A Christmas Tree for the Rest Of Us

Tired of celebrating with a traditional pine? Here are nine L.A.-inspired alternatives

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Los Angeles!

There are just 13 days until Christmas. So if you haven’t had the chance to get a holiday bush or tree, you are running out of time. Don’t fret about what’s still available at those pine-filled pop-up lots, though: I’ve thought up alternatives for every type of Angeleno looking to bring home some cheer. Happy Holidays!

johnnydep_onlineFor the downtown foodie: A Bottega Louie Macaron Tree
While designed mostly for display purposes, these conical arrangements of confections are delicious. They’re also understated and cool and come from the heart of downtown’s culinary community. Beside, who doesn’t want a tree that doubles as dessert?

johnnydep_onlineFor the Judeo-Christian contemporary art and design hound: Modernica’s Superstar Holiday Tree
Perhaps the most minimalistic, sexiest tree in town, Modernica’s handcrafted version is a luxe holiday treat. It’s made from birchwood and consists of connected Stars of David. This tree is for a very specific person—and L.A. has a lot of them.

johnnydep_onlineFor the commuter: A Christmas Tree Vehicle Costume
Do you spend more time in your car than you do at home? Are you always complaining about traffic? Dress up your car in a Christmas tree costume and take your holiday spirit to go.

johnnydep_onlineFor the summer beach-loving, suddenly “it’s so cold!”-proclaiming Angeleno: An Indoor Palm Tree
Everyone can decorate a palm, sure, but this tree is best suited for the hot blooded Angelenos who cry “freezing” temperatures whenever the thermometer dips below 60 degrees.

johnnydep_onlineFor the Silver Lake / Echo Park / Highland Park cool kid: A Juniper Ridge Coastal Gift Pack
Let’s be honest: if trees can be hip, not all are hip enough for certain Angelenos. But wearing your holiday tree? That is certainly very counter-cultural Los Angeles. Thankfully, the Oakland-based brand Juniper Ridge makes a West Coast-inspired scent pack that’s perfect for the holidays.

johnnydep_onlineFor the eco-friendly hippie: A tree from Living Christmas Co. Tree
Why get green you’ll have to kick to the curb? Grow your tree instead. Some globally-conscious locals will take home trees from the “foster” program over at the Living Christmas Co., which loans out a variety of trees and then, once they are returned, plants them out in nature.

johnnydep_onlineFor the aspiring Hollywood starlet: A Copy of the Film Mixed Nuts
There are handful of holiday films set in Los Angeles. Know a new actor in town? Tell them to stay in and watch Nora Ephron’s flop Mixed Nuts instead of doing the traditional tree thing. Suggest it replace their Yule Log for the year. Why? To learn (the easy way) that not all Hollywood holiday dreams come true. Not even for Nora Ephron. Sorry. (Side note: Steve Martin stars in the film and also, famously, in Father Of The Bride, which features a fabled Los Angeles snowing.)

johnnydep_onlineFor the Silicon Beach (or Culver City) techie: A Dragon USA Little Groot Model
Doesn’t a 7’’-tall action figure of the Guardians of the Galaxy character Little Groot scream “I belong to someone in L.A.’s tech sector”? No? Just me? Then the locally made app Hello Santa should fit the bill.

johnnydep_onlineFor everyone else: A Tree from Mr. Jingle’s
Okay, so this one isn’t technically an alternative to tradition–but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. I’ve gotten my own tree at Mr. Jingle’s four years in a row now. Why? Because their Hollywood and Westwood locations are easy to walk, bike, and drive to, and because they set up shop in the same, easy-to-remember places each year. The sites of these Christmas tree pop-ups are also super special for Los Angeles: When not housing holiday bushes, they are large flat parking lots that, somehow, have yet to fall prey to developers.

Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.