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The perfect set: Alternative Christmas Trees

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 4, 2012 10:00 AM

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A theme in this year's holiday advice, it seems, is to be willing to change up traditions in order to make them work for your life. (I loved this piece of advice that a friend of Kara Baskin's offered on Facebook: "Do everything that could become a chore (shopping, sending christmas cards, hanging lights outside, decorating the christmas tree) by December 1. After December 1 just do stuff you want to do. Maybe there will be things that don't get done but at least you get to enjoy the holiday season.")


One of the best ways to signal -- to yourself and to other people -- that the holidays are going to be different is with a non-traditional Christmas tree. I am loving some of the creative versions that are out there. The Christmas tree of books, of course, is a perfect solution for the typical Boston bibliophile or graduate student.

I also really, really like Post-it Christmas trees. They take up no space, are inexpensive (free, if you work in an office with a well-stocked supply closet and lax procedures!), and there's something about them that tolls a Pavlovian bell in my mind that says This Is What Christmas Is All About. I suppose it's the connection between Christmas and craft paper that goes deep into my pre-K memories.


A Facebook friend posted this, and I don't know where it's from, but I like it very much.


Have you ever done an alternative Christmas tree? Or a deliberately sad little Charlie Brown tree? I used to do those, in my pre-married, pre-Jewish life (what I fondly recall as the "Shiksa in the City" years). Because we didn't have the internet back then to teach us all the clever, kitschy alternatives.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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