Choosing a Christmas tree is half of the battle

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2016

Now that the leftovers have been refrigerated and the nap-inducing turkey has worn off, it’s time to consider decorating the Christmas tree, if you haven’t already.

First, you’re going to want to consider if you want to use a real tree, or artificial version.

Both have advantages, and disadvantages.

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Real trees come with the benefit of creating a festive aroma in the home. Pine scented candles are nice, but don’t compare to the scent of a real tree. But that fragrance comes with an added responsibility. Real trees need to be properly prepared and cared for during the time it will be in your home.

Allowing a tree to dry out prematurely can create a fire hazard, in addition to dealing with fallen needles.

When selecting the perfect tree for your home, look for fresh needles that don’t break off easily from the branch. If you can find a Christmas tree farm nearby that allows customers to cut their own tree, you can skip this step. Once the tree is selected, setting it up will more than likely require more than one set of hands. If the tree was purchased from a retailer, be sure to cut off a portion of the trunk to allow the tree to soak up water and prevent premature drying.

Be sure the stand is sturdy and continuously full of water.

For an artificial tree, the stand should also be sturdy.

No matter what type of tree you chose, real or artificial, be sure to place it away from fireplaces, heating vents, space heaters and areas where candles will be used.

Now it’s time to put on the lights. Before doing so, check the cord for any defects. Exposed wiring, sparking from sockets and loose plugs can all create a fire hazard.

Once the lights are installed it’s time to put on the ornaments. While doing so, be sure to keep an eye on the stand for any play. If the tree shifts while placing ornaments on it, secure the stand before proceeding with your decorating.