SOME PEOPLE PREFER to take their Christmas traditions straight. Others improvise. When floral designers Christie Mellor and Gail Simmons were commissioned by art dealer Ron Winokur to create a tree (at right), they opted for a cross between old-fashioned and wacky. "We wanted it to be visually festive," says Mellor, who owns the shop Heap O Fleurs with Simmons. Whether for profit or for pleasure, other creative Angelenos also tend to stray from a conventional approach to tree trimming. Photographer John Reed Forsman captured this series of originals.