A forest of red trees line the East Colonnade of the White House in Washington, DC. Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

Members of the US media were given their annual tour of the White House holiday decorations earlier this week. Featuring more than 6000m of lights and 12000 bows, the official theme for this year is American Treasures. 

Red was the dominating colour, appearing in a dramatic forest of 40 towering crimson topiary trees, the Washington Post’s Jura Koncius reported.

First Lady Melania Trump wasn’t exactly complimented on her choice of Christmas decor. She should know that consumers are becoming more eco-conscious. 

For those of us who intend celebrating a “green” Christmas, here are some suggestions for Christmas tree alternatives.

Minimalist Christmas

The minimalist trend is slowly taking over all aspects of our lives, including our homes. Christmas shouldn’t be any different. Real Simple’s Sarah Yang suggests a Scandinavian-inspired Garland-wrapped ladder. 

The idea is simple enough: lean a wooden ladder against a wall, adorn it with a faux pine garland and Christmas stockings. “If you miss the scent of real pine, mix a few sprigs of the real stuff into the garland to fill the room with the familiar aroma,” she writes.

Read between the lines

A quirky take on the traditional Christmas tree, this “book” tree is made from an existing shelf. Just gather any green items you can find and stack in a tree-like formation.

The Christmas tree bookshelf is made from an existing shelf. Picture: Pinterest

DIY fairy light Christmas tree

For their annual Christmas tree trends feature, Elle Decor featured a peg board tree by A Pair & A Spare’s Geneva Vanderzeil. This is perfect for those living in a small flat or a shared space. All you’ll need is cordless screwdriver, screws, pine wood, twine and a string of fairy lights. 

The DIY fairy light Christmas tree is easy to make, and once Christmas is over, you can leave it as is. Picture: Instagram

Follow her instructions on her blog

Christmas snapshot

The perfect project to get the little ones involved, this photo Christmas tree works as a tabletop design, taking up the least amount of space. Get the kids to choose their favourite family photos and stack them up in the shape of a tree. Complete with tinsel and baubles at the base.

Beach vibes

If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, use some driftwood and shells to create a coastal inspired tree. Just wrap the wood together with twine, starting with the larger pieces at the base and decorate with glued on shells.

What’s trending

“Expect classical table settings comprising crystal glassware, fine china and sleek flatware among traditional holiday decor such as wreaths, candles and fruits,” says Anita Bloom, Creative Director at Decorex SA. 

Growing Paper Christmas Decorations - Tree, www.faithful-to-nature.co.za, R11. Picture: Supplied

Online store Faithful to Nature specialises in organic and natural products. This year, they’ve gone big on eco-friendly Christmas decorations, including a 3D tree covered in non-toxic black paint. 

Country Road bird decoration, www.woolworths.co.za, R69. Picture: Supplied

Also from Faithful to Nature, the Growing Paper Christmas Stocking is the gift that keeps on giving. Take them down once Christmas is over, plant them and watch flowers or herbs spring to life from the embedded seeds - a waste-free solution for a greener Christmas.

The Coco Africa wooden Christmas tree is made from solid wood and can be flat packed for storage between celebrations, www.faithful-to-nature.co.za, R469. Picture: Supplied