When I had my oldest child, Noah, we had recently moved to Georgia from the midwest, and, not only was I feeling lonely and missing family, I was sentimental just imagining sharing that special tradition of decorating with Noah, hoping that one day it would mean as much to him as it does to me. That first Christmas with Noah we didn't have enough money to buy a Christmas tree. At first I was disapointed, but after taking out all of the ornaments I had collected over the years, holding each one and remembering where and when I received those gifts from the people who loved me, I felt a creative urge to use what I had to display them in a new way. I decided that a mantle didn't have to be just for swags and pinecones or candles. I hung my favorite ornaments from the swags I had in storage, and it felt so amazing! It looked gorgeous and the room didn't feel like it was missing a tree at all! Here's an example for your viewing pleasure:
I was so inspired by ornament decorating, that I brought them into my tablescape and my chandelier!
Try ornaments in a glass bowl
or maybe pinecone trees with ornaments just sprinkled along a runner like this: