It’s almost that time of year again. Where you need to take out all the decorations, start purchasing gifts for friends and relatives, and figuring out how to decorate your home. Of course, Christmas would not be Christmas without a Christmas tree. Finding the right tree can be a perplexing task that many of us face each year, fortunately this article will provide you with some tips that will help you make the right choice for Christmas this year.
Measure the Height
Prior to going out and purchasing that Christmas tree, it’s important to measure the height of your ceiling where you want to put your Christmas tree. You don’t want to run out and purchase it only to bring it home and find out that it’s too tall for your ceiling. Also, include the height of your stand in your measurements as well as any decorations you may want to put on the top such as a star or angel.
Decide on the Shape You Want
Christmas trees come in many different shapes and sizes. It’s important that you decide on what type of shape that you find appealing when making your selection. Some people prefer the classic cone shapes, while others like fat or skinny types. These various shapes may have different costs at the retailer so it’s important to take that into consideration when selecting your tree.
When making your purchase it’s important to check for freshness. You can do this by shaking the tree and running your fingers along the needles. Check and see if there are any loose needles, if you find some loose needles, this would indicator that it’s old. In addition, you can take one of the needles and try to break it in half. If it snaps in half easily, then it’s fresh. If on the other hand, it’s very difficult to break in half, it may be a sign that it is old. Also, you can check the weight to determine freshness. Sap is no longer produced after it is cut. The tree will continue to rely on this sap until there is no more. You can try and see if it is still sticky and if it still has sap, which would indicate that it’s still fresh.
There are numerous types out there to choose from when selecting a Christmas tree. Five popular choices that people often choose include: Douglas fir, Noble fir, Balsam fir, Scotch pine, and Frasier fir.
When you buy your tree, make a one inch thick cut to the base of the tree. This will help it take in water more easily. Next put it under a bucket of water to prevent the trunk from scabbing over. Make sure it is also well hydrated. Next store the tree away from heat or direct sunlight. When you are ready to use it inside, pick a stand that can house at least a gallon of water to help keep it hydrated. It’s important to keep it hydrated to prevent the needles from drying out and falling off as well as losing its fragrance. Make sure to always check on the water levels on the basin and refill it as needed. Using regular water is sufficient without any added additives, so there is no need to go out and waste money.
It’s important to follow some general safety tips when having a Christmas tree in the house to prevent any hazards that may occur.
- To prevent a fire hazard from occurring in your home, never place the Christmas tree near a heated source such as a fireplace, furnace, or any heaters as this can start a fire
- Cut out the lower branches to prevent any injuries that may occur for children or animals in the house
- Place any decorations that may have sharp endings, breakable parts, or hooks on the higher branches so that children and pets cannot reach them
- Try to keep pets out of the room where it is being housed.
- Tie the tree to a ceiling hook to prevent it from falling over onto someone
- Use of artificial snow sprays can cause lung irritation if breathed in, and should be avoided
- Never burn your Christmas tree branches in your fireplace.
Removing Your Christmas Tree
Place a plastic bag underneath your tree stand before you set up the tree. When Christmas is over and you’re done with your tree, just pull the bag up over the tree and remove it. Remember to remove your stand before getting rid of your Christmas tree.
How to Store Your Decorations and Ornaments
Some ornaments have sentimental value and are priceless. That’s why it’s important to store your ornaments properly to prevent damage to them. Here are some tips for storing your Christmas ornaments:
- It is recommended that you store your ornaments in sturdy cardboard boxes. These can be purchased from stores. Do not use plastic containers as they prevent airflow that can damage your precious ornaments.
- Protect your ornaments before storing them by carefully wrapping them in tissue paper or clothes made out of cotton. Try not to overstuff the ornaments to prevent them from being damaged
- Try to store your ornaments in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing the ornaments in the attic where flaking can occur due to harsh temperatures and the basement because of dampness. Ideally you should try to store them in an upper shelf in a closet somewhere in your house where you can easily remove them again next year for use during Christmas time.
For people who are allergic to real trees, an artificial one can be substituted for a real one. Retailers carry a variety of choices to suit your requirements.
If cost is an issue for you, consider getting a Christmas tree with a bare side. These typically have significant cost savings due to the defect on the side. You can hide the defect by placing the bare side towards the wall where it cannot be seen.
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(price as of Nov 29, 2015)