There's really nothing more beautiful than sitting on your couch on a chilly winter evening sipping a warm cup of tea and admiring your beautifully lit Christmas tree.
I mean, you worked so hard to get the thing into the stand, made sure each and every single strand of lights worked properly, and took the time to adorn it with ornaments -- so it's only natural to spend a good bit of time staring at it during the holiday season.
But it's important to remember that while they're pleasing to the eye and fun for the whole family, Christmas trees are, in fact, trees -- so there are certain steps you need to take to keep them fresh, and also make sure you aren't creating any safety hazards by having them on display in your home.
Radio Disney and Underwriters Laboratories collaborated and came up with some great advice on how to safely keep your tree in the house this year. Here are some of their best tips, plus a couple more that might help keep your tree fresh a little bit longer.
- Water daily -- This should be a no-brainer, but make sure to check the tree's water supply daily and always replenish it when it starts getting low. (They're thirsty little suckers.)
- Extinguish any candles that may be lit on or around the tree.
- Make sure all lights bear the UL mark of safety before stringing them around your tree.
- Always unplug lights when you are sleeping or away from home. (Or put them on a timer so they don't stay on 24 hours a day.)
- Saw off the base of the tree before putting it in the stand so it will better absorb water.
- Add an aspirin tablet or a few pinches of sugar to the water -- it's an old wives' tale, but some say this helps the tree last longer.
- Always keep trees away from baseboards and heaters; otherwise they'll dry up. (That's happened to us on more than one occasion.)
Do you have any tricks for caring for your tree?