In addition to decorating your Christmas tree and home for the holidays, it’s important to properly care for your Christmas tree to make sure it remains beautiful and safe for the season.
Water: Keeping your tree properly watered is an absolute necessity. If it was freshly cut when you purchased it, it will most likely drink a lot of water in the first few days. Check the tree’s water supply a couple of times a day in case it needs to be refilled.
Tree Preservative: Christmas tree preservative is a fairly new concept and is gaining popularity. It comes in paper forms or liquid and is added each time you water the tree. This will keep your Christmas tree fresh and retain its needles for the time that you have it. Tree preservative should not be consumed, and I advise against it if you think there is potential for a pet or small child to get a hold of it.
Children and Pets: If you have curious children and pets, especially young ones, you may want to block off the room where the tree is if you can’t keep an eye on it all day. Christmas tree ornaments pose a choking hazard, and you don’t want broken ornaments either. It is wise to leave a few inches empty at the bottom of the tree if you have cats or small dogs who are amused by the hanging ornaments. Also, a tree can fall easily on a child or pet if the branches are being pulled or played with.
Lighting: A well-lit Christmas tree is definitely something to show off, but it shouldn’t stay plugged in while no one is home or overnight. Christmas lights are a lot safer these days, but they still aren’t foolproof. It’s also a good idea to check any old strands you plan on using for any fraying, damage and if any have been recalled. Do not ever use candles on a tree to light it.
Placement: Make sure that your Christmas tree stand lays flat on the floor and is in good condition. If you plan to put your Christmas tree in a high traffic area, push it a few feet out of the way so that it does not catch anyone as they walk by. A corner is a traditionally good spot for a Christmas tree, but anywhere is ok as long as it is safely secured. Larger trees need extra support, and most Christmas tree sellers will add an extra wide wooden base to the Christmas tree stand to ensure it stays upright.
When in doubt, don’t use that iffy strand of lights or leave the tree unattended. The best rule of thumb for the Holidays is to listen to your instincts.