Is it Christmas without a tree?

This year, for the first time in forever, I did not put up a Christmas tree.  It made sense not to. I was going to spend the week before and after Christmas with my daughter and son in law in Austin, TX and a tree just didn't make sense.  This doesn't sound like a big deal, but to me it was huge!  I have always had a tree, sometimes as many as in the living room, one in my office, a small one in the bedroom and a tiny one in the dining room. And now, this tree?  Gasp! Not only do I put up a tree every year, but I decorate each and every room in the house with Christmas cheer.  Last year, I had so much cheer in my small apartment that after one day, I had to take about half of it down.  But a tree...isn't that required?  I'll let you in on a, it is not.  And, brace yourself, I didn't miss it one little bit.

My daughter puts her tree up before Thanksgiving, yes, you read that correctly, before Thanksgiving. She loves Christmas and has an 8ft, prelit, artificial tree that is simply stunning.  She decorates it with an eclectic mix of ornaments from her childhood, ones she added as an adult and others she and her husband have bought together, topped off by a gorgeous golden star.  I waited for tree envy to set it, but there was never a quiver. 

I have friends who choose not to have trees of their own for various reasons.  Some enjoy the trees at their children's or grandchildren's houses, some have trees at their offices, and one just plain doesn't like decorated trees.  Does that make their Christmas celebrations any less meaningful or fun or cheerful?  No, it does not. Not having a tree doesn't make you Scrooge or the Grinch. In fact, not having a tree can be surprisingly liberating.

Here in no particular order are some benefits to not having a Christmas tree.
  1. No chasing your cat out of or your dog out from under the tree. I have no idea why, but every year my dog thinks I have put up a tree solely so that he will have a nice place to nap. And speaking of dogs:
  2. No panicked dash when you see him eyeing the tree and starting to lift his leg.
  3. No dead needles in your carpet, your slippers, your food!
  4. No leaping out of bed in the middle of the night to see what that crash was, only to discover your tree has fallen over because it was too heavy to turn around and you ended up putting ornaments only on the parts you could reach and none on the back which leads to:
  5. No trying to anchor it to the wall with dental floss and a thumbtack.
  6. No having to remember to add water, and no spilling water when you do remember.
  7. No frozen trek thru the woods looking for the prefect tree...ok, that part I do miss.
  8. No trying to get the tree home only to discover you don't have any twine to tie it to the roof of your car.
  9. No picking out the perfect tree only to be amazed that a 9 foot tree doesn't fit into your house.
  10. No sap on your hands.
  11. No feeling awful because your friend is horribly allergic to pine and spends the evening sneezing.
  12. No frustrating search thru 10 strings of lights trying to find the one bulb that is burned out and therefore causing your entire tree to go dark.
  13. If you have an artificial tree, no sore fingers from straightening out bent branches (how do they tie themselves up in knots?) and then trying to cram the metal rods into the obviously smaller notches.
  14. No panicking when you don't have anything suitable for the top of the tree because you stepped on it last year and forgot to replace it and you end up at Target at midnight sorting thru neon colored angels and multicolored stars because you can't sleep if the tree isn't completely finished.
But the best reason not to put up a tree?  Because you don't have to if you don't want to. If you want to, that's great.  Enjoy the heck out of that tree in all its green lighted glory.  But if you don't want a tree, don't beat yourself up and don't apologize for not having one. There is plenty more to do at Christmas that doesn't require a playing Trivial Pursuit with your way too smart daughter even though you know you will come in dead last, or watching sappy Christmas movies you have seen so many times you can recite entire passages from, or drinking egg nog and listening to Josh Groban's Christmas album for the 10th time in a row because you just love the way he sings in Latin. None of which require a tree. 

I had a wonderful Christmas season this year and hope you did, too.  With or without a tree.


  1. How liberating! So many times we do things because we feel it is required, we will disappoint someone, whatever the reason. Good for you! I have learned there are no requirements (beyond all the baking I do because my grown kids love it when I do that!), but we are free to choose, especially with the kids grown and on their own. I personally did all the decorating and the tree, and loved it, but that was my choice. I have had years when I didn't and got along just fine. (I love those movies too!) Karen

  2. Wow it's great to hear from someone brave enough to go through Christmas without putting up a tree. My household has had many wonderful Christmas celebration without the tree. Like Karen stated, it's very liberating!
    Best, Sharon

  3. Glad you enjoyed your Christmas and thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

  4. It's amazing how many people emailed me to say that they, too, choose not to have a tree. It's so nice to have choices!

  5. Love if you share this on Fabulous Friday Party....Great post


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