaments. Wow! What a special idea that is! I’m not sure if it will happen this year, but eventually I may just have a “sentimental small tree” for our Christmases. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      It really fits the bill for us Karen. My kids are grown now with kids of their own, but every year I place these items on the tree and those memories of their childhood come flooding back. RancherMan & I love it. Plus both putting it up and taking it down can be done quickly too! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Terri Presser

    I just love your little tree it is really cute and you have done a great job with it. We don’t have a tree at Christmas, this is something we decided a few years ago, we put up a nativity instead and put our presents around that. This kids have a great time playing with it. I love hearing about peoples traditions and how they do things, we can learn so much from others, without the judging. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I love your idea of gifts around the nativity Terri. Like you said, it’s fun hearing about others’ traditions for the holiday. ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. Pingback: The HomeAcre Hop #98 - Tiny Christmas Tree

  5. Jamie | anderson + grant

    When it comes to a Christmas tree, I think that having one that makes you happy is more important than the size. Sometimes the stress that comes from putting out what is expected ruins the spirit of the holiday. I love that you found a way to make your smaller tree work for you and your husband! Enjoy your holiday!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I agree – some people really love the big glorious fully-decorated house and if that’s what brings them joy – WONDERFUL! Like you said, it’s when you try to mold what makes you happy around what’s expected that trouble starts. We’ve finally found our holiday happy place… 😉 ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Erlene

    We actually bought a smaller 4ft. tree this year, which is in another area of the house and I hope that this will become our new tree when the kids get older. I think your tree looks great.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Erlene, we really love it too. I think you’ll end up loving your small tree even more than you did your original one. ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Tanya

    This makes perfect sense to me. Your tree looks adorable. Enjoy the festive season. Thanks for sharing this at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party. Hugs from co-host, Tanya http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  8. Felicia

    I laughed when I read about you only using the top part of the tree. This year I took our old 9ft tree that was to tall for our new home and made that baby a 5 ft tree. I only used the middle and the top. You would never know my tree was missing a section. Thanks for sharing over at the Snickerdoodle Sunday.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      LOL Felicia – that’s what I wanted to do as well – use the top & middle. RancherMan wanted ONLY the top! But as it turns out I kinda like it so he must have been right all along. 😉 ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Diane Roark

    Stopping by from Wonderful Wednesday blog hop. Thanks for linking up. I pinned your post to pinterest.com/cdloken/wonderful-wednesday-blog-hop-favorites/ Blessings, Diane Roark recipesforourdailybread

    Reply
  10. Karen

    I think you have a great idea. Although we haven’t cut our tree yet this year, we are considering a much smaller version. With the addition of my mom’s china cabinet and dining table that I inherited this past year, there is simply not as much room for a large tree as we had last year. I’m really loving the idea, and your post has encouraged me more that smaller is just fine! Thank you for bringing your post and sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      We all have different views on beautiful, Karen. My mother puts up a grand tree every year, loaded top to bottom with finery. It’s beautiful, but not what I want here at home. I love our tiny tree and its sentimental ornaments. And although I enjoy decorating for Christmas, I don’t really enjoy doing it en masse like I did when the kids were little. We’ve struck the perfect plane of decorating for us – festive, beautiful and sentimental while still being being quick & easy. To each their own! ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. Stephanie

    I’ll happily sit in the “tiny tree club” with you 😀 I bought a 4′ Christmas tree last year and I can’t imagine going back to the 6′ ones I had in the past. It’s assembled in 5 minutes. It’s decorated in 20. It’s pre-lit, so yay no light strands to untangle. It’s also black instead of green or white, which looks amazing when lit with white lights, and the ornaments really stand out. Plus, being so small, I can do a different theme or color each year without breaking the bank.

    Reply
  12. Janet Pesaturo

    Nice post. After our kids have moved on (which is in just a few years), we’ll either have a small tree and use our favorite few ornaments out of the huge box that we’ve been using for years on a large tree…or, we’ll just decorate one of the spruce trees in the yard with edible ornaments for the birds! Some years we’ve done both.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I love your idea of decorating a spruce outside! We purchased a live tree for our Christmas tree years ago and planted it in the yard after Christmas – we used to decorate it like you with edible ornaments for the birds. Aaaaahhhh good times. I’d love it if we could get an evergreen to be happy around our house here at the ranch, I’ve planted and lost so many trees I’m afraid to try again. (not sure what’s up with the soil around the house but…) ~TMR~

