Christmas tree

Pick The Perfect Christmas Tree!

It’s that time of year again, time to hunt through a giant lot of trees in search of the perfect one to grace your home.  It’s an endeavor that families across the country take on each and every year, and sometimes finding the perfect tree can be more difficult than you think!  There’s surprisingly a lot to consider; height, length, pine needles, the list goes on and on but once you’ve found the perfect tree the fun can begin!  Keep these tips in mind when making your selection this holiday season!

  • Before you pick the perfect tree, make sure it will fit!  Measure the ceiling height in the room where you will be displaying your tree, and once you do choose a tree, make sure it is a foot shorter than the ceiling (bring a tape measure).  This will give you enough space to factor in the tree stand and should still leave you with enough room to place a tree topper on the highest point.
  • Be sure that your tree is fresh!  You don’t want to pick a tree that is dry and brittle with all of the needles about to fall off (and create a huge mess).  When you find a tree that you’re interested in, give it a good shake.  If it is fresh the needles should stay on for the most part, if it’s drying out, a lot of the needles will fall off.
  • Make sure the base of the tree is straight and will fit in your tree stand.  If it is warped and shaped strangely it will be very difficult to get it to stand upright in the stand, let alone stay in place for a few weeks.  It would be a good idea to measure your tree stand and find out if the opening is big enough for the base of the tree, another great use for that tape measure!
  • Now here comes the tricky part; getting your tree home.  Unless you own a pick up truck, this can be a very stressful task!  Most tree farms have staff on hand that can help you lift your  tree onto the roof and secure it.  Your best bet is to use bungee cords.  Once the tree is securely on top of the car, roll down the windows so that you can wrap the bungee cords over the tree, through the windows and under the roof so that the tree will stay in place.  Securing it at the top and bottom is your best bet, and be sure to wrap the bungee cord around the tree as many times as possible so it is held in tightly.  It may be a good idea to do a few laps around the parking lot with your tree just to be sure it is safe for the ride home.
  • Once you do arrive home with your tree, the fun and decorating can begin!  If you have a lot of ornaments, try to put the heavy ones near the top of the tree where the branches are thickest and strongest, smaller ornaments that are lightweight can be placed near the bottom of the tree.
  • You also have to take care of your tree if you want it to last through the holiday season, and that means lots of water.  Trees can drink a few quarts each day so it’s a good idea to check your tree throughout the day and make sure the stand still has water in it.  This will keep the needles from drying out too quickly and making a giant mess on your floor.

Once you’ve chosen your tree, transported it home, decorated and watered it, sit back and enjoy!  There’s nothing better than listening to some Christmas carols, drinking hot chocolate, and curling up by a beautiful tree so enjoy it while you can!

Photo By: liljulier

Free Events Just In Time For The Holidays!

Who isn’t trying to save their pennies around the holidays?  Traveling, presents, parties, and other yule-tide events may take away from your budget but don’t worry, we’ve got your back!  These events are totally free, fun and will help keep your funds in line for the holiday season!

8th Annual Holidays On The Green –  This family friendly event takes place at The Pinehills in Plymouth Saturday, December 1st and has something for everyone! Children will love the petting zoo and getting their picture with Santa, followed by decorating some holiday sugar cookies! Bring your furry friends as well!  Guests can walk in or watch the “Reindog” parade where there will be tons of costumes and prizes!  Victorian carolers will be strolling the streets singing classic holiday tunes, sculptors will be whittling masterpieces out of ice, and there are a bunch of tiny shops to stop by and do some Christmas shopping.  Close out the day by watching the tree lighting on the green, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season!

North End Walking Tour – The North End is one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods and now’s your chance to take a tour of this historic gem.  Stroll the streets where Paul Revere and Cotton Mather once walked, stop by Mike’s Pastry for a cannoli, or even sample some of the local Italian cuisine that has made the neighborhood so popular with tourists.  Hosted by Free Tours By Foot, the free tours are every Saturday at 2 PM and last about 2 hours.  Although the tour is free, reservations are required and donations are welcome!  Take advantage of these free historic tours before the weather gets too nasty, the North End is especially beautiful during the holiday season, and this tour is the perfect way to burn some calories before enjoying some Italian food!

Constructing Holiday Tradition – The USS Constitution, or Old Ironsides as it is affectionately known, is hosting a holiday event perfect for families!  Stop by the USS Constitution Museum any day from now until December 24th to make your very own holiday ornament!  This daily event runs from 10 AM – 5 PM and is completely free.  Stop by with your little one(s) and they can make their very own ornament that will decorate the Christmas tree on board Old Ironsides herself.    Ornaments made before December 2nd will be placed on the tree in time for the annual lighting ceremony that night!  If ornaments are made after the tree is lit, children can climb aboard the ship and put the ornament on the tree themselves!  Want to make your own ornament to bring home?  The USS Constitution museum will have two different types for sale, the classic wooden “anchors aweigh” ornament for $2, or a new, limited edition copper ornament for $5.  Proceeds benefit the museums educational programs so you would be supporting a wonderful cause!

La Salette Christmas Festival of Lights – This National Shrine in Attleboro, MA is famous for their annual Christmas Festival of Lights!  Beginning in 1953, this festival has grown into a massive celebration with over 300,000 lights, concerts, displays, and much more.  Stop by the shrine and see their outdoor Creche, listen to some festive music, and visit with Clopper the Christmas donkey!  The lights span over 10 acres and illuminations are from 5 PM – 9 PM daily, until January 6, 2013.  This event is free to the public but donations are always accepted and appreciated!

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these festive and free events!  They are perfect for families and there is something for everyone!

Photo By: spi516

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