A $30 Grocery Store Christmas Tree

I hate to admit it but, this is the first year I’ve really liked how our tree looks.  Finally.  First off, I decided to buy a random tree from the front of the Food Lion grocery store.  Our tree was $29.99 and my 10-year-old and I bought it by ourselves.  Yep, no fancy photos of the entire family picking out the perfect tree.  We’ve done that and it’s fun but the reality was this year, we’d be dragging our 14-year-old along and he’d rather drink hot chocolate and hang ornaments then pick out the tree and I’m good with that. Okay, he’d rather drink hot chocolate and play with the aging booth app than pick out the tree.  I’m still okay with that, you pick your battles. So my husband and 11-year-old opted out as well.  I think Christmas will be just fine with a tree that only two of us picked out.

We hung all our neutral ornaments on this, the real tree, and all the blue and green ornaments on the pretend white tree in the family room.  Then I shopped the house and added the finger knit scarf thing that Caroline made for me, a roll of burlap and I moved that book page garland from the hutch to the tree.

It’s really imperfect and random and natural looking. You know, for having a cut down tree in one’s home.

This is the first year in my 16 Christmases of being married that I have a real tree skirt.  Reeve found this one and it was only $18 and she convinced me it was a steal.  She was right.

Here she is pre-skirt. I just threw the cowhide around it.  I like it fine but, it didn’t really cover the back.  And for the past few years we let our boys choose if they want presents under the tree or if they’d rather take an overnight family trip.  They keep choosing the trip so our tree is always bare underneath until I wrap gifts for our extended family which is normally last-minute.  So a real tree skirt does help keep things looking neat and tidy.

Every day I find myself tucking a few extra things into the tree.  West Elm was selling some stars wrapped in yarn.  So I copied them with starfish I’ve had for years.

So, that’s our main tree.  We have two others but I’m too lazy to take pictures of them.

I’ll be linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick‘s Christmas Tree Party tonight, hope you join me.


And if you missed it, today there are two posts–actually we will have THREE: this one here you are reading, this one from this morning with pertinent info on linking up to the Tour of Homes Christmas Party, AND, surprise, in honor of our west coast friends we are starting the party early–like tonight–after dinner, before I go to bed!!!  It’s too much!


  1. Your tree looks beautiful and you made it personal and meaningful for your family even if it did come from a grocery store! That’s what’s most important!!

  2. We got our tree from in front of Food Lion too. It was the fastest tree pick in my 25 years of marriage. We’ve never had a tree that has been so fragrant as this easy little Food Lion tree.

  3. WONDERFUL! Whether we send $10 or $100 dollars our kids will not remember that…they will remember the time we spend together as a family and how good that feels! Thanks for sharing the realities of that!

  4. I love it! Who cares if it came from the grocery store. I think sometimes we get so obsessed with traditions and family fun that much of the family can end up miserable. I have two little kids and two teenagers and lots of times I take the little ones to do some special holiday tradition and the older ones stay home and watch football with their Dad. Then everyone is happy. Love all the natural elements and book pages.

  5. Maybe try twisting the burlap…it looks like toilet paper.

    • oh funny, I actually like it the way it is

    • I agree with the toilet paper comment. I showed my sister and said, “Look, that tree got T.P.’d!!”. But nester is right, if you like it the way it is, that’s what’s important. :) Merry Christmas.

    • I’m afraid I agree with the TP comment. But I know people have different taste. The main thing is that your family enjoys it. My personal preference is traditional colours (red, green, silver and gold). We no longer use any garland because we have so many ornaments. I particularly enjoy hand crafted ornaments. I’ve made quite a few myself.
      My tree comes from a box stored under the basement stairs. We haven’t had a natural tree in over 28 years because we travel frequently during the holidays.

  6. vickielovesjeff says

    Your west coast friends thank you! I’ll be waiting with bated breath!
    P.S. Your tree is lovely!

  7. What’s up with the big round mirror? Did you make it? It is really neat.

  8. You said, “I think Christmas will be just fine with a tree that only two of us picked out.”
    You mean it will still come???

    Thank you for saying that. One of the realities of having a child with autism is we have to adjust the way we celebrate Christmas. We tried one year to do the whole go out to the tree farm and cut your tree down and it was just. too. much. No one felt very Christmasy at the end and one of my son’s boots got sucked into a snowbank and we ended up carrying him half the way. We drive to the tree lot, and my 12 year old picks out the tree and we toss it in the truck. My older guy and dad stay in the truck and they are fine with that. :-) They always look fine after we decorate.

