If you take 3 cedar fence posts and wrap them at the top with fencing wire, spreading the posts at the bottom to make a tee-pee shape, you have a good form for Christmas lights. (Use pliers to twist the wire tight.) Wrap outside the posts with the lights and when you get to the top, wrap all the excess there. This creates a star tree top effect. This star method was suggested by my grandson, Zac.
The little tree is made the same way but using 3 short pieces of rebar instead of the posts.
If you get energetic, you can make a whole forest of these fence post trees at very little cost.
After the holidays, you can return the fence posts to the pile of them your husband has handy for fence repairs!