17 best Christmas tree alternatives

Want a Christmas tree with a difference this year? Change up your approach to Christmas decor with these clever ideas

Christmas tree picture in a child's bedroom
(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Shock announcement of the year: not everyone loves Christmas trees. Some of us find them too much faff to put up; others are just plain bored of same old year in, year out; others simply don't have the space. If you'd like an alternative, you're in luck: we have scoured the world of festive offerings for cool and unusual ideas – guaranteed to stir up enthusiasm. Best of all? If you LOVE Christmas trees, these make a great addition to your traditional tree, too.

Find more Christmas buys and gifts on our dedicated page.

1. Go minimalist with a metal Christmas tree silhouette

Love Scandi, minimalist design? You'll like the Metal Silhouette Tree, £60, from Cox & Cox. Perfectly understated, but still very recognisably Christmassy. (Sold without baubles.)

Metal Silhouette Tree Cox & Cox

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

2. Cheer up your exterior with an LED tree

Another understated ornament, the Chalk Pre Lit Twig Tree from Lights4fun is both elegant and cheerful, thanks to the warm LED lights. Stick it by the front door, in the back garden – or bring it inside for a contemporary Christmas look.

96 LED Chalk Twig Tree Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

More LED trees:

3. Stack crates in the shape of a tree

The easiest option of all  – and a very budget-friendly one – is stacking wooden crates in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then, fill them with your favourite Christmas decor or gifts. Hey presto, a chic, boho Christmas tree alternative.

Don't have any crates, or love the ones in the photo below? Get the Large Wooden Christmas Crate Tree from Plantabox.

Christmas Crate Tree Plantabox

(Image credit: Plantabox)

Shop wooden crates and make your own alternative tree:

4. Build a Christmas teepee for the kids

If you have small children, a tree can be too much of a hazard (people with naughty pets will get the dilemma, too). Instead, put up a child-safe teepee they'll love playing in, and decorate it with your favourite Christmas ornaments. 

This teepee has been decorated with Christmas treats from Dunelm. 

Kids teepee by Dunelm

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Buy a teepee:

5. Draw your tree on a blackboard

Forget buying stuff and have fun drawing your tree with your kids! If your children's room has a blackboard and some chalk, you're basically sorted. Just add Christmas decs. 

This kid's room has been decorated with Christmas goodies from Homesense

Homesense Christmas 2018

(Image credit: Homesense)

Don't have a blackboard? Find one:

6. Use neon lights as a festive alternative

It's not all about fairy lights; why not edge it up a bit and go for neon lights instead? The Neon Christmas Tree Garden Stake Lights from Lights4fun are cool and different, if a little Twin Peaks. They cost £34.99 for a pack of three. 

Neon Christmas Tree Garden Stake Lights Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun/Oliver Perrott Photography)

More neon Christmas lights:

7. Decorate ladders with baubles

Part joke, part cool design idea, using a step ladder to create a tree-shape for displaying baubles will delight your friends (but probably appal your grandma). Just make sure everything is stable – you might be better off laying a soft rug underneath, just in case your makeshift tree topples... and maybe avoid this idea if  you have toddlers. This DIY ladder tree has been decorated with baubles from Poundland, but if you're considering it, it's definitely worth checking out our best kitsch tree decorations, just to finish off the tongue-in-cheek approach to perfection. 

Poundland - Large Christmas Baubles

(Image credit: Poundland)

For an even smarter look, why not decorate a ladder book shelf?

8. Go for a contemporary interpretation of a tree

Don't like any of the DIY options? The Multicolour LED Christmas tree from My Furniture is sleek and glitzy, and will look nice in a contemporary home. Plus, the only effort you'll have to make is to a) click and buy and b) take delivery and c) plug it in and switch it on. Simples.

Multicolour LED Christmas tree by My Furniture

(Image credit: My Furniture)

More LED Christmas trees:

9. Create a festive atmosphere with a backlit ornament

Perfect Christmas atmosphere with the help of a battery-powered wood carving? Easy, with an LED stag forest scene, available from Not On The High Street. 

Light Up Stag and Tree Ornament

(Image credit: M&Co)

10. Hang up a tree-shaped wreath

Wreaths are a great compromise when you want something quite Christmassy, but don't want a tree. Our favourite is the Tree Shaped Wreath from House of Bath. 

LED Tree shaped Wreath by House of Bath

(Image credit: House of Bath)

More wreaths:

11. Conjure up an instant festive vibe with a pop-up tree

Perfect for those who like a more abstract take on Christmas, the pop-up outdoor tree from Wilko is very understated, but still festive. Plus it takes up barely any storage space the rest of the year. Result.


(Image credit: Wilko)

12. Create a bohemian take on white Christmas 

Don't really do Christmas at all? Just stick some fairy lights on some of your favourite house ornaments, and you're good to go. If it's tree-shaped, even better.

We like the White Wishing Trees from Sue Ryder. Have yourself a boho merry Christmas. 

Wishing Trees Available in 3 sizes Sue Ryder

(Image credit: Sue Ryder)

More wishing trees:

13. Pick a compact design that fits on the dinner table

Don't have much space, or would you like your tree to be the dinner table centrepiece, without pine needles everywhere? Pick a compact and stable metal design, like the ingenious Metal Christmas Tree from Maisons du Monde (sold without baubles).

metal Christmas tree from Maisons du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

14. Decorate a small space with a silver mini tree

Bring festive cheer into a small kitchen or living room with a mini tree. With very small trees, there's no need to look for a convincing spruce lookalike – you might as well go for something a bit more unusual and eye-catching, such as the very sparkly and pretty Silver Glitter Mini Christmas Tree from Lights4fun.   

Silver Glitter Mini Christmas Tree from Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

15. Add colour with a Christmas tree rope light

Want to really cheer up your front garden – and the whole street? The Tree Rope light from B&Q is guaranteed to stand out. Mains operated.

ree Rope light from B&Q

(Image credit: B&Q)

16. Have frosted branches delivered to your door

This contemporary 'Christmas tree' from Bloom & Wild is perfect for Scandi-interior fans. Perfectly simple, it pairs frosted branches with paper pom-pom baubles (both come in a super slim box that fits through your letter box). Plus we love that you can just pack it all away and reuse them year after year.

Bloom & Wild Scandi Tree

(Image credit: Bloom & Wild)

17. Make a wall sticker Christmas tree 

Want to get a bit creative? All you need is some double-sided sticky tape and your favourite decorations (obviously not glass ones, as they won't stick). 

This tree-shaped Christmas ensemble has been created by MYK Berlin

MYK Berlin Christmas Tree

(Image credit: MYK Berlin)

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