Most people associate Christmas trees with the religious holiday celebrating of the birth of Jesus, but that’s not where the tradition originated. Even more surprising, there was a day when such decorations were actually illegal in the parts of the United States.
The custom of bringing greenery into the house derives from ancient times, when the Pagan custom was thought to ward off evil spirits, ghosts and illness, according to the History Channel. Over time, other cultures took up the custom, especially associated with the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Although the Egyptians and Romans had related customs, decorating with evergreen boughs is probably most often attributed to the Northern European cultures, including the Druids, Celts and Vikings.
Of course, the Christmas tree as we know it today comes from German traditions. These are credited to 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther who is thought to have been the first to put lighted candles on an evergreen tree, writes the History Channel. Eventually, German settlers in Pennsylvania brought the tradition to the United States, where it was not initially embraced and was considered a Pagan symbol. As such, New England Puritans were determined to preserve the sacred nature of Christmas and in 1659 Massachusetts passed a law making a church service the only legal observance of December 25th. By the time the 19th century rolled around, the big influx of Irish and German immigrants pushed out these Puritan sensibilities and then by the 1890s, the popularity of Christmas trees was really taking hold.
In fact, America embraced the Christmas tree tradition to such a great extent that ever since 1931 when the workers constructing Rockefeller Center in New York decorated a small tree as a morale-booster, it has been transformed into a national symbol of the holiday season. The first official Rockefeller Christmas Tree was just 50 feet tall while in recent decades it has been as tall as 100 feet. Throughout the years of the Depression, World War II and times of national difficulties, the tree has endured — in one form or another — as a “world-wide symbol of Christmas.”
Obviously, we can’t all have a Christmas tree that tall, but there are so many options for Christmas trees today that it’s possible to find a tree that is right for any space as well as any decorating style. And speaking of decorations, the selections has grown so far beyond the traditional lights and strings of popcorn and cranberries that it’s almost impossible to describe.
Artificial vs. Natural
This probably the most often-debated choice when it comes to Christmas trees and has been known to divide households as much as politics sometimes do. There are good arguments on both sides of the artificial vs. natural choice, and many times it comes down to budget or just personal preference.
Natural Christmas Trees
Despite all the innovations in artificial trees, natural Christmas trees are still plenty popular. According to National Christmas Tree Association, during the 2017 holiday season, Americans purchased an estimated 27.4 million natural Christmas trees at an average price of $75.00. For many families, going out to pick the Christmas tree is a beloved tradition, whether that means a trip to a tree farm or just the corner lot where they are sold. This could be why so many people hang onto the practice of displaying fresh-cut Christmas trees each year. Of course, with the good comes the bad, so here’s a list of the best and worst aspects of opting for a fresh tree.
- The fun factor — As we already mentioned, heading out as a family to pick out a Christmas tree is a lot of fun. Add in some hot chocolate and the adventure of tying the tree to the top of the car and it becomes an entire afternoon’s activity. Somehow tromping down to the basement or up to the attic to retrieve a fake tree is not at all the same experience.
- The fresh scent — Nothing compares to the fresh smell of a natural Christmas tree in the house.
- Improves household air quality — Any time you bring fresh plants of any kind into the house, they improve indoor air, which is a great benefit during the winter months when he house can be closed up tightly.
- Helps the local economy — Whenever you purchase something locally, you’re supporting the community’s economy, whether that’s through the local garden center or non-profit selling trees to raise money.
- Natural trees are recyclable — Most communities have a program to recycle Christmas trees once the holiday is over. Instead of heading int a landfill, they are mulched for garden reuse.
- Daily maintenance — Having a fresh tree is a bit of commitment. First, the trunk of the tree needs to be trimmed before it is placed in a stand that holds water. The water will need to be refilled daily – sometimes more depending on how thirsty your tree is.
- The mess — Even a well-watered tree will shed some needles, especially when the holiday period is over and it’s time to drag it outside. Prepare to do some vacuuming.
- Fire risk — As beautiful as they are, natural trees present a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2013 and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires annually that started with Christmas trees. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage each year.
- More expensive — Natural trees are definitely more expensive. Shelling out an average of $75 a year for an average-sized tree adds up to the cost of an artificial tree in just a couple of years.
