Guide to Decorating for the Holidays

The holiday season has arrived, and it is the most wonderful time of year. As the song goes, the sparkling lights, the holiday music, and the chattering of children as they wait to see Santa all remind us of this season. Gingerbread and pine decorations are in the air, and they make it feel festive. Some people, in our modern, fast-paced lives, choose to put artificial arrangements up instead of fresh pine decorations. There’s nothing like the smell and look of live, fresh decorations and trees.

This first series will show you how to choose, display, and maintain live decorations for the holiday season while keeping your house clean and healthy. For now, we will focus on making your home festive with live decorations. Check back in the coming weeks to learn more about maintenance and cleaning after the holidays!

 How to Choose the Right Decorations

The first step is to choose decorations that will not drop needles or pitch on your freshly cleaned carpets or floorboards. When selecting the type of tree you want or the wreaths and garlands that you will buy, consider the color of the foliage. You should keep searching if it’s faded or if the fresher, younger needles fall off the outside easily.

 Pre-Soak Garlands & Wreaths

As soon as you arrive home, soak your garlands and wreaths in a bath of water. The bathtub is perfect for washing the decorations without them getting bent or crushed. Allow them to soak for 24 hours and then place them inside the tub. This will allow them to dry.

How to Select the Right Tree

Ask the nursery, retailer, or scout group where and when they harvested their trees. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, you should shop somewhere else. You can also feel the needles to see if they are flexible and not dry or brittle. The longer the tree lasts in your living area, the fresher it is.

Find the perfect setting for your tree.

Avoid direct sunlight or heaters, which will accelerate the drying process. Andersen recommends using a humidifier to keep the needles smelling fresher for longer and reduce fire risks.

To reduce the risk of fire, ensure that any lights you use on your tree are in working order and designed for this purpose. The newer LED holiday lights are inexpensive to operate and reduce fire risks because they remain cooler. Keep any open flames far away from your tree.

Lay a plastic tree bag under the tree.

It will make it easier to clean up in January. You can pull the bag over the tree when it is time to remove the tree. This will prevent you from leaving behind a trail of sap and needles. You can cover the bag with a festive tree skirt.

Trim your tree’s trunk before putting it up.

Remove a small slice from the bottom of your tree’s trunk before placing it in the pot or basin, which will provide water for several weeks. After they are cut, trees form a layer of sap that seals them from moisture and hardens. This makes it difficult for the tree to absorb water and nutrients. You can avoid the sap from hardening by cutting the tree right before putting it in the water. This will allow the tree to get the moisture that it needs and prevent it from drying up and dropping its needles. Hand saws or hacksaws should do the trick. You can also use a chainsaw. Always wear safety eyewear and use caution! Ask your live tree seller about this service.

Use the Largest Basin

A tree can absorb up to one quart per day for every inch of trunk diameter, so make sure you use a basin large enough to hold the liquid. A tree with a 4-inch trunk will need a basin large enough to hold at least one gallon of liquid.

Next week, we will continue our series on how to maintain the look and scent of your live holiday decorations!

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