If you live in a small space where you just can't fit a real tree (using the term in a relative sense) a great alternative is a collectible vintage ceramic tree. They are also a great item to collect. You can scatter them around a room or group on a table, buffet or mantle for more impact.
One of the most popular manufacturers was Atlantic Mold. Because they were sold as molds there is a wide variety not only of shapes and sizes but also of different color combinations. White, aqua and pink tend to be the most highly prized, particularly when it is accented with gold. The trees generally come in two ceramic pieces. There is the tree itself and then a base that hides the light and often a music box.
One of the niftiest things about these little ceramic trees are the little plastic "bulbs" that you can put on them. They light up in the same manner as a light-up house but with little holes that you can plug up with these little clear plastic bulbs. They come in an array of colors and such different shapes as bows, holly, birds (these are one of the more common shapes), flowers, etc and toppers like angels and stars. Some even are glittery! Because they are collectible too, don't despair if you find a tree you love that does not have bulbs, it might take a little work (they sometimes are a little harder to find), but you should be able to find replacements. Plus, you can pick out whatever ones you like best with your tree.
These trees depending on size and glaze, bulbs (which are collected themselves) and the nature of the base range from the easily affordable $15-$20 range to close to $200 for a more spectacular tree. Of course this is a loose range. But an inexpensive tree might make a great gift for someone in a dorm.
Right now we have four different ceramic trees. None of ours are musical but we do have some really nifty ones.
First of all we have a rather traditional and more common plain green tree on a wreath design base by Atlantic Mold. It is decorated with little multi-colored bird bulbs.
This second tree is actually rather unusual because it is so tiny. Its mini bulbs are even more minute than on a standard ceramic tree. Its white color makes it even better.
Finally, we have our two best finds. The little white one is great with its pale green, almost aqua accents. It is lacking bulbs but I think that it would look lovely with some of the same bulbs as on our best tree, the large craggy white with gold accents. It has clear twisted bulb shaped bulbs with gold glitter inside. There are one or two on the tree but the others are squirrelled away in a little bag attached to the cord. It has a vintage large red bulb inside that gives it a pinkish look when lit.