Artificial Christmas Trees
Back in the day when artificial trees started becoming popular, it was quite the project to insert the right branch sizes into the proper holes in the pole that serves as the trunk. Fast forward to today and most tress come in just a few sections that go together easily. Even better, prelit trees have become very popular, eliminating the need for separate strings of lights. It’s now just a matter of putting a few sections together, plugging it in and decorating. The easy set-up and lack of fuss appeal to many people, so much so that in 2017, about 21.1 million artificial trees were sold at an average price of $107. As with natural trees, there are plusses and minuses in choosing to use an artificial Christmas tree.
- Years of use — Buy it once and reuse it for years, saving a good deal of money. If you’re on a tight budget, look for early holiday sales to snag a tree or pick one up on clearance afterward.
- Easy — The newest artificial trees are quick to assemble and just as easy to dismantle. And, if you have plenty of room in the basement or attic, it’s possible to store the tree fully assembled as long as you cover it to keep it clean and dust-free.
- No cleaning or watering — Set it up and plug it in. That’s it.
- Fire -retardant. Most quality trees on the market are fire retardant, mitigating the fire risk. This also means that artificial trees can be left up as long as you like.
- Consistently attractive — There’s no “bad side” to an artificial tree. It looks as good on one side as it does all the others. It’ll be the same the next year too.
- Novelty colors available — If you go for the unconventional, there are lots of trees in novelty colors available, from vivid pink to white to silver and lots of hues in between. Artificial Christmas trees can also come flocked, for those who want a snowy accent.
- Not eco-friendly — Most artificial trees are made from petroleum-based plastics.
- Produced overseas — There’s no benefit to your local economy from this purchase.
- Needs storage space — If storage space is at a premium, it might be difficult to store an artificial Christmas tree. Even disassembled, they take up a good amount of space.
- Not recyclable — While artificial trees do last for many years, they will start looking worse for the wear at some point, or something will break. Eventually, these puppies will end up in a landfill
So, if you’ve decided that an artificial tree is the right option, how to choose one? First, determine what size your home can accommodate. Artificial trees are available in heights from small enough for a tabletop to 16 feet tall. Here are the best artificial trees in a variety of categories.
A Blue Spruce is a classic choice for Christmas trees, including for artificial trees. This 7.5-foot beauty is from Balsam Hill, which as a great reputation for the variety and quality of trees it sells. The full, 60-inch wide shape of this tree comes from the 100% PVC Classic Needles, as well as the 2,960 branch tips. The type of needles on this tree are the ones used for most of the company’s traditional tree models and are soft, fat and papery. The needles are a mix of colors — light gray, blue-green, and moss green — for a very natural look, while the branches are a realistic-looking brown. The Balsam Hill Blue Spruce comes with a tree stand, storage bag and cotton gloves to use while shaping the tree.
To keep the size of the shipping package manageable, it comes compressed. Of course this means that the tree requires some time to fluff and shape the branches. That said, Amazon reviewers report that the parts are clearly labeled and the three sections go together quickly and easily. The branches are said to fan out and fill in very nicely.
Pros: Easy to assemble and fluff.
Cons: Some buyers felt the tree looked a little slim and other said some branches broke.
Includes tree stand, storage bag(s), and cotton glovesView Deal
Measuring a stately 12 feet tall, this large tree also boasts an 80-inch diameter body at its widest. Despite its size, reviewers say that it is easy to assemble because it has 5 sections and each branch is hinged where it attaches to the center pole. This type of construction makes it easier to fluff because it’s possible to tie up the top sections to keep them out of the way while working on the bottom. A bonus with this tree is that each branch includes a heavy-duty hidden wire hook near the end of one that can hold heavy ornaments without bending the branch.
This Dunhill fir is fire retardant and non-allergenic. In addition, the carton is reusable for storage.
Pros: Buyers say it is a gorgeous tree and very life-like.
Cons: Some reviewers said that the tree they received was a little skimpy and very scratchy to fluff.
If you have a small space, you probably think that you need a small tree — not so with the Home Heritage half Christmas tree. It’s Amazon’s choice for a “corner Christmas tree” and is ideal for apartments and small spaces. This 7-foot, naturally shaped beauty is just what it says — half a Christmas tree and it’s genius because typically the tree is against a wall and no one sees the back anyway. The sturdy artificial tree is foldable and comes prelit with 150 incandescent clear lights. The included metal stand is stable and ensures it won’t tip over
Reviewers say that the stand extends 15.5 inches from the wall while the longest branch comes out about 23 inches from the wall. After being fluffed and decorated, buyers say that it looks just like a regular full tree until you look closely and see that it lies flat against the wall.
