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Living Space: Have yourself a merry little Christmas tree

Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:13 a.m.


Years ago, it was always the eccentric aunt who bought a small, spindly Christmas tree. Today, though, small trees have begun to play a bigger role in holiday decorating. Whether it's a live pine or a rosemary bush festooned with ornaments, mini trees can be big on style and presence.

A large Christmas tree is a pretty standard element in holiday decorating. But if you've seen all the wonderful small trees now available - both faux and real - it's tough not to give in to their powerful charms. This is especially true today, when many people put up more than one tree.

This year, the White House is sporting a record 54 trees. Even if you don't want quite that many, there are many beautiful trees on sale this season standing 4 feet or less, enabling you to add some holiday charm in every room.

If you opt for a real tree, it's nice to know you can get that genuine, fresh fragrance without the major water worries of a larger tree. Real trees come in fresh cut and living varieties (in pots) in nearly all the traditional varieties as their taller cousins. You can also buy Leland cypress trimmed trees to replant in your yard after the holidays, and indoor varieties such as Norfolk pines. Tie on a few red ribbons and they're good to go. Another plus? A small, living tree makes a charming gift.



Small trees, big options

There's almost no end to places and ways you can use small Christmas trees. Among the most clever include placing a tree in a Chinese vase or large garden urn. Mini trees can be decorated and displayed on a table, tucked into a corner, or placed in the curve of a winding staircase.

Small trees can be delightful additions to a dining sideboard when set in a wintry vignette. They can be grouped to create a scene around a tall Christmas tree, placed like sentinels to flank the front door, or added to a sofa table.

For a striking look, skip traditional vases and go for something fun and unique like a champagne bucket, Mason jar, antique crock, or galvanized bucket. Empty paint cans, available from home centers, do a good job of holding a tree and water, too.

To create a sweet winter scene, take some of your Christmas figures, such as nutcrackers, Russian nesting dolls or winter village pieces, add some faux snow and a tiny tree. Place the scene on a console with a mirror that doubles the effect. Or, place a small tree in an urn and set it inside a mirrored tray. Scatter small decorations or dishes of candy underneath.

Mini Christmas trees also look festive in the kitchen and breakfast room, as well as outdoors on porches, decks and stairs, or along walkways.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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