    But I do like your tree. Next year I might have a little tree that’s all my own.


  9. I’m sorry, I think it looks like it’s been TP’d but if you like it that’s all that counts. For what it’s worth, I liked your house when it had more color. I know – all I have to do is stop following but I still think you have lots of amazing ideas . . . just waiting for the return of more color :)

  10. Well, I have {as long as I have been reading..3 years maybe…} enjoyed your Christmas tree but I do have to agree with you and say your tree is very show stopping this year. I think it is the layers. Just like decorating our home, layers upon layers, things start to come to life. I love a full tree and so many trees have their ornaments evenly spaced out. I love your mix of textures and the way things hang in different directions. Perfect!

  11. When our kids were little we would do the cutting down the Christmas tree outing. Then as they got older we bought our tree at a tree lot nearby. One year my husband was out of town, no kids were able to go and buy a tree. I had an artificial one in the attic and so I just hauled it down and put it up by myself. I think I may have put on some Christmas music while I did it to make myself feel better about doing it all alone. Anyway everyone was upset that we didn’t have a real tree, but they got over it. When it came to taking it down and there were no needles to clean up, and no water spills. It was so easy. From then on we’ve had a fake tree. I miss the smell of a real one, but that’s okay. I wonder if there is a spray you can buy to make it smell real?
    I like the randomness of your tree !

  12. I love this tree! I made a burlap ruffled garland for mine – took way too long and wish I’d just draped some on like you did. I do think yours resembles toilet paper on a house that’s been TP’d though. I’d probably tuck it in some more, but the nice thing is that it’s your tree and you can do whatever you want! :) It still looks beautiful.

  13. Looks great! Unless a person has absolutely no taste whatsoever, I think it’s hard not to have a beautiful Christmas tree.

  14. you know you can do no wrong in my eyes…toilet paper, grocery store…it’s perfect and yes where did you get that mirror?

  15. you know you can do no wrong in my eyes…toilet paper, grocery store…it’s perfect and yes where did you get that mirror?

  16. mamashortcake says

    Where did you find the tree skirt?

    I think your tree is LOVELY!

    • I want to know the source of the tree skirt too…pretty please. I can’t seem to find a neutral option.

      Also, I have burlap garland aka TP. It works for us and I love the look!

      • I found a neutral option for my livingroom tree. We used an older Quaker lace tablecloth from my gramma. It has a few spots and is too small for my table and draping it treeskirt fashion is so beautiful. The cream color adds so much to our silver,gold,white and crystal tree. I even have chandelier prism icicles.
        When you go for neutral, texture is good too. :)

  17. I’m currently in neutral mode & adore your tree! It’s perfect in an imperfect way! I just found your blog & plan to cozy up & stay awhile.

  18. Also want more details on the tree skirt – went to Reeve’s blog, was it an estsy find??

  19. Gotta say, though the post was about the Christmas TREE, the thing that stood out to me was “And for the past few years we let our boys choose if they want presents under the tree or if they’d rather take an overnight family trip. They keep choosing the trip..”

    It always makes me a little crazy how focused our society is on the GIFTS, when that’s really the most unimportant part of the holiday. Kudos for raising kids who recognize this.

  20. Yes, we join you with the Food Lion Tree! Did you notice that they are marked down to $19.95 as of yesterday? My 18 year old an I went to get it by ourselves and it was very quick! My 11 year did complain for a couple of days that it was too skinny and too short, but after the decorations were on it, she complained no more! I love our sweet tree..,it reminds me of those petite European trees and no where near a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

  21. What a lovely tree, and a beautiful home! I’m new here, and I’m just amazed at what you’ve done with your home. I’m most intrigued by your Content to Rent blog–how wonderful to celebrate renting! I’m a renter myself, and I have much to share about my experiences. Hope to learn more about homekeeping from you. Thanks for having me!

  22. I love your tree! It’s so beautiful.

  23. This tree is fabulous…it is so original and interesting and great looking! I’d love to achieved this look.
    P.S. the Grocery Store Trees come from the same tree farm and the other trees…they just charge more because that’s all they do is sell trees.

  24. Rebecca McCoy says

    Always buy mine at the local Food Lion and have never been dissatisfied. Love their trees. Always fresh, lovely shape and are so beautifully shaped. Cannot wait to get this year’s. Becky McCoy

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