A towering pine tree decorated to the hilt will always be the king of the Christmas tree forest, in my opinion. But I have to admit that I’ve recently developed a huge crush on the big tree’s little brothers. Little Christmas trees have captured my fancy in a big way because they come in lots of different looks – from vintage to classic to contemporary, are super affordable, virtually unbreakable, easy to store after the holidays and, best yet, a simple way to help any display shine for the season. Here are some secrets for getting a big holiday look from little Christmas trees.

Plant One in an Existing Display

When I decorated my dining room for my holiday open house, I knew I wanted to include a mini Christmas trees in the mix. I found the perfect spot on my buffet for a silver tree made of real sticks, simply tucking this unique decoration into an existing display. The little tree’s silver finish made it a natural for this year-round grouping, which already included silver accents like my buffet lamps, a three-tiered epergne and a tray.

To create a similar look in your home, fill your buffet with some of your most beautiful serving pieces, like a silver coffee pot or glass compote. Then tuck one of two little trees in around them. When picking your trees, go for a variety of heights so your display has more movement and interest.

Feature Little Trees on Your Dining Table

We’ve used little Christmas trees 101 different ways in our tabletop displays at the Nell Hill’s stores this season and we continue to be blown away by how many looks you can get from these proven winners. In the snapshot above, we created a bright and cheery centerpiece just by clustering a few vintage looking bottle brush trees on top of books wrapped in holiday paper.

Or, instead of using lots of little trees, get three taller bottle brush trees and have them march down the table’s center like toy soldiers. It’s a simple but darling look and will help make decorating for the holidays a breeze.

Spotlight a Small Tree in a Showy Urn


Pull the dead summer plants out of your outdoor garden urns and bring the urns inside to help you decorate for the holidays. Iron garden urns are my favorite tree stand for mid-sized Christmas trees because they make small trees look majestic and the urns are heavy enough that they won’t topple over like a conventional stand will, taking the tree and all its ornaments with it.

This year, I placed a mid-sized tree in a black iron urn, giving it one more boost up by putting the urn on an iron pedestal. I positioned the tree in a corner of my dining room that was also visible from my front door, doubling its impact with no added work. I love equations like that, don’t you?

Think about your home’s entry. Is there a spot you could place a dramatic mid-sized tree held in a beautiful container, like an urn or a china cachepot?

Have a Tree Brighten a Window

I really like to put decorative items in my windows during the holidays. What could be easier than dressing a windowsill with a tiny tree? For a rustic look, put a little tree wrapped in a burlap bag in your main floor windows, as we’ve done in the photo above taken from my newest book, “O Christmas Tree.” (To order your copy of this beautiful book or give one as a gift, click here.)

Make a Bedroom More Festive

Are you expecting guests this holiday season? Don’t forget to give the guest room a bit of holiday cheer. It’s easy to do with a mini tree or two. Put a small tree in an interesting holder and display it on a bed side table or dresser. You won’t believe how many young moms come in for decorations for mini trees they put up in their children’s bedrooms every year. The little trees give the kids a chance to have a hand in decorating their own space for the season.

Maneuver a Tree onto the Mantel

So many fireplace mantels these days are super skinny, making them harder to dress up with elaborate holiday displays. But tiny trees, with their petite girth, are a great solution. Try grouping a cluster of mini trees in a variety of heights on either side of the mantel. Or, create a small holiday scene on your mantel, using little trees to add some height, like we did in this mantel display at Nell Hill’s. The white and silver glittery tree on the right works wonderfully with the other silver-sparkle pieces in this grouping.

Next Week … I’ll help you make your holiday mantel beautiful for the season.

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23 Responses to “Tiny Trees Have Huge Impact in Holiday Decor”

  1. Carol Stark Says:

    Hi! I made my first visit to your stores in Atchison this fall with two friends and we LOVE LOVE LOVED it and can’t wait to come again. We did it in one day from central Iowa so next time we are going to make it more than a “day trip”.. I really love the plaid you have covering the books in the last picture here.. do you sell that? We came home with the car loaded with treasures. It was just a wonderfully inspiring trip! Anxious to hear about the plaid paper.. Thanks!!

  2. Mary Carol Says:

    So sorry Carol, we are sold out of that burberry plaid paper, however, we have two different blue plaids–one light blue, and one navy blue plaid.

  3. Lisa Fernandez Says:

    I love the little tree idea. I can never stop looking at your lovely dinning room tree that is always up on a table or spot in corner. It is spectacular. So charming and elegant. Love it!