Pros: All the beauty of a full tree at half the size.
Cons: Nothing really unless you’re not accustomed to the need for fluffing the branches of an artificial tree.
A compact but full tree ideal for smaller living spaces, the Best Choice Products 6-Foot Pre-Lit Spruce is popular for its tighter size. The tree has 798 branch tips that make it look like a natural, fully shaped spruce tree. It has an approximate 45-inch diameter, meaning the profile is slightly slimmer. For even more convenience, it comes prelit with 250 warm lights and comes with spare replaceable bulbs just in case any burn out. The body of the tree comes in three sections crafted from durable metal and the branches are hinged, making it super simple to put together and fluff out.
Reviewers sway that installation is simple and easy, with a base that screws in the bottom tier of the tree. The result is a set-up that is sturdy and does not wiggle. Those who love the tree note that it has a lot of value for the money and is an ideal starter tree for trying out an artificial Christmas tree.
Pros: A bargain price and ease of assembly make this tree a winner.
Cons: Buyers noted that the height of the tree can be anywhere from 1 to 5 inches shy of th4e advertised 6 feet. Others were disappointed with the lack of fullness in the tree they received.
National Tree 7.5 Foot Carolina Pine Tree with Flocked Cones and 750 Clear Lights, Hinged (CAP3-306-75)
For a more natural look, nothing beats the National Tree Company Carolina Pine Tree with Flocked Cones. The 7.5-foot-tall tree has 1494 branch tips and comes prestrung with 750 clear lights that are UL listed for safety. The fire-resistant construction features hinged branches that are attached to the sections of the center pole and a sturdy metal stand. Buyers like this format because it makes fluffing the branches in each section much easier. The girth of the tree is 62 inches at its widest part.
What makes this tree different is the mix of needle variations along with the flocked pinecones and “cashmere” branch tips. Throughout the tree, the variations in needles make it look much more realistic with their varying shades of green. The prestrung lights are incandescent and the tree comes with a selection of extra bulbs, although the company says that they are standard types and replacements are easily purchased.
Pros: Buyers love how lush and realistic this tree looks and that there is a plug at the top for a star.
Cons: Thanks to the size, prepare to spend more than an hour fluffing the branches. Also, some reviewers had issues with sections of the lights burning out quickly.
Packed in reusable storage carton with Assembly instructionsView Deal
Silver or white Christmas trees have long been a retro choice, but now ther4e are mode modern options that are striking and far from traditional, like Treetopia’s Silver Shadow Ombre Tree. The 6-foot silver and black tree also sports a slim, nontraditional silhouette that will appeal to those looking for something super different. The 6-foot tree has needles made from PVC as well as silver, gray, and black tinsel that start out black at the top and eventually morph into fully silver at the bottom.
Totally made for the Instagram age, this is the perfect base for a themed tree that has none of the typical colors and styles of Christmas ornaments. Great for highlighting a hobby or just a showing off a more dramatic, alternative look, this tree doesn’t have to compete because there aren’t any natural versions! (We’re envisioning lots of glass ornaments and maybe plenty of feathers too…)
Pros: A highly distinctive, alternative look perfect for a theme.
Cons: Reviewers noted that the included stand is wobbly and makes the tree lean, so they had to buy another, sturdier one.
National Tree 7 Foot North Valley White Spruce Tree with Glitter and 550 Clear Lights, Hinged (NRVW7-302-70)
As Amazon’s Choice for “National Tree 7 Foot North Valley White Spruce Tree brings plenty of sparkle to the holidays. The 7-foot tall white specimen features branches that are glittered and 1096 branch tips. The glimmering tree is even sparklier thanks to the 550 pre-strung white incandescent lights, which have bulb-lock to keep prevent them from falling out. Even better, if one bulb burns out, all the rest stay lit and replacement bulbs and spare fuses are included. ”
White trees are definitely an alternative option, but also a classic one that evokes visions of snow and ice. It’s different without being totally unexpected. With proper fluffing, the tree is full and lush and reviewers have commented on its beauty and brightness.
Pros: Easy to set up and super sparkly and bright.
Cons: Some reviewers said the tree is less than 7 feet tall and wer4e unhappy with the shedding of glitter during set-up.
