Decorating the Christmas tree is one of life’s sweet joys, but it can also come with a sense of pressure: we may have a certain image in our mind of what the “perfect” tree looks like, envisioning the pristine, coordinated aesthetic of department store trees, or even what we see in our beloved Hallmark movies.

But part of the beauty of Christmas trees is in their uniqueness: each tree tells a story. A tree with sentimental ornaments, no matter how mismatched, tells a story of the past. A tree with a freshly purchased, uniform batch of ornaments tells a story of the present: maybe we’re starting to build our ornament collection for the long haul, or maybe we’re just seeking simplicity for a temporary season. A tree with uniform ornaments, all elegantly displayed, can speak to our creativity and eye for design. And think of the tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas: it had a charm all its own.

This year, the members of the Verily Home team are sharing our approaches to decorating our trees—and our tree alternatives. As you’ll see, there’s no one “right” way. As you get out your ornaments, however large or small your collection, may you celebrate the uniqueness of your decor. We also hope you find some inspiration—and a sense of freedom from pressure—with the ideas below.

Enjoying the smells of a real tree, without the hassle

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