Preparing for Christmas can be overwhelming, but starting early and planning carefully can help. For instance, planning how your tree will be set up ahead of time will ensure that it's attractively located, safely situated and can last throughout the holidays.
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How to Prepare for Christmas
Proper care of your tree is a big part of prepping for Christmas. To keep your natural Christmas tree fresher during the holiday season, choose a location that is far away from heat sources. These include fireplaces, wood stoves, television sets and even computer monitors. Any of these can speed up moisture loss in trees and produce fire hazards. Choose a sturdy tree stand that can hold a gallon of water, and make sure that it has bolts to tighten onto the tree to keep it straight and stable.
When you get the tree home, immediately cut off an inch from the bottom so it has a clean cut that can easily absorb water. Secure it with the bolts and add only water to the stand's reservoir. Let the tree rest for 24 hours before you start decorating. You can use this time to bring the decorations down from the attic or up from the basement. You can make things easier by using an artificial tree, which has plenty of pros and cons of its own.
Does Flocking a Tree Kill It?
Many people enjoy the wintry look of a flocked tree. Tree flocking is made from paper pulp that is then mixed with an adhesive and a fire retardant. It is blown onto trees when wet, and when it dries, it looks just like snow.
Trees with solid branches like blue spruce take well to flocking, but don't overdo it, or they will sag. Flocking does not kill Christmas trees (they aren't really alive anymore once you've cut them down, as they lack the capacity for further growth). If you prefer, buy artificial trees that are already flocked.
More on Prepping for Christmas
There are plenty of other ways to prepare for Christmas ahead of time, aside from ensuring that your tree will stay fresh. Save up money in advance, create a budget and stick to it. Divide the budget into categories, for example: the tree, gifts, charitable contributions, food and decorations. To save money, look through the decorations and other things that can be reused, like leftover cards, wrapping paper and ugly Christmas sweaters. A great way to save money is to invest in an artificial Christmas tree, as it will last you year after year.
If you are planning to entertain, look into what you can make in advance. You can spend a few hours in the weeks approaching the holiday cooking and baking things that you can store in your freezer. Also, use this time to create gift lists for everyone; ask them what they want and give them a deadline for letting you know.
Now is also the time to stock up on things that you need that are tree-related, like gift wrap, lights and ornaments. You may be able to find sales ahead of the holiday, especially around Black Friday.