It's also fire-resistant and comes with a reusable storage carton that can be used for years.View Deal
Whether you want it for your living room or for a girl’s bedroom, Treetopia’s 5-foot Pretty in Pink Christmas tree is sure to please. At 5 feet tall, the tree has a slim shape that is ideal for a non-traditional color like hot pink. Brightly colored matte PVC needles cover the branches that have 626 branch tips. Even better, this tree comes with 300 pink lights that are UL Listed for safety.
As with all other artificial trees, this pink one comes compressed for shipping and will have to be fully fluffed out to achieve the right fullness and shape. The tree comes with a premium pink tree stand, on/off foot pedal, and extra bulbs and fuses. Moreover, all the metal and wires are pink so that the total look is seamless and colorful. Buyers say that assembly is qu8ick and easy with just three tree parts and the stand.
Pros: Easy assembly, plenty of lights and an overall great look were cited by a majority of reviewers.
Cons: Some buyers said the color as not as vibrant as expected and others had issues with their shipment missing the lights.
The Best Decorations for a Really Festive Christmas Tree
Once you’ve chosen a Christmas tree — natural or artificial — the real fun begins: Decorating the tree! It doesn’t matter if you prefer to collect ornaments, adding a few meaningful decorations each year, or if you like to change up the look each holiday season, you’ll be looking for some new decorations for the tree as well as the rest of the house. we’ve rounded up some of the best Christmas decor out there, whether you prefer a traditional look or something more contemporary, to help you choose from an endless sea of options.
It doesn’t matter if you’re outfitting your first Christmas tree or buying decorations for a theme-colored tree, the ITART 129-count Christmas Tree Ornaments Assortment in red, brown and champagne are the ideal decoration package to start with. More than just a box of colored balls, this assortment includes a tree topper, snowflakes, pinecones, finial drops, miniature gift boxes, poinsettias and beaded in addition to the standard round balls.
These plastic ornaments are shatterproof and have the look of glass despite their unbreakable nature, which makes them safe for kids and pets too. The assortment has ornaments in different sizes and there are enough to decorate a tree that is from 4 to 7 feet tall. Even better, the package includes hanging string and ornament hooks. Reviewers are quite taken with the variety of sizes and how great the ornaments look.
Pros: Buyers say these look great and can be used as the main ornaments or to fill in on a larger tree, calling the package “a great way to decorate.”
Cons: Some reviewers were disappointed with the quality and reported that numerous pieces arrived damaged or broken.
These Christmas ball ornaments are touted as the #1 Best Seller in Decorative Hanging Ornaments on Amazon and the majority of reviewers agree. The KI Store 2019 Basic Christmas Balls Collection comes in four different sizes and 23 different color assortments meaning that it’s possible to find a set to fit any tree size and color scheme.
All the ornaments come string hangers and ornament hooks, ready to go on the tree. The styles include five different finishes: shiny, matte, glitter, shiny swirl and mirrored. These decorations are also suitable for other holidays and festive occasions as well as DIY and craft projects. Amazon reviewers love the range of colors available, how pr4etty they are, and the fact that they are shatterproof.
Pros: Five different finishes are included in each package providing variety within a color.
Cons: Some buyers say the ornaments they received were poorly made or badly damaged in shipping.
Another popular ornament assortment, the Sea Team 77-Pack Assorted Shatterproof Christmas Ornaments Set, is a little smaller but no less attractive. This collection includes a variety of shapes within any of six different metallic color choices. These are sure to become a classic part of your tree decor. Each ornament is made from eco-friendly plastic that is shatterproof but still has the beauty and charm of traditional glass ornaments.
Each package contains six different styles of ornaments to grace your family’s tree. Reviewers say that ornaments –which also come in packages of 50 and 21 pieces — are beautiful and survive any drops to the floor.
Pros: These ornaments are very durable despite their delicate look.
Cons: Not all reviewers found the quality of these ornaments to be high and were disappointed in the look.
our next choice is also Amazon’s Choice for “gold Christmas ornaments.” This is a set of 24 Christmas balls that are 70mm/2.76″ in diameter and each is filled with one of four kinds of festive stuffing: stars, glitter, pearls or raffia. Although we’re focusing on th4e gold set, they do come in a variety of other colors as well., Even better, while these might look like glass, they are actually made from shatterproof plastic similar to th4e soda bottles you find in the store.