      Reply
  13. JaneEllen

    What would we do without our memories of childhood Christmas? The older a person gets the better those memories are and are so cherished. I love your little tree, smart way to make use of part of it, it look so cute with the ornaments you dressed it in. We have one of those trees you put together, used it once, there it sits out in shed. We weren’t going to have a tree but then I changed my mind and made one with a tomato cage, string of led lights and some faux pine garland I could get to in shed. Mr. Furry Kidz decided he wasn’t in mood to get all boxes out so I dug for what I could reach. I put ornaments on it I’d made and some from $tree. Looks pretty cheery. We have small living room so moving things around to accommodate a tree wasn’t what I had in mind. Tucked it into small spot by window and it seems quite happy there. Really easy to take down when time comes. Enjoy your holidays, wishing you and yours Merry Christmas

    Reply
  14. Pat

    A small tree sounds nice. I like yours. We had a small 4 ft tree one year, when the kids were little. Sometimes…less is more! I for one love the way your tree looks and the step stool does not go unmentioned. I love it! Pat

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Oh Pat thank you for mentioning the step stool! When I was a child I had one just like it at my grandmother’s house. When I started having my babies I found one similar but green instead of red. I bought it, recovered and repainted it red like the one I remembered and used it for my children when they were young. I now use it for my grandbabies. I love the way it looks with it’s fold-out steps holding the gifts. Another small sentimental part of our tree… ~TMR~

      Reply
  15. Linda @ A La Carte

    I have so many sentimental ornaments, I’m afraid a small tree couldn’t hold them all. Still I like the idea of a simpler Christmas. Thanks for sharing at TTF!

    Reply
  16. Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less

    We had a small tree one year and I didn’t mind it at all. You decorated yours perfectly. Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday.

    Reply
  17. Jeannie Marie & Company

    We do use the same ornaments year after year, but the last three years we only used clear icicles on a silver aluminum tree. It’s even smaller than yours is. I love having it. The larger tree was such a chore to take down it often drifted into February before I could tackle it. Now everything gets put away the first week of January.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’m like you Jeannie, it was such a chore after Christmas to take it all down, pack it all up & haul it back up into the attic that if often stretched further into the new year than I liked. Now it’s ‘bada-boom, bada-bing’ DONE the first week of January. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  18. Practical Cents

    I just did the opposite this year and upgraded our Christmas tree to a 6.5 foot. I had a 3.5 foot tree for 10 years and I loved it. So easy to decorate. This year I wanted a bigger one for our new house. Thankfully I bought it during the after Christmas sales and paid very little for it. But I’m going to keep my small tree for when I’m ready to downsize again.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      You bought your tree during the after-Christmas sales – preplanning helps A LOT, huh? Congrats on your new home. ~TMR~

      Reply
  19. Diana

    What a great little tree! I would love to down size the tree but we are not ready for that quite yet. The kids love making all kids of ornaments so our big tree is very full. I also love your wrapping. I have tried to use fabric for wrapping but I ended up with a very messy looking gift.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Diana, I really don’t enjoy wrapping gifts but I’ve found the fabric-wrapped gifts are actually more fun for me. Perhaps the secret lies in the thin fabric of a bandana? The bulkier fabrics seem to be messier for me as well. (although I wrapped a couple of gifts in denim and LOVED it!) ~TMR~

      Reply
  20. PK Kirkpatrick

    What a beautiful Christmas story. The part about the angel brought tears to my eyes. I also have so many special ornaments, many of which were made by my children when they were small, as well as the ones made by my grandchildren. Every Christmas at least one of my children brings me a new ornament. Now I have a very large family so, needless to say, I need a large tree to hold all my Christmas memories. It takes a full day to decorate, but I put on the Christmas carols and spend the day enjoying this holy season and its many blessings.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thank you for sharing your story PK. And how wonderful that you get a new Christmas ornament every year – how fun! Each family enjoys both their longstanding traditions as well as making new ones. Enjoy your beautiful tree. ~TMR~

      Reply
  21. victoria witte

    I think Rancher Man has the right idea about the size of trees. We have three cats and so long ago decided that decorated or undecorated trees just weren’t for us. Does save dragging out all those ornaments and rearranging the furniture to accommodate it. We have enough decorations on the mantle, front door, kitchen sitting room, garage, etc. to make things look festive. Of course I haven’t done any of that decorating as yet. I usually do it today since it’s my birthday and is close enough to Christmas to keep us from getting tired of all the decorations by the time to take them down comes along.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I think that’s a great idea Victoria – all the festive decoration without dragging clunky things down from the attic. (oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!) ~TMR~

      Reply

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