During the holidays, there's a simple alternative to evergreens and artificial trees: citrus. As Southern Accents explains, citrus has long been popular in French-influenced Louisiana.
Patrick Dunne, owner of the antiques shops Lucullus in New Orleans and Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, told the magazine, "It's our custom to use a citrus tree as a Christmas tree because until the 20th century, we didn't have scented pine trees here." SA says he decorates his sparingly: lightweight tin candleholders, elegant silver ornaments, and, of course, the fruit itself, which functions as natural ornaments. And when the holiday season is over and temperatures rise, he plants the tree.
I think citrus would also be wonderful in the home of anyone who does not celebrate Christmas. Somewhere in my files or books, there is a picture of a citrus Christmas tree in Kerry Moody's house, but at the moment I can't find it.
Photo at the top by Victoria Pearson; both pictures courtesy Southern Accents.