The package that these Christmas ornaments come in is extra durable and should be reused to store them from year to year to preserve their finish and protect them. ball storage box because of the high durability. Doing so will ensure that they are as beautiful in future seasons as they are when . you receive them.
Pros: Buyers say these are perfect for filling in the spaces where you want some simple shimmer.
Cons: Some buyers say that shipment we arrive with numerous ornaments damaged
With a very trendy Frozen winter theme, this collection of 50 silver and white ornaments sparkle in the light, no matter if it comes from the sun or from twinkle lights. As Amazon’s Choice for “white and silver Christmas decorations,” the Valery Madelyn 50-count set is ideal for matching other silver and white themed products from the company, which include a tree skirt, stockings, table decor, and wreath.
Each of the ornaments comes with an attached hanging loop so th4ese can be hung not only on the tree, but anywhere that you want to decorate. Lightweight and unbreakable, these decorations, will not weigh down the branches of your Christmas tree.
Pros: Buyers note that the set has a great variety of ornaments that are totally shatterproof.
Cons: Some say that many ornaments were broken upon arrival and that the assortment had too many snowflakes.
Of course, Christmas decor needs more than just ornaments: Strings of lights make it even more special, particularly these Twinkle Star 100 LED Star String Lights. These are Amazon’s Choice for “star lights” and include 100 LED 49 FT star-shaped string lights. They are crafted from solid plastic and are powered with an adapter. The 29V low voltage string lights are spaced 3.9 inches apart and the entire string is 16.5 feet long, ideal for hanging just about anywhere.
Waterproof wire and bulbs mean that you can use these warm white lights indoors or out and they feature nine different light modes: waves, sequential, slow glow, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, steady on, off. Reviewers love the long leader cord, cozy warm light and affordable price.
Pros: Lots of lights on each string and they can be used at other times of the year as well.
Cons: The power adapter cannot be left out in the weather and some buyers say that some of the lights burn hot enough to scorch or melt the plastic stars, even outdoors.
A star on the top of the Christmas tree is pretty traditional unless you choose this gold star topper from EAMBRITE that features a star projector. It’s no wonder that this is Amazon’s choice for “tree toppers Christmas decorations” because it has a dazzling light effect that projects dancing stars on the ceiling.
What looks like a round disk tree topper with star decor is actually what projects the lights onto the ceiling: A rotating projector sends stars circling across the ceiling above the tree.
Pros: Family and guests will ooh and ahh over this unique tree decor item.
Cons: The topper is heavy and should be at least 4 feet from the ceiling for the effect to work pro0perly.
If your Christmas decorating goals are more like what your parents or grandparents used to have, then vintage style Christmas lights are a must-have. These multicolored indoor/outdoor lights are Amazon’s Choice for “vintage Christmas lights” and look like you might have just unearthed them from grandma’s attic. Each 25-foot string of lights has 25 bulbs of different colors for the perfect vintage look and you can run them all the way around the house because each one has male and female plugs so that up to three can safely be joined end to end.
The strings of lights are made from commercial-grade heavy-duty 20 gauge wire and if one bulb burns out, the rest will remain lit.
Pros: A truly colorful, vintage look that’s sure to stir up some nostalgia.
Cons: Remember how hot traditional light bulbs get? True to their origins, these Christmas lights do as well.
For outdoor holiday decor that will have your neighbors envious, these Vmanoo Christmas Lights are the ones to choose. In fact, Amazon has dubbed them its choice for “solar LED string lights outdoor.” You might not think there’s anything special about LED outdoor lights but these are extra energy saving because they run on solar power.
Even better, this set of 200 LED lights is 72 feet long and has eight different functions that can change up the mood your lights convey. Choose from waves, sequential, Slo-Glo, chasing/flash, slow fade, twinkle/flash, and steady on options. These are super easy to use too because you don’t need to worry about where to plug them in: The power pack uses three size D batteries
Pros: Reviewers love the battery-operated system, timer and length of the light string.
Cons: The control box is fairly large and can’t easily be hidden on a delicate installation. Some reviewers also reported having issues with the white version of these lights but added that the blue ones worked beautifully.
