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For many of us, getting into the holiday spirit starts with pulling out the decorations and putting up the tree. We have gathered some helpful tips on selecting and caring for a real tree and decorating ideas for real or artificial trees to help give you inspiration and get you in a festive mood. Put the holiday music on, enjoy some warm drinks and turn your tree trimming into a fun family activity.
There are songs about it, we search to find the perfect one and it’s the gathering place on Christmas Day. There’s no doubt, the Christmas tree is a key part of holiday decorating.
A real Christmas tree requires special care and attention. Follow our helpful tips from selecting the best tree to keeping it as fresh as possible throughout the holidays:
Choose a healthy tree and avoid trees with brown needles. Run your hand along the branches or lift the tree up about 3 inches off the ground and drop it on the ground. The needles should not fall off.
Climatize your tree before bringing it into your home. Place it in an unheated area, such as the garage for a couple of days before bringing it indoors.
Protect your floor or carpet from moisture from the tree by placing a large Christmas tree disposal bag on the floor and covering it with a tree stand with water container and a tree skirt.
Saw at least one inch off the bottom of the tree trunk to allow water absorption. Immediately put the trunk into the stand and fill the water container. The size of the tree trunk is a guideline for how much water to add to the container. For every inch in diameter, add one quart or 4 cups of water.
Dry trees are a fire hazard. Check the water level each day and make sure the cut portion of the trunk is always submerged; you may need to add 4 cups each day. According to experts, it is not necessary to add anything else to the water to help preserve the tree, just use plenty of clean water.
Avoid placing the tree near a heat-producing source, such as heating ducts, televisions, fireplaces, stoves or radiators.
After Christmas, take the tree down before it starts drying out. Simply gather up the tree skirt and take it outdoors to shake the needles off. Remove the tree from the stand and carefully remove the water container. Pull the tree bag up over the tree and tie it.
Haul the tree, in the bag, outside and check your town or city for tree disposal options.
Some of us lovingly use the same decorations year after year, enjoying the tradition. Others like trying something new, decorating with different balls and baubles for a fresh approach.
No matter what your style, consider layering ornaments throughout the tree, including along the branches closer to the trunk; this adds depth and interest, not to mention giving you more room if you have a lot of ornaments.
However, if you do not have a lot of tree decorations, you can use what you already have and keep it simple. Here are some of our ideas on what to use to decorate your tree:
String up a popcorn garland and add some fresh cranberries for colour.
Hang candy canes.
2 to 3 cinnamon sticks tied together with a ribbon.
Bake up some gingerbread men and place them in the branches. You can make a hole in the cookies before baking using a straw; tie a ribbon through the holes to hang them.
Handmade ornaments that the kids have made at school or that have been passed down are great memories to keep. Learn how to make your own ornaments as a family activity. links below*
Cut paper snowflakes and place them throughout the tree.
Weave wide decorative ribbon throughout the branches.
Brighten it all with multi-coloured tree lights.