In 2009, possibly the first time ever, I didn’t buy a Christmas tree. I couldn’t rationalize the cost — I wasn’t going to be in town for the holiday, I was living alone, and I only owned about 15 ornaments (probably would have looked pathetic). I still wanted to celebrate (it was my first holiday-season in my new house, after all), so I bought some lights (garage sale + leftovers from mom), and strung lights inside.
Ceremoniously, I promoted my indoor house plant to become a fill-in for a pine tree, complete with the lights and my small collection of ornaments. I strung lights around the insides of the living and dining room windows (but didn’t actually do anything to the exterior of the house). I relied on baking lots of cookies (although, I didn’t have cookie cutters yet at this point) and burning a pine candle to keep the house feeling seasonally-appropriate.
Since then, I’ve picked up a few items to slowly grow my collection of holiday decorations – I bought a small faux-tree a-la-Pottery Barn at a summertime garage sale, and scored some older electric “candles” for the windows… photos to come after Thanksgiving!