The Best Skirt for Dressing Up Your Tree
Whether you go for the natural look or opt for an artificial Christmas tree, you’re going to need a skirt to cover the stand and make the bottom of the tree look pretty until Santa gets there to fill in the space with gifts. Without a skirt, the tree can look a little sad, even if it’s beautifully decorated. As you can imagine, there’s a style for every taste, whether your tree is glittery and glamorous or rustic and homespun. Here are the best tree skirts you can buy to dress up your tree this holiday season:
For a rustic, homespun look that’s a cute addition to almost any Christmas tree, the CELIVESGG 48″ Burlap Christmas Tree Skirt is a great and affordable option. Made from burlap, the double-layer skirt is edged with red plaid trim and embellished with a cute snowman and some other festive images. The 48-inch diameter skirt is generous and fits any size tree.
Pros: Reviewers love the cozy, hand-made look.
Cons: A few buyers felt the size could be a little larger.
As soft and cozy as your own cable-knit sweater, this novel knitted tree skirt from LimBridge looks festive and plush. It’s no surprise that this is Amazon’s Choice for “Christmas tree skirt” because it is thick, features a decorative cable pattern, and is made from heavy yarn. Matching Christmas stockings are also available to complete the cozy look. The skirt fits most all trees sized from 5 to 7 feet and has three ties at the opening to secure it.
Pros: Buyers overwhelmingly love the look of this tree skirt.
Cons: A few reviewers felt that the knit was too loose and the color darker than expected.
Whether your tree is glamorously decorated or you just want something fluffy and snowy looking under the tree, the AISENO 48-Inch Faux Fur Christmas Tree Skirt will be just right. The round skirt is secured at the opening with velcro and is perfect for dressing up the tree. It features a double-layer design and is so plush that your pets will probably choose to nap under the tree!
Pros: Fluffy, festive and just right for the base of any tree.
Cons: Some reviewers were disappointed by the look straight out of the package.
Ideal for stately, formal-looking Christmas trees, the Valery Madelyn 48 Inch Luxury Gold Christmas Tree Skirt has a luxurious look and is made with a variety of materials. The skirt comes in different sizes and each one is made from gold fabric and is accented with a scalloped satin border. The skirt itself is golden velvet that has a star-shaped appliqué in the center, embellished with sequins.
Pros: Reviewers say that the sequins add extra sparkle when they pick up the light from the tree’s decor and the skirt is wrinkle-free.
Cons: Some buyers found that this specific look was not to their tastes.
The neutral color of the burlap and a tasteful sprinkling of snowflakes make the AerWo Burlap Snowflake Christmas Tree Skirt the ideal match for most trees, from those that are traditionally decorated to more eclectic styles. The 48-inch diameter size works for most trees and has two ties at the opening to secure it around the base of the tree.
Pros: Buyers say this skirt is elegant and durable.
Cons: Eliminating the burlap smell means it’ll have to be set aside for a couple of days before being placed under the tree.
Homey yet with a restrained design, the Ivenf 48-inches white burlap skirt with quilting and embroidery is a rustic and traditional choice that’s right for almost any tree. The quilted design takes up the center of the skirt while the border is burlap and features the embroidered words, “Merry Christmas.” This is a thick quilted skirt that has a refined charm and is ideal for trees that are 5 to 7 feet tall.
Pros: The center portion of the skirt features genuine, not simulated, quilting and the border has stitched lettering.
Cons: A few reviewers were disappointed because the skirt looks small and one received a skirt within complete stitching.
This skirt is similar to the LimBridge cable knitted tree skirt but it has the added feature of cream-colored faux fur trim around the border. The cushy and comfortable combination of material is soft and adds a very festive feeling to any Christmas tree that is 5 to 7 feet tall. The opening has three ties to secure it closed and is the ideal mix of winter holiday materials.
Pros: Buyers say this is a durable, quality skirt that is simple but elegant.
Cons: No one has found anything negative to say about this tree skirt!
The Best Tree Stand If You Go For a Natural One
The quality of the stand you choose for your natural tree is what will determine if your Christmas is merry or miserable. Not only does it need to hold water so that the tree doesn’t dry out, but it has to be super sturdy so that the tree doesn’t topple over, making a big mess and breaking your precious heirloom ornaments. These are the best stands you can buy for your natural Christmas tree:
This is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in Christmas Tree Stands, and the easy-to-use technology in the Krinner Tree Genie is why. No assembly and more messing with eye screws to secure the tree, only to have to crawl underneath to adjust them repeatedly to level the tree. With this stand, all you have to do is place the tree in the stand on top of the spike and hold it steady while you pump the foot pedal until the claws clamp on the trunk and hold it. The German-made stand holds 2.5 gallons of water and has an automatic water level indicator.
