O’ Christmas tree, o’ Christmas tree…
One of my favourite things about the festive season is putting the Christmas tree up!
This is the first time as an adult that I’ve had a real Christmas tree. We had a really nice artificial one but it was too big to store. So we found it a new home and decided that this year we would have a real tree. I admit I was pretty excited about the prospect of a real tree, one that would smell like Christmas!
As much as I LOVE the holidays, getting our tree the first weekend in December was even a bit early for me. But a busy month ahead of us, and football season still being on for Mark meant that the only day we would have together would be during the first weekend. It was suggested that Mark went himself when I was at work, but I wanted to get the whole experience. Including picking the tree!
We did a bit of research on where to buy our tree. One place was only open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm though! Not sure how much custom they’ll get as I imagine a lot of people will be working at those times. After looking at a lot of different options we decided to go to a Forestry Commision place to get ours. The trees are sustainably grown and the money made from sales goes back into the Forestry Commision to maintain the forests. Santa has also given their trees his stamp of approval, so they must be good! Although we bought ours from the Forestry Commision in Scotland there are also places in England that you can purchase them.
I didn’t realise there were different options for the kind of tree you can get. The place we went to had three different varieties of tree. Pine, fir and spruce. Spruce trees are the traditional Christmas trees. They’re the ones that have the conical shape you think of when someone says Christmas tree. Traditional they may be, but it wasn’t for me. We ended up going for a Fraser Fir. It’s lovely and thick and at 6ft it met the requirement of being taller than me.
As this is my first year of having a real Christmas tree I was determined to pick the perfect one. Once we’d established that it would be a fir tree and that a 6ft one would fit in the flat, we went in search of the perfect one. It’s really important you can see the tree without any netting on it. This way you know you’re getting one that is even and doesn’t have any big gaps in the branches. We looked through a lot! Tip, even when you think you’ve found THE tree, there is probably an even better one – make sure you get a good look at all of them.
Once we’d selected our tree we took it to be wrapped in the netting and got it in the car. Also, make sure that your car is big enough for the size of tree you want. Even if our flat could’ve taken bigger than 6ft, our car could not. It was already pushed through in between the front seats!
When we got home we (by “we”, I mean Mark) sawed a couple of inches of the bottom of the trunk (this helps it soak up water) and put it in the base. The base we got was really easy to set up and we had the tree standing upright in a matter of minutes. Real Christmas trees take a bit to settle, so we didn’t decorate it right away. This year we treated ourselves to some new multi-coloured lights – 300 is about right for a 6ft. Some Disney decorations and candy canes finished it off nicely!
A real tree takes a bit more maintenance than an artificial one. I can honestly say I was 31 years old before I realised that you need to water a real tree! Apparently, if you don’t they can burst into flames! I saw a video on Facebook that genuinely put the fear in me. Here are some top tips for keeping your tree looking it’s best up to Christmas and into the New Year.
Do you go for a real Christmas tree or do you prefer an artificial one?
Photos taken by me.
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