Monday, December 12, 2016

Tabletop Christmas Tree Reviews

'Tis the season to decorate. The problem is that you may believe that you do not not have sufficient time or space to bother with decorating a full-sized Christmas tree. Perhaps, you are feeling as though you are lacking in Christmas spirit. I am happy to let you know that there is always time and space for a tabletop Christmas tree. In this review, I will share some of my favorite small Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Because I am very busy, live on the third floor, and have an empty nest I have not put up a full-sized tree for years. There have been years that I haven't put a tree up at all. But when I do, as I have this year, I lean toward small trees for convenience. I tend to pay close attention to how others utilize tabletop and small floor stand Christmas trees. The following trees are a few of the best choices for small spaces. 

Lighted, Ceramic Christmas Trees

Lighted, green ceramic tree

I remember these lighted, ceramic, tabletop Christmas trees from my childhood.  I loved the green ceramic tree with the multi-colored bulbs that my grandmother had on the table most years.   She also always had a fresh cut tree, often reaching to the ceiling. But as a child I always thought there was something magical about Grandma's tiny tree.

Over the years, these ceramic trees were sometimes painted with white glaze. Or were painted green with a spray snow added to the branches. Some of the trees have white lights. But my favorite will always be the green trees with multi-colored bulbs. Trees such as this can become a family heirloom.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree

14" Charlie Brown tree
One year a friend's parents gave my friend a Christmas tree.  It was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree complete with one ornament on a spindly branch and Linus' blanket wrapped around the trunk.  I fell in love with that little tree and have always planned to get one for myself. I have not yet done so. 

Every time I see a little Charlie Brown tree, warm and fuzzy childhood memories come back - Charlie Brown and friends gathered together around their tree.

Lighted, Fiber Optic Christmas Tree

36" tall fiber optic tree
Fiber optic trees are great for small spaces. They come in many heights and colors. Whether or choose a green tree or a white tree, you will love the ease of set-up.  I own a fiber optic tree and have set it up over the past several years. It only takes a few minutes to pull it out of the box, spread the "branches" back out, and set the tree on the base. My particular tree plugs in to an electrical outlet. Other fiber optic trees require batteries. The brightly colored fiber optics change colors and cast a subtle, pretty glow. 

With the lights built-in to the tree, you don't have to try to untangle cords or work at spacing the bulbs on the tree.  You can add ornaments if you wish but don't have to since the changing lights are pretty enough on their own. 

I did not originally think I'd like a fiber optic tree, but I really did. The only reason I didn't set it up this year is because I wanted a live tree this year.

Live, Potted Evergreen Trees

photo credit:  FotoJet and Pixabay
This year I chose a live, potted evergreen.  I chose it thinking that I would plant it on my land in the spring.  I brought the tree home then did some research. Oops.  Potted evergreen trees (meant for planting outdoors later) do better if they are brought indoors for only a matter of days. The change in temperatures in cold climates from the nursery, to inside your home, and back outdoors is often too shocking. Or, if the plant is kept indoors until spring, it is not easy to keep it from becoming too dry after being exposed to the heat of your living space. 

If you want to buy a potted evergreen in order to plant it outside, please do some research. Many people do plant their Christmas trees successfully after the holiday. Better Homes and Gardens has a helpful article that you may want to read so that you are prepared. 

Fortunately, my tiny potted tree is in a very cool section of my apartment, so there may be hope even though I plunged in without the helpful information.

There are many reasons to buy a potted Christmas tree. These are a few:

  • the qualities of a fresh cut tree - including fragrance
  • possibility of planting after the holidays
  • an enormous selection of sizes, shapes, and tree varieties
  • pre-decorated selections - matching almost any decor
  • a large selection of mini-lights and ornaments so you can decorate your own tree

Mini lights and Ornaments for Potted Christmas Trees

I have been tempted by the many, very pretty pre-decorated trees. But this year I wanted to decorate my own in silver.  I purchased a string of 50 white mini lights, a pack of silver jingle bells, and one "full-sized" glittery snowflake ornament.  I strung the lights, hung the jingle bells, and used floral wire to attach the snowflake to the top as my "star".  

No matter your tree decorating preference (country, sparkling, minimal, loaded) or your color preference, you will easily find small ornaments to meet your needs.

"Old World" mini ornaments

If you have time, space, and Christmas spirit to spare, you probably already decorate with table top trees in addition to a larger tree. And already have your own favorite type of tiny tree. But if you have never tried a table top tree, maybe this is the year to do so.

