I started with a small tree (I got mine at Home Depot for $19, which is quite a savings compared to the $55 we usually pay for a full size tree) and potted the tree with something I had laying around the garage. (You can use anything that will support the weight of your tree, get creative). Solution #1, I saved money. Solution #2, tree is on my formal table out of reach from curious hands. Solution #3, I still have a living tree that smells like Christmas :)
Here's the fun part. Choose natural ornaments to adorn your tree. These will most likely be home made, saving you even more money! And if the kids DO get ahold of one of these, there will be no shattered glass, electric parts, or toxic things they can put in their mouths. For these lovely little orange ornaments I took California Clementine Cutie fruits (traditional oranges are too heavy) and pushed whole cloves (.99 a bag at any grocery store) into them in a pattern then hot glued on a twine loop. Helping insert the cloves was so fun for the kids as well. And I cannot describe how wonderful these smell...after Christmas they would make the most amazing fillers for a potpourri bowl or glass vase! Also pictured, you could hang plain pine cones from your yard or cinnamon ones to compliment the amazing smell of your clove oranges :)
Another cheap and natural ornament idea is sliced, dehydrated citrus fruits. Slice, and bake directly onto your oven rack. Punch a hole after they've baked and string with twine...BAM! A totally unique ornament!
This one is great because you can go to your local Home Depot or Christmas tree farm and get the Christmas tree stump scraps for free. They are usually found in a big discard bin near the purchase area. And heres what you do...
Decorate them with newspaper cuttings, scrap book paper, or whatever your little heart desires! Have the kids help for a fun Christmas craft :D
Acorns with holes drilled thru and strung are free, simplistic and naturally beautiful. Or...
Or dress them up with felt and and twine and you've got yourself some all natural garland!
If you love burlap like I do, you could create some of these little lovelies as a natural ornament...and burlap is SO cheap and versatile. Check your local hardware store. You can also use burlap as a primitive tree skirt!
You could also hang small cinnamon bundles for your tree....
OR make them into a star as your new, all natural tree topper!
I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas. I love the fact that they are cheap, household items or stuff you could find on a nature walk. get creative with bringing the outdoors in. The smells and colors are so beautiful and it will compliment your tree and home decor in the most amazing way. Best of all, all of these things are safe around your littlest loved ones (and pets!)
Merry CHRISTmas! :D