Your Christmas Tree
By Nikki Willhite
There are all kinds of Christmas trees. There are big trees,
small trees, live trees and artificial trees. On these different trees, some of
the branches point up, some point down.
Some artificial trees come with the lights already attached.
Some are easy to assemble, as they pop up like an umbrella! On other trees you
have to put each branch up individually, shaping it as you go.
Trees come in forest green, deep green, blue green, soft medium
green, frosted, silver, white, flocked, slim style, pencil line, round girth,
pine cones attached, aluminum needles and much more!
The fresh trees come in different varieties, such as Spruce,
Pine, White Pine, Scots Pine, White Spruce, Norway Spruce, Balsom Fir, and
Fraser Fir. You can even order a fresh tree online, and have it delivered to
your front door.
If you are confused about which kind you want to order, you can
send for samples. If you remain confused, you can hire an Interior Decorator who
specializes in holiday design!
When my husband and I were students in college, we weren't
picky. We just waited until the single college students left for home, and then
we picked up a discarded tree at the curb site. It didn't matter what the tree
When I was a child, we had a very small tree. Looking back, I
suppose you could say that it was a sad excuse for a tree. It wasn't real, nor
would anyone mistake it for a real tree..It stood only a few feet tall, and sat
on a table which sat in front of a window facing our street.
Today I might be embarrassed to have such a tree on display in
my home. As a child, the thought never occurred to me. Never once did I EVER
even think a negative thought about that tree.
I have often said in this e-zine that sometimes being frugal is
saving money on what is not important to you- so that you can have what is
important to you.
If your family enjoys celebrating Christmas with a huge tree,
lots of decorations and lights, then that is great. Anything you do and enjoy
together as a family is wonderful. Family traditions are one of the things that
bind us together as families and make us unique.
However, if you can't afford a big tree, and fancy decorations,
so what? You do not go into debt for that which you cannot afford. All you
really need to celebrate Christmas is a heart full of gratitude.
Having said all this, since buying a tree does involve money,
and most of us do spend it, here are some tips to consider when making your
*Fresh trees generally last about 10 days. If you buy one too
soon, you will be dealing with a lot of dry needles on your carpet.
When buying a tree, try and get it as fresh as you can. If you
can, buy one that has been grown locally. It will probably be a lot fresher.
Before you buy a tree, ask where it came from, and when it was cut.
Check the trees freshness by bending the needles. They should be
moist, and bend easily. Test to see if the needles are fresh by gently shaking
the tree, and pulling along one of the branches. If any needles shake loose or
come off in your hand, it is already old.
The tree should be a healthy shade of green. None of the needles
should be turning brown. Avoid trees with brown or dry needles, broken branches,
or damaged bark. Look for a strong, fragrant smell.
*Trees look smaller outdoors. Buy a tree that fits your room. It
will cost less, and you won't have to saw off the top. Remember to allow room
for the tree topper, as well as the stand on the bottom.
*Think about where you are going to place your tree. Thin trees,
or a tree with one or two flat sides, will fit easier in a corner, and you might
negotiate a discount for them. If your tree is going to be seen from all angles,
look for even growth on all sides.
*Don't buy the thickest tree you can find. Pick a tree with
spaces between the branches. If it's too full, you won't be able to see the
*Feel the branches. If your ornaments are heavy, you want them
strong enough so that they won't sag under your decorations.
*Firs are more expensive, but have several advantages. They last
longer, don't shed their needles ,are more fragrant, and hold and display heavy
*Pine trees shed easier, and are very prickly, but cost less.
*Before you place your tree in a stand filled with water, make a
fresh cut on the bottom of the tree. Cut off at least an inch, slightly on the
diagonal. Do this right before you put it in the water, and your tree will last
longer. . When you first put the tree in the stand and fill it with water, it
can absorb up to a gallon of water in 24 hours. Check the water level in the
stand each day, and refill when it gets low.
One safety tip- turn off the lights if you leave your home and
when you go to sleep...just in case.