Throughout my twenty-six years of life, my family has held firm to many of our time-honored traditions concerning the Holidays. As many families do, Christmas is a wonderful time of year that never ceases to bring about the child in everyone. During this time, there are many such activities that families can do together. From learning how to make a snow globe, to delicately mastering the art of Merry Christmas wreath making, these activities can be a fun way for families to embrace the tradition of the winter season, while spending time with each other.
Possibly a less pleasant activity, however, learning how to trim a Christmas tree is a task that was born out of sheer aesthetic necessity. While it may not be quite as fun as over indulging in a variety of Winter-time crafts, trimming a Christmas tree can also be done with family, and if done correctly, your Christmas tree will have an immediate appeal to friends, family, and passerbyes. Utmost general care for your Christmas tree will be essentially during just about every stage of this activity, because Christmas trees have a tendency to become battered and beaten when taken out of their natural environment, handled by humans, and during transit from a Christmas tree farm.
Although the title would reflect so, this Info Barrel article won't teach you just how to trim a tree, it will also teach you many other aspects of general Christmas tree decorating, and care. Each of these tasks essentially go hand in hand towards producing the best Christmas tree display.
Things You Will Need
- an Axe/Saw (to chop down your Christmas tree)
- a Place to Harvest your Christmas Tree (a Nearby Tree Farm?)
- a Tree Skirt
- Christmas Tree Decorations
- Christmas Tree Lights
- Tinsel or Garland
- a Star or Angel (for the Top of Your Christmas Tree
Step 1If your family is anything like my family, you have made it a family tradition to harvest your Christmas tree, every year, from the same Christmas tree farm. Whether you use the same Christmas tree farm every year, or not, isn't really the point as much as knowing that engaging in this activity together can really be a fun time that your family can spend the holidays doing a simple activity together.
During this step, you will want to take your time at your Christmas tree farm. While it may be common for some families to want to retrieve the very first tree they find, which is nearest to their parked car, the sheer point of looking, together, can really make this a fun activity for children and adults alike. Unfortunately, when you immediately commit to the very first tree you see, you loose out on the experience of looking up and down all the rows. In this step, you can be picky, and your children may just thank you for the extra time to run around and possibly play hide and seek behind each tree.
Step 2After you have found the tree that you hope to harvest, it is important that you be as safe as possible. While the tree-cutting was typically reserved for the 'men' in my family, more recently, we have expanded this activity to the females in my family as well. There was no reason why they couldn't do it in the first place, and my mother and sister easily proved to be contenders in both speed, and quality/accuracy, of their respective tree cutting techniques.
Dependent on how large your selected Christmas tree is should be reflected in the degree of safety precautions you take. Having one of your family members how the top of the tree, while you are cutting it's base can be beneficial in maintaining control of the tree, especially as you near the end of the cut. The tree will naturally want to lean, and fall, one way or another, which is why it is important to maintain control of it at all times. Never do you want the tree to fall on top of you or, God forbid, one of your children or other family members.
Step 3Carrying your tree from where you harvested it, at your tree farm, to the site where you pay and further secure it to your vehicle, can be a family affair, as well. With my father and I holding up the back of the tree, the remainder of my family held up the front and we walked as a delicate union to our destination. Once again, safety is critical in this step. You should know the strengths, and capabilities, of your family members. If they are unable to carry a bulky tree, it won't help at all to force them. At that time, if you don't have enough hands, you may want to make sure you have your cell phone on hand in the event that you need to call for your own friends to be 'reinforcement' carriers.
Step 4Once you have safely arrived at your home with your Christmas tree, it is important to realize that it may have been through a lot in transit. While secured to the top of your vehicle, your Christmas tree may have lost many needles or branches, and may have become somewhat "squashed" after being secured so tightly. You can't blame anyone for tying their tree so tightly because, in fact, the last thing you want to occur is for your tree to become unsecured while you are transporting it from the tree farm to your home.
In order to fluff your tree up, you will have to take both your hands and rub them against your Christmas tree needle's grains. The more hands involved, the better, which is why this step can also be another way to involve your children in the Christmas tree care and preparation process. After you have done this a few times, your Christmas tree should begin to assume an even greater 'holiday' feel.
I have included this step first, prior to actually placing your tree in it's tree stand, because this can, and should, be done throughout the process of maneuvering your tree into place.
Step 5It is important to remember that your Christmas tree is only as good as the nourishment you provide. Just like humans need water and fluids to stay alive, so also will your Christmas tree. In fact, Christmas trees can go through gallons of water in an hour, as each new water addition is sucked up almost immediately in order to sustain the life of the tree. Putting yourself on a regular tree watering schedule, where you water it at least once a day, will be important if you would like for your Christmas tree to maintain its deep green color and holiday vibrance and appeal.
Step 6Not only will have a tree skirt make for an aesthetically appealing reservoir for presents, but it is also meant to serve a functional purpose, as well. As your Christmas tree spends time in your home, not matter how much it sheds it's needles, your tree skirt will serve to collect those quantities of needles. You can be sure to clean those up, as well. A good time to do that will be while you are watering your Christmas tree.
It is also at this step where you can stand your tree erect and navigate it into it's tree stand. Yet again, this is another step that your family can all be actively involved in assisting with.
Step 7Whether at the Christmas tree farm, or inside your harm, you can continue to trim your tree. Ideally, your cuts should originate from the top of the tree, in a systematic manner, as they approach the lengthier branches at the bottom of your tree. While it may be difficult to gauge appropriate lengths, it generally helps to remember that the shorter branches should be on top, while the lengthier branches should be on bottom.
From its harvesting to standing in admiration of your handiwork, every aspect of trimming and decorating your tree can be a festive event and activity that can be done with your family. Ample opportunities will be afforded for you to integrate your children and family into these events, and, let's face it, the holidays provide an awesome chance to foster family bonding and celebration.
Tips & Warnings
It is important to always ensure safety during every step of this process!
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