For many years we have bought a fresh tree at Christmas. From choosing the perfect tree to decorating it, it is always a classic Christmas tradition. The smell makes it feel like Christmas and every year each one looks slightly different! Having a fresh tree does come with challenges, most of which we’ve experienced!
Buying and maintaining fresh trees can be an adventure. We used to cut our own at a tree farm, and one year we actually got lost in the back woods on our hunt for the best one! We’ve gone through many tree stands and learned the one and only lesson-you get what you pay for, make the investment! Our first stand was affordable, it wasn’t secure and we ended up having to tie the tree to curtain rods and picture frame hooks using three lines of twine. One year we must have had a stretch of a few days where we forgot to water the tree. By Boxing Day, an inordinate amount of needles were on the floor and it ended up looking like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree!
Last year made for a pretty memorable experience. The night we decorated we were just about to fall asleep when we heard a huge crash. It was a distinct sound, a 7 1/2 ft tree crashing to the ground with the chiming, shattering sound of breaking glass. We both ran downstairs. Since my husband was ahead of me, as soon as he saw the tree he stopped me, and said, “Julie, it’s best you don’t see this.” There were dozens of broken ornaments everywhere, all bathing in sticky, sappy water. He did a quick preliminary sweep to spare me, just enough so I couldn’t make out all that was missing. Not long after I started to ask…’Rudolf?’…‘Clarice?’… ‘The first ornament we bought together?’ He broke the news on each one and it was pretty upsetting. I am one of those people who keeps old & sentimental ornaments, even if they have seen better days, they serve a good purpose on the back of the tree! After we cleaned up, we vowed that was our last year with a fresh tree!
So here we are. Nine trees, 4 stands, many cleanups later and guess what? I have not learned my lesson, I still bought a fresh tree this year! They are so beautiful! I’ve gotten over last years fiasco, having an excuse to buy a few new ornaments helped! We did however invest in a really good quality stand. When it was advertised as ‘commercial grade,’ I knew this had to be the one that would avoid all catastrophe. Click here to check it out!
My advice for buying a fresh tree is to check daily for water and buy it in advance so you can go through a process I call ‘letting the tree settle in.’ It needs a few days in its stand without lights or decorations, just so its limbs can fully drink water through to the top. I do this now because in the past when I decorated too soon so many ornaments fell off limbs and strands of lights ended up being too loose. When the limbs ‘fall,’ the tree can completely change shape. This also gives you a chance to make any adjustments to the stand if needed.
Here is a guide I put together with some basics for managing a fresh Christmas tree!
Having a fresh tree does create a few challenges but if it works for you or you want to give it a try one year it really smells and looks beautiful. It is a traditional Christmas experience, even the hiccups make for great Christmas stories and memories!
Lv, Julie ♥