Related Article:

Our own Review This! contributor, Barbara Tremblay Cipak, reviewed time- and space-saving Pull Up Christmas Trees. These pre-decorated trees store in a flat box or bag and "pull up" to 
a standing tree in a matter of moments. If you prefer a slightly larger tree, but need the smallest storage space possible for the remainder of the year, these pull up trees and the fiber optic trees mentioned above are very good choices. Both of these options eliminate the extra storage of lights, ornaments, and accessories.

Introduction photo design courtesy of FotoJet and Pixaby

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I love tabletop Christmas trees! I have a White fiber optic one and it's just enough to give a Christmas atmosphere.

    1. I bet your fiber optic tree is beautiful. I love them so much more than I thought I would.

  2. I need to replace my tabletop one as it's looking a little worse for wear! I always remember one of my uncles had what was supposed to be a tabletop Christmas tree attached to his dashboard in his car!

    1. That is a great story about your Uncle and his dashboard tree! I would have loved seeing that.

  3. What great suggestions for tabletop Christmas trees! I was so glad to see that my sister rescued my mom's ceramic Christmas tree from her house before it was sold. What memories! I'm drawn to the fiber-optic tree. It looks really beautiful. We used to have a tiny one and I could sit and stare at that, watching the colors change, for a very long time. I hope your potted tree works out for you this year. I tried that last year and things didn't work out well, but the decorated tree certainly looked pretty during the Christmas season. I suspect you will have better success than I did. Merry Christmas!

    1. I am so glad that your sister rescued your mom's ceramic tree. I sure hope someone kept my grandmother's tree. What memories, indeed!

  4. I had a ceramic table top tree for years. It needs to be replaced and I really like the looks of that fiber optic tree you have here. Thanks for reviewing all these choices for us tiny apartment dwellers. Good luck with your live evergreen. Wish you success in transplanting it later at the 'shack'. :)

  5. Oh I live the idea of a live potted evergreen! Honestly I may pick one up in my travels this week! What a supper idea.

  6. I love all of these options! Over the years, we have had all of them at one time or other. The Charlie Brown Christmas tree is the centerpiece on our kitchen table year round. My mother has the green ceramic tree. When we were children she always put it out in the hallway that joined all of the bedrooms on a fern stand. I think we all loved that tree! We have a fiber option tree for the front window on our house. At this moment, it is still waiting patiently in the box on the floor. It will be going up later today, along with the garland and stockings. It is getting harder, as I get older, to continue decorating and I can see how, at some point, I will need to cut back. A small tree on the kitchen counter will be sufficient then.

  7. All such wonderful choices. I still have a Green Ceramic Christmas Tree, it is on a table at the end of our hallway. My mother bought it for us some 40 years ago, and I use it every year!! Thanks Dawn :)

  8. I've never had a tabletop tree, but when I was growing up, my Cousin Edna had one. She was in her fifties or sixies then and lived with another woman, here old college roommate. Neither had ever married. No man living in her household (Dad or brother) was ever able-bodied enough to put up a tree. She was caring for one or both during most of my early childhood. As a child I wondered why they never had a full-sized tree like we did. Now that I'm in my seventies I understand. It was always the men in our family who set up the tree. When we were first married we'd have a tree-decorating party and have the college group from our church come help set up and decorate it. For a few years after moving to Newbury Park we did everything ourselves. After the kids came they would go with Kosta to pick out the tree and we'd all decorate it. By the time Jason was preteen, he pretty much took charge of set-up and the kids and I did the decorating. Decorating our last tree was almost a sad affair. Sarah had left, and we were all trying to make the best of it, but I know Jason missed her most at Christmas. By the next Christmas Jason was gone, and I haven't been able to bear having a tree in the house since then. (Pardon while I wipe some tears away.)

    You have made me think that maybe next year we'll get one of these small trees. Maybe they will go on sale after Christmas. Maybe the thought of getting a tree next year will motivate me to at least clear more of the stuff that needs to be donated away to mke the house more liveable. I miss entertaining here. I think I have room for a tree on top of the TV or the cabinent that holds the turntable and CD player. Just not this year. Thanks for helping me rethink this.

  9. One more thing. My Mom had a tiny living Christmas tree as an added decoration one year. She did plant it outside in the backyard about a foot up a slope. That was about twenty years ago. It grew and grew until it was quite tall. It began to lean. This year we finally had to pay someone to cut it down before it became a danger. If you do plant your tree, plan on it getting much, much bigger and allow space for that away from any buildings it might fall on someday. I'm sure Mom did not do any research. She probably just pointed to a spot and asked the gardener to plant the tree. The diameter of the leaning stump is 16 inches. Just saying.


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