Do you have little kiddos with the reaching and the grabbing and the chewing and the tearing! Arg! So do we. We have for years. So this year we made a present barricade for the Christmas tree. I don't know why we never did this before. It was so easy and way prettier than those plastic baby gates! And also better than only decorating half the tree. I taped them all together in the back so that they can't be pushed apart. They are tall enough so that Henri can't reach at 24" but are only 9" wide. If you were going to go shorter I would recommend also making them wider, 16" or 18".
We just bought some boxes at The Home Depot for just $1.99 a piece. You can also get some at Walmart for fairly cheap. Then wrapped them and used a 3" wide ribbon which I bought at JoAnn's and 5" bows which I bought the dollar store. We filled them with some of Brian's old mini dumbbells but if you are going to do this and don't have anything heavy buy some bricks while you're at the Home Depot as weights. I'd say four would probably do the trick.