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25 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas For Those Of Us Who Just Can't Be Bothered

Also: For those of us with cats who are intent on destroying outside objects.
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/heywanderer, (RIGHT) Instagram/frombeewithlove

Christmas is inching closer and closer and I'm sure, like any lifelong holiday-lover, you're on top of everything. A gift for every person on your list? Checkity-check. Tree?...Tree??? Okay, so maybe not everything. But you're here now and we're going to get through this together. Whether you're seeking out an alternative Christmas tree for style, environmental, or space-related reasons, I've found a few ideas to suit every need. 

You can buy or easily put together most of these alternative Christmas trees with things you already own (like mason jars or instruments), and for all my overachievers in the room, there are definitely a few ideas that'll require you to pull out your arts and crafts gear for a full-on DIY project. And wait, don't bail just yet, sweet lil procrastinators, because plenty of these can be put together in just a few minutes. So whether you're looking for a tree-adjacent idea to fit in your small space, or you want to make something out of recycled goods, here are the best alternative Christmas tree ideas to try this year.

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Book Tree

If, like me, you have way too many books to even fit on your shelves, this adorable book tree will work overtime: It's a temporary (and inventive, I might add) way to keep your books in a stack on the floor but it also looks festive as heck.

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Pages Tree

So, you still love books but don't have room on your floor for a full-on book tree? Pages on the wall it is!

Mason Jar Tree

Mason jars: they're not just for transporting your iced coffee! Stack your glassware, add a few ornaments inside every other jar, and string some lights around your creation. Bam, it's the most hipster Christmas tree of all time.

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Wooden Slat Tree

Warning: This tree does require you to know your way around a few carpentry tools. Just think of all the bragging rights this guy will earn you: "Oh, you bought your tree? That's nice, I built mine."

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Cat Tree

Cats and Christmas trees are basically mortal enemies. (I know what you're thinking, "Yeah, cats hate...everything.") Like, don't even bother with nice ornaments if you've got a cat because chances are they'll knock the tree right over. Turn your cat tree into a cat tree by stringing up some Christmas lights. Meow.

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Living Christmas Tree

This is one of my favorites because it's an alternative Christmas tree that's technically an actual Christmas tree—just without the whole cutting-down-and-killing-a-tree part of the deal. You buy a tree seedling that's still potted so that you can replant it outside after Christmas is over. If that's not in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what is.

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Cactus Tree

You may want to spring for a cactus that is already decorated, or at the very least, treat yourself to a nice pair of gardening gloves. Otherwise...ouch.

Wine Bottle Tree

If you've saved up enough wine bottles over the past year to make this tree, first of all, congrats on living your best life, and second of all, congrats on having enough space to store all these bottles for a whole year. Can I move in to your mansion?

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Hanging Branch Tree

Zero wasters, this is, as the great Hannah Montana once said, the best of both worlds. You get a tree with a natural feel thanks to reclaimed branches, but no actual trees are harmed simply for your holiday enjoyment. Yay!

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Cardboard Tree

Did you move recently? Because this is perfect for anyone who has large pieces of cardboard lying around. Plus, it's super eco-friendly. Saving the planet, one alternative Christmas tree at a time.

Wine Ornament Tree

If the only space you have for a "tree" is a shelf in your bedroom, you're in luck. Not only can you have a tree (of sorts), but you can hang ornaments from its wires, too.

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Dried Citrus Tree

The ultimate space-saving tree is one that you can stick on the wall. And even though you aren't opting for any evergreen deliciousness, the fruit slices still give it that au naturel feel, right? The colors are great, IMO.

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3D Wooden Slat Tree

Anyone else getting serious Geppetto vibes from these wooden slat trees, or am I the only Pinocchio fan in the house? By the way, these designs are perfect for small spaces. Look, it fits right on top of your table!

Yarn Tree

You don't have to be crafty to make this yarn tree. I'm partial to this idea because it utilizes one of my strongest skills: sticking stuff in a pile.

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Pom-pom Tree

For a tree so cute, it'll rival Baby Yoda (okay, I take that back, clearly nothing's cuter than Baby Yoda) just make a mini bush shape entirely out of pom-poms.

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Wine Cork Tree

A subtle festive nod to any wine-lover's cork collection. Arrange your corks in the shape of a tree, and attach them with wood glue. Then uncork a new bottle of vino to celebrate your craftiness.

Balloon Tree

This project is not for the faint of heart. You need a balloon pump (or, like, a really good set of lungs), plus a garden trellis to provide the structure, and some string. Oh, almost forgot, and some time on your hands. Cute, though!

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Minimalist Wire Tree

You're still getting that Christmas tree silhouette here, but in a more compact, industrial, and dare I say, sophisticated way. I dig.

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Ladder Tree

It's time to dust off that ladder you've been storing in the garage for years (slash...time to borrow a ladder from your parents!) because it turns out they make for a really cute tree alternative. Who woulda guessed it.

Guitar Tree

Musicians, this one's for you—well, as long as you can stand to give up jamming for a few weeks, that is.

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Drum Tree

Don't worry, drummers, I didn't forget about you. This tree alternative looks amazing with the green drum set, but other colors would look rad, too.

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Arts & Crafts Tree

Raise your hand if you were always doodling in your school notebooks. Same. This year, hit up your younger cousin for her cute lil Christmas sketches, and then cut 'em up and stick them on your wall in the shape of a tree. But ask permission first, of course!

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Coat Hanger Tree

Maybe it's just me, but often it feels like extra hangers just appear in my closet out of nowhere. Now I finally have an idea for how to put them to good use...

Garland Tree

Four strands of garland, a star, and some heavy-duty tape is all you need to pull off this low-lift tree alternative.

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Simple Light Up Tree

I love, love, LOVE the minimal simplicity of this one. Just tack some baubles onto any LED light tree and you've got yourself one stunning piece of décor.

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This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.