A Christmas tree may be a traditional way to decorate your home for the holiday, but that doesn't mean that there aren't equally festive alternatives available. Christmas trees are large, messy and hard to dispose of in some areas. These alternatives are much cleaner, and they still allow you to interject a feeling of joy into your home.
In the place of a Christmas tree, buy several poinsettia plants. These plants, with their red flowers and green leaves, are typically only offered at Christmastime, so they're a perfect, seasonal addition. Look for varieties with slightly different petal colors and cluster them together for maximum effect. If you'd like to use plants but poinsettias aren't your style, consider a Christmas cactus. These spiky plants produce beautiful flowers at Christmastime and they remain deeply colorful all year long. Wrap the pots with foil and decorate with a bow.
Gather together as many boxes as you can find, of varying shapes and sizes. Wrap each package in decorative paper and a shiny bow. Stack the wrapped boxes in a tower, as high as you'd like. You've suddenly created a tree out of presents, for very little money. This is an excellent idea for children who cannot tolerate trees or plants of any sort due to allergies.
Make each corner of your house decorative, instead of blowing all of your decorations on your tree. Place your unused tree decorations in clear jars and place them on your coffee and end tables. Buy red candles and place them in jaunty holders. Scatter pinecones about, for a wintery look. Wrap your tree lights in festive garland and frame your doorways with light and color. Buy strings of beads at the craft store and drape your cards over the beads for a card garland that's both funky and functional.