We put the gifts inside it.
This year, Holly had an idea to wrap lights around a banister sort of fence on the other side of the room, fastened at a center point on an eye hook. Keith set that up for us.
The coolest thing is that we could stick most of the gifts inside the fence, so they show decoratively from the stairs and (also Holly's idea) we put Christmas cards on the outside, so those who enter the house can see the cards and gifts.
Because I took this with a flash in a dark room, the metallic paper projected its pattern onto the wall above and the hardwood floor below. I didn't plan that. It was a Christmas surprise from my phone's camera.
I'm not philosophically opposed to having a Christmas tree, it's just hard to rearrange for one, and every year we seem to be busy with other things (this year, an unschooling symposium starts December 28).
But meanwhile, in another house around here, the mom didn't want a pine-needle-shedding tree anymore, and had for a while had an artificial tree. But it was shedding artificial pine needles, and so she asked her son, who's an artist, to come up with a tree that wasn't a tree.
Holly helped a little, around the