When we lived in our 4 bedroom house we had 12 foot (3.6 meter) tall ceilings in our large family room where the Christmas tree stood. Thus we figured we needed a big tree in our big space. We bought an artificial tree that was 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall.
That tall tree was beautiful in our home, but like we’ve discovered about a great many things lately, bigger isn’t always better. The extra size comes at a cost.
Here are the costs of a big Christmas tree:
• The tree itself was more expensive.
• It was difficult to decorate, requiring a step ladder to reach the top.
• The large size required many ornaments to fill it.
• It took up more space in the room.
• It takes a lot of time to assemble the tree and fold out all the branches.
• For 11 months out of the year I had to store a HUGE box containing the tree and several more boxes of bulbs and decorations.
Our house sold right after Christmas, so as we were finishing up our final downsize and purge, we downsized our Christmas decorations. We sold the tree and sorted through our ornaments. We kept the ornaments that had personal meaning to us and sold, donated, or tossed most of the bulbs and other ornaments that had no sentimental attachment.
That left us with two small boxes of Christmas items.
Last year (our first year in an apartment after selling the house) we bought a real tree from a Christmas tree lot. It’s fun to have a real tree, but the constant water filling to keep it green was a hassle. Even though we had a smaller apartment, we still went for the biggest tree we could fit in the room. I guess you could say we were still caught up in some of the bigger is better mindset, even though we had just downsized. Seems silly, but living a more minimalist lifestyle is something that takes constant practice.
This year we decided to go smaller. We found a really cute artificial tree at Target for $20. It is a thin tree that stands 6 feet (1.8) meters tall. It came in 3 sections that packed down into a very small box. It wasn’t pre-lit, so we bought 400 lights for another $16.
One of the best things about this smaller tree is that my daughter and her friend were able to decorate the entire tree. In years past, she could only reach the lower half, and it’s kind of a bummer to only be able to decorate half a tree. My wife and I would have to decorate the upper half since my daughter couldn’t reach it. This year, with the shorter tree, our daughter could reach most of the tree from the ground and then stand on a chair to finish up the top.
Benefits of a small Christmas tree:
• The Christmas tree is less expensive.
• A small artificial tree takes less time to assemble.
• A small real tree uses less water, so you don’t have to fill the bowl as often.
• Kids can decorate a small Christmas tree more easily, plus they can reach to decorate the entire tree.
• A small Christmas tree takes up less space in the room.
• The small tree requires fewer ornaments.
• It is smaller when disassembled, meaning it’s a smaller box to store.
We are quite pleased with our new small Christmas tree. The kids had a great time decorating it, and it looks great in our apartment. Our current apartment has ceiling nearly as tall as our house did, and yet the small tree still looks good. We find ourselves constantly shedding this ego driving bigger is better and keeping up the Joneses lifestyle, and the more modest Christmas tree is another step in the right direction.
Let’s hear about your Christmas tree. Are you a bigger is better person when it comes to Christmas trees? (It’s ok if you are) Has anyone else downsized their Christmas tree?