Did you know that decorated Christmas trees first appeared in the mid 1800s? Two or three weeks before Christmas is the perfect time to continue the tradition by putting up your tree. With the right care, a fresh cut tree can last through New Year's. This week's to-dos:
Pick a live or cut tree. There are many varieties of trees to choose from. Some of the most popular include Douglas fir, Eastern white pine, Scotch pine, Frasier fir, and Eastern white cedar. When selecting your tree, look for a straight (or almost straight) trunk and branches that bend without breaking. Check the freshness of a tree by pulling gently on a handful of needles. The fewer that fall off, the fresher the tree.
Decorate the tree. In most homes, the Christmas tree is the centerpiece of all holiday decorating. You can create a dazzling tree with this decorating formula: Lights first, then garland, and ornaments last. Plan to use about 100 lights per foot of your tree's height. And when it comes to placing your ornaments, start with the largest ones and then fill in with the smallest. You might also consider decorating your tree around a theme such as gingerbread, Victorian, or Asian-inspired.
Use extra ornaments. No room on your tree for every ornament you own? Then turn the ornaments that didn't make it onto the tree into shining ornament candles to display in the living room or dining room. All you need is a candle, a pedestal dish, and shiny Christmas ball ornaments. Tip: When decorating, keep in mind that not everything has to be used for its intended purpose. A little creativity goes a long way!
Continued on page 4: 1 Week Until Christmas