Pros: Fans of this stand can’t believe how easy it is to set up the tree with just a few pumps of the foot pedal.
Cons: Some buyers say that the water level indicator is not very accurate and others had issues with shipping damage.
Another way to quickly and easily level the Christmas tree is with a stand that swivels. The Good Tidings Emerald Innovations Swivel tree stand has a sturdy and secure 23-inch impact grade polymer base that holds the tree securely and won’t hurt the floor. All you have to do to install the tree is clamp it, raise it and swivel it straight. The Tree is held in place by large bolds equipped with comfortable handles. There’s also a separate trunk receptacle that can handle trees as big as 5.75 inches in diameter.
Pros: Reviewers love the foot mechanism that allows the tree to be straightened without undoing the screws.
Cons: The base makes the tree 4 to 6 inches taller so factor that in when choosing the tree height.
Sometimes simple is better and the JACK-POST Basix Christmas Tree Stand is a great example. The stand is made of sturdy welded steel, making it Amazon’s Choice for “metal Christmas tree stand”. This workhorse can accommodate a tree with a trunk up to 8 inches in diameter. The legs on this stand span out 24 inches, providing a stable base. Four eye-bolts screw into the trunk and hold the tree trunk securely and a steel spike in the base helps with stability. all the hardware is corrosion-resistant ‘gold tone’ zinc-dichromate.
Pros: Fans love how substantial and sturdy this Christmas tree stand is.
Cons: Some buyers had issues with the integrity of the welding of the legs to the stand body.
Heavy-duty powder-coated steel makes the Goliath welded steel Christmas tree stand a basic but very sturdy choice that will securely hold your tree. Made for trees up to 12-feet tall and with a maximum trunk diameter of 7 inches, the stand has a wider 28-inch leg span. The tree is held in place with four steel support screws that have steel end caps.
Pros: Buyers say the stand is sturdy and it would take real effort to knock the tree over.
Cons: Some buyers had issues with the nuts popping off.
Keep Holiday Celebrations from Turning Tragic With Basic Safety Tips
We all want the holiday season to be fun, but above all, it has to be safe. This can take a little extra effort because many decor items and traditions are actually more hazardous than we may realize. Some of the activities we might value most are also those that can turn a holiday celebration into a tragedy if we’re not careful. These are the main holiday hazards and the ways that we can minimize the risks associated with each one.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), since 2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires each year that started with Christmas trees. what’s worse is that these fires led to an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage each year. More than half of these fires started due to electrical or lighting problems or because the tree was too close to a source of heat.
So, how to guard against these deadly fires? According to NBC 4 in Washington, fire departments and the NFPA recommend the following safety precautions:
- Check your strings of lights to make sure there are no loose connections, cracked bulbs or frayed parts of the cord.
- Don’t use more than one extension cord and make sure that it — and your lights — are UL-approved.
- Turn off lights and decorations when you leave the house and when you go to sleep.
- Never use candles to light or decorate a tree and never place them anywhere near the tree.
- If you purchase a natural tree, make sure that it is freshly cut. If you buy it at a lot, cut a slice off of the base of the trunk and put it directly into water.
- Water a natural tree daily and take it out of the house as soon as it becomes dry.
- Keep the Christmas tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Christmas trees that pose a holiday hazard, In fact, the NFPA says that an average of 780 home structure fires every year start with decorations, excluding Christmas trees! Much of the time — 44 percent — decorations were too close to a heat source including candles, which are one of the more dangerous items, even though we love them so much for the mood they create, Amazingly, between 2013 and 2017, an average of 22 home fires were caused by candles every day. Fires caused by candles hit their peak in December and the top two days for candle fires are Christmas and Christmas Eve.
So when it comes to decorations, help your family stay safe throughout the holiday season by following these tips:
- Buy decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Don’t string together any more than three strands of mini-light or a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Any decorations that have lights or electricity should be UL Listed.
- Don’t block any exits with trees or decorations.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so that you don’t damage cords.
- If you have pets and small children in the house — or will over the holidays — make sure that any decorative plants or flowers are nontoxic. Also, be sure to childproof your house if you will have any young visitors.