We are almost in the most wonderful time of the year! If you are anything like me then you have already started buying up the eggnog from your local grocery store and pulling your ridiculous Christmas sweaters out from storage.
There is so much joy in the air during Christmastime that it makes sense to want to start grabbing fistfuls of holly and get straight to decking the halls. Just picture the paper crafts, holiday baking, and garland that wraps around the stairwell.
But before you grab your ax to charge into the forest and come out with the largest pine tree your house can hold, maybe you should slow down and consider how you're going to keep this tannenbaum going until the big day.
If you've ever made the mistake of getting your tree too early and forgetting to water it, then you know it wasn't visions of sugarplums dancing in head, but nightmares of needles carpeting the floor from wall to wall.
You also don't want to put it off for too long either, and get stuck with a Charlie Brown Christmas for the third year in a row.
So when should you start moving the furniture around to hold the towering, green wonder?
According to the National Christmas Tree Association (the elf in me is currently screaming right now), there is a brief timeline for you to snag the best piece of branch-y decor.
“We suggest that families shop early,” says resident Christmas tree expert Ann O'Connor. “The weekend after Thanksgiving through to the following weekend is a great time.”
This gives you plenty of time to find the best tree farm in your area and scout out their selection. With proper care and maintenance, most trees will be able to last four to five weeks before they begin to drop their sharp pine leaves.
It may seem strange to some to bring home a tree before there is any snow on the ground, but your reward is getting the most beautiful tree out there!
But how do you know which tree is going to last the long weeks leading up to the big day?
For most people when they go to pick out the right tree have their own particular details that they look for. Some prefer the tall and lanky variety, others are hard-set on getting the short and bushy ones.
Of course, then there are the densest ones that makes the corner of the room look like a forest with just the one trunk. Although the more space in between the branches means you can put all of your ornaments that you have accumulated throughout the years onto it, including the many miles of lights!
While there is no right answer to how the tree should look, there are certain things to keep an eye out for to ensure you are getting the healthiest specimen available to you.
When you are going over the tree on the farm, you can test the freshness of it by taking your fingers and try bending the needles. Flexible needles are a sign of a healthy organism, and you can take your choice of tree back home!
If they break or fall off easily, then unfortunately the tree is not long for this world, but it can still be a part of the holiday festivities in the form of a warm, toasty fire!
Once you have your tree picked out, you can get to chopping. However, if the tree has already been cut, take a saw and remove the bottom inch of the trunk. This allows water to access the inner wood which means the tree will be drinking water as fast as Old Saint Nick drinks milk on Christmas eve!
Now that you have it home, there are some important things you have to remember.
The first is to make sure you are watering the tree often. They get thirsty this time of year! Check the water level in your tree stand at least every other day, if not more often. Three to four inches of water will mean the exposed base of the tree will remain submerged.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to pile too many of the decorations on the outside fringes of the branches. We know you have plenty of ornaments to go around, but the more weight you have means the more stress there is on the tree limbs. Try to keep the heavier pieces somewhere closer to the middle, and put the lights on first!