Sparse and Gorgeous… 

Just as I was thinking of my annual trip to pick out a woodsy, leggy “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree” with my ten-year-old son, and decorating it to the sound of Charlie Brown Christmas music in the background – I came across these gorgeous sparse Christmas trees in a House Beautiful (link below)  And I realized, “It’s back!”  

Of course, this makes total sense… In the last few years, what we’ve been witnessing in culture, and what seems to be influencing the design world, is a call back to authenticity – And that which is authentic invites a simpler, less rushed, cozy feeling of coming home – Nostalgia.  

by Emily Henderson, stylist, on Instagram

by Bri Moysa, stylist, on Instagram

The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is back!  It’s been eleven years since it last trended — and since I wrote about this naturalistic Christmas decorating trend. In fact, there’s also a great little article on it on Flower Magazine – about it being naturalistic and not necessarily sparse.

Inspired, I made up my mind to get over my Thanksgiving slump and get that tree.  Bring on the Christmas cheer  – Charlie Brown style.  And here it is! 

Natural, unruly and authentic… 

It’s not the literal sparseness of the tree or the minimalism of the ornaments, that really makes a “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.”  I believe it’s in the spirit of it, in the naturalness and in the authenticity. You can see that in my own tree, and in the Pinterest images in my board. 

For instance, Liam, my son, and I were not able to find a “natural” Frasier Fir tree this year (Frasier Firs being the most naturally “leggy” of them all) because, since we are traveling this holiday, and this Mom is loathed to buy a big one, we found out that in our parts, the “naturals” (not fully trimmed) are over 7′ tall.  So we got the most unruly small fat one we could find.  In addition, I had a VERY hard time keeping the ornaments down to a minimum, as, this being around about my 27th adult holiday season (ahem!), I’ve collected quite a few!  And they all mean so much to me!  So I had to do an edit, and really get down to the ones that meant the very most to me.  This year, it ended up being the porcelain collector’s ornaments my Dad got me at the Frist Museum a few years ago, along with some that I’ve inherited from my late Mom that go all the way back to my childhood.  And the glass icicles I finally splurged on recently. 

Next year, it might be different…..  I think the key to a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is to follow your heart…..

Tips to help you create this look…

  • Take out all red ornaments from your collection.  They detract from the natural greenness of the tree.  I kept in some little red pained wood toy ornaments which are very subtle but still keep traditional.
  • However, yes, yes, yes to the glass icicles!
  • My pretty, elegant glass blown & porcelain collectors ball ornaments complimented the tree nicely, and ended up being almost all that it needed.
  • One string of white lights – yes.
  • Clear glass bead garland – yes.
  • Similar to the deletion of red Christmas ball ornaments, I had to update my tree skirt from crimson red to this cream cableknit with a little brown faux fur border.  This allows the natural greenery of the tree to be the star attraction.  Courtesy of Target.

Sources: For more on Sparse Christmas trees, link to House Beutiful.  For more on French Christmas tree inspiration, link to Flower Magazine.


Happy Holidays!

– Marcelle Guilbeau, 

Nashville Interior Designer
Soulful Living By Design

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