O Little Tree, O Little Tree!

x'mas tree CBS

As you dress your home for the holidays this year, the editors of Cottage Living magazine suggest you decorate a few mini Christmas trees. Eleanor Griffin, the magazine's editor-in-chief, has some bright ideas, which she brought to The Saturday Early Show.

Small trees are great because you have more freedom to decorate. You can go with a themed tree, or simply do something totally different from your family's main tree. Of course, if you're pressed for space, small trees are the perfect choice.

Finally, small trees are portable. You can place them in other rooms of your home, or they can even be given away as gifts.

For living trees, you can use Alberta Spruces and Blue Spruces. They are 2 to 3 feet tall and cost between $15 and $25, depending on where you buy them.

Here are some suggested themes for living trees:

Natural. Adorn a natural tree with natural elements, like strings of kumquats and Meyer lemons. Spread cloves over the dirt in the tree's pot to release a fabulous aroma in your kitchen.

Crystal. This tree is full of sparkle and can look quite glamorous, decorated with white lights and crystal ornaments, and even chandelier tiers.

Kids love having their own trees in their rooms. On the show, Griffin showed a tree designed for a child who loves bugs and nature. (She got the bug ornaments from Leaf 'n Petal in Birmingham, Ala., at $5.99 each.)

Kid's Name. Buy wooden letters that spell out their name and hang these on the tree. (You can get letters for $8 each from FAO Schwarz.)

Here are some suggested themes for artificial trees:

If you don't want to fuss with a living tree, don't sweat it. You can add living elements to an artificial tree.

Flowers. A $20, pre-lit tree from Target is decorated with white flowers. Griffin purchased small water picks, rigged them with wire and after placing a flower in each, buried them in the tree branches. It looks like the tree is blooming! (You can get water picks at most garden centers for about 25 cents each.)

Herbs. You can create a fragrant forest on your holiday table by attaching small bunches of herbs to white feather trees ($50 to $95 at feathertrees.com). Sounds a little odd, but the effect is of a snowy tree.

If you are bored with the traditional green tree, try these alternatives:

Metal. West Elm sells these modern-looking trees for $29 apiece. Buy a pair for your mantel.

More feathers. Feather trees are popular this year. Try those in shades of brown, which sell for $17.99 and $24.99 at Target.

Branches. Forget the tree altogether! Buy white branches at a florist shop and arrange them in a glass vase. Nestle silver and white tree ornaments in the bottom of the vase for a final touch.

If you would like to give a tree as a gift, try these ideas:

Earrings. Give a tiny tree that holds several pair of earrings to the teenager in your life. ($4.99 per pair at H&M)

Dog bones. Nestle a tiny tree in a vase full of dog bones, perfect for the pet lover.

Rosemary and boxwood. In this case, the tree is the gift. Break out of the mold a bit and think about buying a rosemary tree or a boxwood instead of evergreen. These are still green and beautiful so they look quite festive, but after the holidays they can be planted in a garden. Attaching some kitchen tools to the rosemary tree for the cook in your life, and some garden tools to the boxwood tree for your favorite green thumb.
  • Ellen Crean

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