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you watch the local trash days -people often buy new fancier ones and get rid of their old fake one .

make one out of newspaper

buy a mini tree at $ store and decorate with homemade items or take a 50% off coupon to a craft store and buy a small one .

set up a barter wuith a tree seller - a few hours work in exchange for a tree

ask your church -ours gets old ones dropped off at it alot when people get new but they really cant use them all to decorate the church and school .

ask on freecycle

let your friends know your issue they may know someone who will donate one - know of one that is sitting in a attic unused or maybe find a way to help you have one in the spirit of the holiday season
 
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beer cAN TREE ( hopefully not your beer if you can afford all this beer on short notice -you can afford a christmas tree IMO )


this one is better LOL
 

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I've seen fabulous garland trees in decorator magazines. They are fashioned on the wall in a zig zag pattern. A tree skirt/or festive piece of material gathered at the bottom. Homemade ornaments/star or angel for top. Presents arranged around the bottom. It was quite smashing. One even had a string of twinkling white mini lights wrapped around the garland.

Again in a decorator magazine I saw a wall tree made from little shelves (painted white). Each shelf had Christmas pretties like gingerbread men, votives, Christmas baubles, small wrapped gifts. The presents set at the foot of the tree.

Another really great Christmas tree I saw (again a decorator magazine) was a rather large tree branch that had blown off a tree, set in a decorative vase. The branch was painted silver and wrapped in white lights. The branches dripped with icicles. If you had the paint at home it could be virtually free.

The same could be done with a country flair. Place unpainted branch in a stonewear crock/or any vessel and wrap a tree skirt around. Wrap in lights and decorate with ribbon made from torn material, add gingerbread men. Very homespun.:)
 
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One year, my sister didn't have room for a tree or the money for one either. She got construction paper and using entire sheets of green, taped them to the wall in the general shape of a tree. She used brown for the trunk at the bottom. Then she cut out decorations from other colors of construction paper and taped them on. She also made a paper chain to hang on it. Piled presents on the floor in front of it. Worked pretty well and made a kid friendly tree that the kids could help make too.

I did something similar on a smaller scale last year. My daughter wanted a tree for her room. Couldn't buy one so we made a small one out of construction paper, cutting out the shape, gluing it together and having her help cut out decorations. Made Christmas throughout the house instead of in just one room. It was fun enough, we are probably going to repeat it this year with both my daughters helping.
 

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What my mother did when she was getting divorced from her first husband, had a retail job, no money and a kid..was start a tradition...getting the tree on Christmas Eve, they're usually 1/2 off. Many of the ornaments in our family are homemade snowflakes, made from Christmas wrap too.

The tree is brought down on New Year's Eve and was burned as a part of the New Year's celebration. My husband & I changed this to: buying the tree on Christmas Eve, leaving it up til New YEar's Eve, sawing a log off the bottom of the trunk, and then following the rest. The trunk piece is burned when the next new tree is put up, Christmas Eve the following year...it makes it more special, and doesn't cost us a dime.

So, buying on Christmas Eve (if you can afford it at all), making ornaments, and keeping the tree up thru New Year's.

Judi
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I was in college (and broke), I make the garland one - on my living room door. I cut out pictures from trash picked magazines, and used them as ornaments.

I've also made one out of cardboard (opened up boxes that I trash picked at work) - then I covered them in green trash bags (carefully, so I could reuse the bags after Christmas), and made a 3D , stand up tree -- then we strung paper chain garlands, etc. on the tree.

We made a 1/2 tree out of paper mache for my dad, at the nursing home -- we used old newspapers for the mache, and a huge piece of cardboard for the backing. . . then spray painted the tree and hung small boxes (decorated to look like packages) from the tree - this entire thing was hung on the door to his room at the nursing home.
 

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I used to string lights in a triangle/tree shape against the wall or our non working fireplace. Strands of lights are $1.99 or cheaper at places like Walmart, so for $2-5 and some tacks you can have yourself a little altar to the holiday.

Keep an eye on the ads, I remember seeing smaller artificial trees at ridiculously low prices in places like Hobby Lobby and Joann's in years past.
 

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get some butcher paper and paint or draw a picture of a tree.

walmart has a prelit 20 dollar tree. it's what i bought after the divorce and what i use now.

chirstmas is about the birth of jesus. call the LDS church and ask for a free DVD about the birth of jesus. it's very good and makes me reflect on what's important.
 
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We thumbtacked our stockings to the wall and put a few wrapped boxes under them. The boxes were for show, LOL. I did have a nativity which we displayed on the table. Ah, the early days of marriage, LOL.
 
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Since i fly to my parents for christmas, this year i took boughs from my fake xmas tree and put it on fireplace wrapped with lights. For me it is the lights...i love the lights
 

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You can pick up fake trees really cheap, they may not be gorgeous but there is one for everyones budget IMO.
I need to buy a new one, ex is getting our fake tree in the divorce lol. I can't have the real ones as i HATE the smell of pine.
 

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I made ornaments for a smaller tree out of the kids toys. I got the idea at a very upscale store where they had taken lots of those plastic animals, and wrapped them in wire and hung them from the tree. At the top of the tree they had a panda.

I did the same idea and found every plastic animal the kids had, from barrels of monkeys to plastic animals fish and dinosaurs. Then I made a display of the larger dinosaurs that my son had and put them on the ground around the tree. We pu a t-rex on the top of our tree.

Every year, (and its been quite a few years) that is the tree that the kids care most about.

Anything the kids collect can work. Polly pockets, barbie, hot wheels, legos, baseball cards, you name it it can work. Basically, anything you can step on in their rooms in the middle of the night!
 

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You can pick up fake trees really cheap, they may not be gorgeous but there is one for everyones budget IMO.
I need to buy a new one, ex is getting our fake tree in the divorce lol. I can't have the real ones as i HATE the smell of pine.
This is what we do, saves us each year, and we are allergic to pine. Though I use to live in the Mountains with the Tall pines, and never bothered me outside...lol
 

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inspire co.: unintentionally green

This is rather cute idea. Gift garland, made from empty boxes from the pantry. If you used small boxes you could decorate a large tree branch that you've stuck in a pot with it.

I like joyofsix's idea of wrapping empty boxes to sit around the tree! It would be a great way to give a non-traditional tree a real holiday feel.


I like Judi's snowflake idea too. All of us know how to make snowflakes. You could fashion together a rather sweet tree with snowflakes and twinkle lights on a tree branch.
 

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We've looked for the bottom trim from trees. The people who get too tall trees. They usually put the bottom trim on the curb for pick up. take the bottom trim, arrange the boughs in a vase or bucket with sand (to hold them upright) and decorate.
Sometimes you can even get the tree sellers to give you the bottom bough trims.
 

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My sister didn't have a tree last year. I had a set of green rope lights that I got on freecycle I attached them to some lightweight board in the shape of a tree but not flat then I put a cut paper star on it and they propped it up in the living room and hung ornaments on it :)
I've seem folks online decorate ladders with lights
 

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Ask a tree lot if you can have some of the off cut branches they trim from the bottom and put them in a planter.
 

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:)
I've seem folks online decorate ladders with lights

Done right that could be smashing! each rung of the ladder a little shelf for Christmas pretties!
 

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