Ohhhhh the christmas tree! It’s funny (and actually not that funny or surprising) how a tree can be such a reoccurring topic of conversation! After moving out of my parents home and living on my own (millions of years ago), I felt indifferent about purchasing a tree– I mean, I saw no reason to. Once Marlowe came in the picture it was a constant back and forth of, “should I get one or should I not?” The first year, Marlowe was three months old and so I had no tree. The second year, a few months after Alex and I got back together, we went out and got a tree— because I mean, really— a tree seemed like a romantic idea! It was really nice. Then, the following year I bought a tiny rosemary bush as a mini tree and drew a tree image on the chalkboard. It was fun and we still piled boxes of presents that family had mostly sent us in front of it—and it was, well, cute! And obviously much more eco-friendly. Last year, we went out and did it again– we bought a tree— Marlowe was getting older and it just seemed like something she would really be excited to have—you know, a bit of that parent guilt. It obviously wasn’t awful— (I mean, it’s a christmas tree, they are not awful!) but it still didn’t seem like the right fit for our family. We try to conserve as often as possible and putting a tree in our house (from who knows where– we don’t exactly grow christmas trees here in south florida) for a few weeks and then dumping it, well, it’s fine, don’t get me wrong, but it sort of went against my gut feeling. 

This year we finally found our solution to our “dilemma” —- a real tree, but one that is alive with many, many future years to live! Is it christmas-y? Sure! Anything can be. And marlowe had a blast decorating— the bottom half 😉 And hey, we can even put presents, small children, and puppies under this sucker too! We’re all pretty excited about our tree.Like I mentioned, we don’t exactly get to go to a tree farm down here and choose a tree— so it’s a whole other level effort and energy that goes into a temporary purchase. We figured, why not buy a nice tree that we would want to plant in our space that can serve a multi-purpose for a long time. Again, we hate uni-tasking items! We rarely splurge on bigger trees for our yard, so this was sort of a nice gift to ourselves too 🙂 I actually really wanted a mast tree (buddah tree)– since it was most christmas-like, but at 185$ for a (non fruit-bearing) tree, it was a bit out of our price range. Luckily, Alex and I are both obsessed with birds of paradise and they can be found relatively cheap down here. And we already have the perfect spot picked out for when our christmas season is over. So we’re starting a new tradition… each year we plan to buy another tree for our home and space. We’re so very happy.

Marlowe’s decorating skills are on point.

Funny story— we’ve been a little surprised to the fact that our friends aren’t noticing our giant tree when stopping by our house! haha! They’re like, “wasn’t the plant always there??” and we’re like “no, friends— you’re here weekly, you really think that 10 foot tree has been there? No.” But I guess it makes sense— there are plants everywhere— so it doesn’t seem completely out of place 😉

a photo by marlowe.

bonus points for our tree: our stick loving dog can’t reach the branches.

ps. our giraffe collection is still alive! And the other rainbow-y ornaments were thrifted, if you were wondering. Hooray!


  1. Love love love this idea. I've been pretty anti-Christmas tree (real ones, I mean) and have always felt weird about people cutting down trees for Christmas. But then people say, well they were only grown to be cut down anyway. All that stuff, yada yada, still makes me feel weird. I've been trying to decide what to do tree-wise for my daughter and this is the best idea I've seen yet!

  2. What a brilliant idea, I love it. I always feel a bit sorry for our tree every year, it's basically dying in front of our eyes. But a living one is excellent. CJ xx

  3. Oh. My. Goodness. Drea. This is BRILLIANT! I absolutely love this idea for a Christmas tree! My sister did something similar with a bamboo plant when she was in college, and it lasted all four years proudly holding its one little red bauble. I'm going to have to find something like this for my dorm room!!!
    ~ Samantha

  4. I'm not too far north of you in Tampa and we have tree farms. You can buy potted ones, that can be planted after for I don't know $20 or $30? My Christmas trees from when I was a small child were planted and still living in our back yard, in yes Florida, I love showing them to my kids and telling them they errrr my Christmas trees so I get what you're saying but I don't know, that just isn't Christmas-y enough for me but to each their own 🙂 🙂

  5. We used to do this as well. When I told people I never had a "Christmas tree" as such, they were shocked. It's still festive. It's still happy. I love the giraffe! So cute. Marlowe is an excellent photographer! :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