  4. Sharon Warren Says:

    I have been a huge fan of the little trees for several years, and each year I try to add a few to my collection. This year I had fun putting them under glass cloches, in apothecary jars, in teacups, in mercury glass candleholders tucked into my bookshelves, and putting them in little clusters like a mini-forest! Looking forward to hearing about decorating the fireplace mantel. Keep those ideas coming!

  5. cheryl Petrig Says:

    I need some barrel lamp shades like the ones on your silver lamps, do you have those?

  6. Karen McPherson Says:

    I am usually never at a loss for words, but you have left me speechless. I gave Gail her book from you last night and I don’t think she has put it down yet. Thank you is not adequate for how much it meant to me and to Gail. You my dear Mary Carol, are more than a business woman. You are a kind soul and a truly wonderful and caring friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  7. mimi tafour Says:

    Karen’s sentiments are and have been my sentiments for many years since first meeting you, MC. Sooooo very sorry I missed your 30th anniversary celebration….out of town delivering NH Christmas gifts to family and friends all over the SouthEast. Hugs and blessings to you and all at NH. I think you just might be considered a national treasure…I know you are to all your family and friends :)

  8. LaDonna Rossander Says:

    This Fall my daughter and I came to your open house and it was one of the best days I have had in a very long time. We both bought many things and only wished we had made it a two day trip. Having fun today putting things out that I bought from you and I just had to stop and write to you and thank you for such a special day. May you have a Blessed Holiday and God’s Blessings

  9. The enchanted home Says:

    Love the idea of mini trees, they make for such a charming addition to a holliday inspired home. i love them on a kitchen island, a foyer console, even in a powder room. All stunning examples!

  10. Mary Carol from Olathe Says:

    I was at Disney World during your anniversary but I wish you 30 more wonderful years. Sorry I could not attend but I was there the week before and got some many vintage decorations and they look beautiful.

  11. Julie Davis Says:

    Hi Mary Carol, Always enjoy your snippets of info.
    What is the color of your dining room? I love that shade of blue. Thinking about painting my kitchen that color.

    Hope to see you in the next few weeks.

    Julie

  12. JoAnn Says:

    My daughter gave me the book “O Christmas Tree” last Christmas and I have enjoyed it a great deal. Right now it’s in an arrangement with a small Spode dessert plate and a full size Lenox Christmas tree plate and looks good on the secretary! Thanks for the fun ideas. JoAnn

  13. Jo Says:

    I enjoy reading the comments, but very intrigued by the date/time given under the name. I am reading these on 11-30 at 6:31PM…so how does late tonight and tomorrow’s date show up???

  14. Gail Bailey Says:

    Well, I am still in a state of shock! Karen Sue gave me my Christmas present early last night, it was your first book, Christmas at Home, when we saw you in OKC you said it was out of print but you worked something out for Karen Sue and we have a wonderful Christmas book, but I love all of your books. Thanks again to you & Karen Sue for new ideas just in time for decorating for this year, Hope to see you soon have a great holiday season.Gail

  15. judy falk Says:

    I feel I have found a “new friend” in you and your enchanted store. Being in Florida in the winter months, I shall be forced to wait to visit in person your KC store…..when we return to Illinois in the spring…..Have a wonderful, exciting holiday and again……thank you for sharing….It will be my pleasure to meet you someday…….judy

  16. Alberta Says:

    I would love to know about the side board in the dining room showcased in the first picture of this article. Thanks…………..

  17. Peggy Says:

    I have always wanted to put a Christmas tree in an urn in my home, but can’t figure out how to anchor it in the urn. How did you secure yours?

  18. Mary Carol Says:

    Alberta—The sideboard shown, is in my dining room at home —I have had it for many, many years. Glad you like it.

  19. Mary Carol Says:

    Unfortunately Cheryl, we do not just sell the lamp shades—but we have some awesome lamps in the stores.

  20. Debbie Tutuska Says:

    Loved the picture of the guest bedroom. The blue paint is from your collection,no doubt.but i noticed ablue and ivory curtain on the side window. Do you carry that material? The rooms you create are always stunning, Thank You for always sharing . This area is very lucky to have you and your stores.

  21. Mary Carol Says:

    Unfortunately Debbie, that particular fabric has been discontinued, however, we do have some fabrics that would be similar. Call 877-746-4320 and ask for ‘Fabrics’–they would love to send you a sample.

  22. Mary Carol Says:

    Loved hearing from everyone this week—such amazing customers. We will see you back next week—enjoy your weekend!

  23. Angela Says:

    My friend bought the prettiest little tinsel tree from your store this year! Love it!

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