A Christmas tree is the focal point for most family holiday decorations. It’s the most decorated part, the single thing that draws the eye most. This makes getting the right tree seem very important, putting stress on an event that can already be quite stressful but should be enjoyable. After all, we listed it as a fun Christmas way to get fit, since it can easily double as a workout, but it can also be frustrating.
You may have to trek along a large tree farm in cold or ugly weather, struggling to find a tree you’re happy with that you just can’t seem to find. That’s no way to start the holiday season! What if we knew some ways you could prepare and take some of the stress out of getting your Christmas tree?
Buy an Artificial Tree
Artificial Christmas trees aren’t the plastic and metal “pine” monstrosities that they were decades ago. These days, the needles are softer, many trees have built-in lights, and the trees actually look pretty realistic. Fake trees have a few advantages over real ones, too. They don’t shed needles quite like real trees, meaning less cleanup, and you don’t have to worry about bugs being brought in with it. If you have a pre-lit tree, it’s easier to set up.
Since the tree is reusable, you’ll only need to pay once for your tree, unlike a real tree each year.
Finally, more related to this article, you don’t need to find a new tree each year, making it perhaps the least stressful tree option. Since the tree is reusable, you’ll only need to pay once for your tree, unlike a real tree each year. Prices generally range from a little over $100 to a little over $1,000 depending on the quality, size, and additional features. You can also wait until after the holidays to buy a tree, when many of them will be on sale.
Make a Day of It
You may not want an artificial tree, as many people prefer real trees. Whether it’s a family tradition, something to do with the smell of a fresh tree, or the preferred look of a real tree, some people can instantly tell the difference. For something that’s so important to the Christmas ambiance, the difference can matter. So, if you’re going to get a real tree, make it worth it by turning it into a full day.
By having something else festive going on or going to a tree farm with multiple activities, you’re taking the focus off getting the tree and removing some of the pressure for it to be a good time.
What does this mean? Don’t just grab a tree and go home. Take the family and get a meal. Visit a holiday-themed event or go Christmas gift shopping. By having something else festive going on or going to a tree farm with multiple activities, you’re taking the focus off getting the tree and removing some of the pressure for it to be a good time. The pressure for every holiday event to be perfect can cause issues on its own, as displayed to perfection in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. As an added benefit, if anyone isn’t enjoying searching for a tree, they’ll have something else to look forward to, rather than feeling the entire day was a waste for them.
Pick a Day with Good Weather or Dress Appropriately
Since the majority of tree farms are outside, you’ll want to pick a day with good weather. Depending on when you’re searching for your tree, the weather can vary greatly. Even from day to day, the temperature can range greatly and can make the whole day miserable. If you’re a pre-Thanksgiving decorator, the weather may be cool but not freezing cold. You may have a rainy or overly windy day. If you go closer to Christmas, you may deal with very cold weather and snow, which can make trudging along to find a tree more difficult and even dangerous if you’re putting strain your heart and body. Doing a little research on the weather before going can help you avoid this.
Nothing ruins a day spent outside like wearing the wrong outfit for the weather.
We may not always have the luxury of picking the perfect weather for our tree hunt. This makes a weather check even more important so you can dress for the weather you have. Nothing ruins a day spent outside like wearing the wrong outfit for the weather. If it’s 50°F and sunny, you may only need a light coat. If it’s 25°F and windy, you should have a warm coat, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Colder than that and you’ll want to pick another day.
Try a Tree Lot
If you don’t have an issue with being outside and just don’t like the idea of walking an entire tree farm, you can always go to a tree lot. These are essentially parking lots that have been rented out during the holidays where you can buy fresh Christmas trees. While these lots may have fewer options, you’ll be able to go through your options in a smaller space, not needing to walk a long distance to see what trees are available to buy.
The trees may even be less expensive, since they’re less fresh than on a tree farm.
The trees will also be precut and sometimes prewrapped, making it easier to load up and take home. The trees may even be less expensive, since they’re less fresh than on a tree farm, where the trees are still planted in the ground, but may brown sooner than one you just chopped down.
Have a Plan for Imperfection
As we’ve mentioned, the pressure of perfection can ruin an otherwise nice experience. You’re never going to find the perfect tree. Nature just doesn’t work like that. If you’re insisting on finding the perfect Christmas tree — one with no thin patches or uneven spacing — you’re going to have a bad day. You’ll be much better off and much happier if you have a plan. This should include knowing the size of the tree (height and width) you’ll need but also where it will go in your house and what imperfections you can get away with.
You’ll be much better off and much happier if you have a plan.
If you’re placing the tree against a wall, you’ll be able to cover a bald or thinning spot. If it’s in a corner, you’ll have even more coverage for imperfect spots. If there are some areas with gaps that must show, plan to fill them with larger ornaments. Use garland, lights, or tinsel strands to help shape or cover the tree branches, as well. Any tree can be the perfect tree for your family. Maybe it just needs a little love.
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As cliché as it may sound, Christmas really is a time to be happy and carefree. Even if you’re not religious, it’s become a time to celebrate with your loved ones. With the Christmas tree being so central to many holiday decorations, don’t allow it to become a point of unneeded stress. Follow our tips to help start your holidays smoothly.