I am getting anxious for Christmas; it is my favorite holiday of the year! I am actually a little further ahead than I was last year as far as having presents bought. Last year we shopped the week before Christmas; this year the majority of our shopping was done when we took my son for his appointment at the Stollery. I am happy to report all is well once again!
My biggest challenge this year is going to be making room for the tree. Our house is little, so we don't have a lot of extra floor space. We already have wrapped gifts (many thanks to my daughter), now we just need the tree to put them under. I have an artificial tree I put up every year; my Charlie Brown Tree as I like to call it. It isn't pretty, but does the trick. once the lights and decorations are on, it doesn't look all that bad.
Today I am going to talk about caring for your real tree (has been years since I had one) and decorating a tree whether it is real or artificial.
- The most important thing to remember with a real tree is to be sure it is kept watered. There are many tree stands available and the bigger the water reservoir the better. Be sure to check the level each and every day; real trees take up a lot once they warm up. A dry tree can become a fire hazard, and no one wants to lose their home because the tree caught on fire. (Sadly, it is one of the causes of fires during Christmas.)
- A handy (but not necessary) thing to have is a tree disposal bag. This is put down first, then the tree is placed in the center. It can be covered with a tree skirt or left as is. When it is time to take out the tree remove the stand and pull the plastic bag up over the tree. This is a great solution to removing it from your home without having a trail of pine needles across your floor. Once you get the tree to the disposal site you can remove the bag (many landfills have spots for trees).
- Another option for removing the tree without leaving a big mess in your home is to use a tarp. Wrap the tree and take it outside.
- When it comes to decorating, individual tastes vary more than night and day. Personally I prefer a traditional tree, with the lights, some ornaments (mix of purchased and homemade) and a little bit of tinsel.
- Keep your lighting to electrical or battery power. Many years ago candles were used on the trees, but they are a fire hazard. Keep your family's safety in mind!
- No matter your tastes, rule of thumb is to put the lights on first. Chances are you won't get them perfect the first time and will have to redo it (I usually end up redoing mine at least twice). If you are the lucky owner of a pre-lit tree, then all you have to worry about is the decorations.
- Keep in mind when decorating to not go overboard. I have seen real trees decorated so the tree itself wasn't even visible. The idea of a tree is so it can actually be identified as such. if you are going to fill it with decorations, you may as well make a cardboard cone and stand it in the corner.
- For those with pets, be very careful with using tinsel. Cats like to eat it, and it can be deadly. Several years ago my cat ate some; I didn't realize it until it had passed through her system. Many cats aren't that fortunate; it can cause intestinal blockage and if not corrected in time can be fatal. If there are animals in your home, it is best not to use it at all. Yes it is pretty, but is it really worth the risk?