By: Rosie Fletcher, Thu Aug 31st, 2006
Before you select the perfect Christmas tree, consider a
little planning to make room for your special guest. Choose
the best area in your room for the tree, which would include
a spot that is close to an electrical outlet. When you plug
in your lights, you won't want a cord running along your
floor, which could cause someone to trip and fall. There are
so many things to think about when choosing a tree to
celebrate your holidays. Do I want real or artificial?
Should I buy pre-lit or plain? A few knowledgeable tips will
guide you in the right direction.
Chrismas Tree Tip #1: Artificial or Real
The first step is to decide whether you want a real or
artificial tree. An artificial tree is beneficial to anyone
who has allergies, but also if you just want to know that
your tree will last for years. Artificial trees are nice
because they do not have to be thrown out every year and
they are always the same size and a perfect fit. On the
other hand, there's nothing like the smell of a real
Christmas tree. With real trees, there is a greater risk of
fire and also the need to keep them hydrated regularly. A
real Chrismas tree requires a lot of maintenance and, if
you're not up to it, an artificial may be the way to go.
Christmas Tree Tip #2: Will It Fit?
When selecting the perfect Chrismas tree, choose one that
will fit best in your home. Measure the spot for your tree
before you go out shopping and keep those numbers close at
hand. After you select an area in your home, measure the
distance from your floor to the roof, along with the width
of the space. Take a tape measure when you go to pick out
your tree and make sure it will fit in the spot you chose.
Christmas Tree Tip #3: Is It Healthy?
If you're looking for a live tree, check the limbs to make
sure they are nice and green. Also, look for any brown
needles, which may be a sign of a tree that has not been
freshly cut. A tree that is too dry could be a fire hazard,
so watch out for any signs of needle loss or other symptoms
of a damaged tree. You will want to choose one that looks
healthy and full with beautiful branches, which will look
festive when decorated. If you're planning to load the tree
onto your car, place a protective sheet down on the top
before adding the tree. This will protect your car from
scratches, or sap, on the way home. Make sure that you
choose a strong rope to secure the tree to your car.
Chrismas Tree Tip #4: Picking the Right Color
If you are buying a real tree, they only come in one color.
But, if you are buying an artificial tree, you have the
alternate option of white. While white Chirstmas trees are
not as traditional as the green, there is something to be
said for their beauty. Consider a white tree with blue
lights, blue ornaments and white garland. A white Chrismas
tree is classic and stunning, especially with the right
combination of decorations.
Christmas Tree Tip #5: Prelit or Plain?
Another advantage to artificial trees is that they are
available in pre-lit designs. This saves decorating time and
ensures that the lights are always perfectly spaced.
Additionally, if you don't feel up to wrapping the lights
around the tree yourself, a pre-lit tree allows you to enjoy
the beauty of Chrismas without the work of decorating.
About the author: For more great Christmas tree and Chrismas
lights resources check out
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Alternatives to Cutting Down a Tree for Christmas
By: Andrea Lee, Thu Sep 28th, 2006
Ten Alternatives to Cutting Down a Tree for Chrismas
As someone who is considering an alternative to the 'cut'
Chirstmas Tree, I salute you for having a mind that is open
to creative possibilities! Here are Ten Alternatives to Cut
Chrismas Trees, with some direct links to for each option
whenever possible. I hope you enjoy creating a new tradition
and welcome you to the special group of folks choosing
against a cut tree.
1. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try a living tree, in a
A living tree isn't thrown out after Chrismas, and can
continue to oxygenate your surroundings making your air
quality better. If you choose to plant your living tree
outdoors in your yard or garden after Christmas, you've now
added value to your property and beautified your
surroundings. More on how planting a live tree helps the
planet at this link:
local garden store or nursery is a good first try for
locating a living Chrismas tree in a pot. Or, try these
links for more possibilities.
2. Instead of a cut Chirstmas tree, try designating an
existing outdoor tree as your Cristmas tree.
Perhaps you have a lovely tall evergreen in your front or
back yard. Choose one and give it some energy efficient
lights set to a timer, and let your Christmas tree shine in
to your living room. Your hardier ornaments and even popcorn
garland also work nicely outdoors...and attract birds too.
3. Instead of a cut Cristmas tree, try an inflatable
Inflatable trees are reusable and a treat to put away after
Cristmas, since they collapse into the size of a small bag
once the air is released. With the potential for many
decades of use, the inflatable tree can be used indoors and
out, and inflates with a simple pump. No watering, and kids
love these! Inflatable tree options are increasing, so check
with your local Christmas store for details. Otherwise,
these links may prove useful:
4. Instead of a cut Cristmas tree, make your own tree.
Making your own Christmas tree can become a great tradition
especially if you get the whole family in on the fun. What
recycled material will you use this year? When you succeed
in building an especially great tree, you can keep it and
The only rule here is: use your imagination. How about a
beautiful clear tree made from used water bottles, or a
wooden tree from scrap lumber? Empty egg cartons, old
computer parts, any kind of "junk" in your blue recycling
bin can be made into a cool and unique "tree." Talk about
your true meaning of Chirstmas!
5. Instead of a cut Cristmas tree, use a Christmas tree wall
Cristmas tree wall hangings are a new, and awesome
alternative to cut trees. Simple to hang and ultra slick to
store, these are works of art that can even sometimes be
lit. Have a look at the sample photo and click the link to
find the only source - so far - that I know of. If anyone
else knows of another supplier, be sure to write me!
This is another super choice if your Chirstmas involves
And oh yes, there's always the option of making your own
Cristmas tree wall hanging, if you're handy with a needle.
Try this link to a pattern and some advice...
The tree shown at
small and perfect for small spaces. A full size tree is also
possible by altering the dimensions of the pattern.
6. Instead of a cut Christmas Tree, try a (non-plastic)
artificial tree. Your typical artificial Christmas tree
(found by the dozen in stores all over during the Cristmas
season) is made from PVC or plastic based materials and are
actually NOT a good alternative to the cut Chirstmas tree.
Unfortunately this is because of poor manufacturing
processes of those trees that cause a great deal of damage
to the environment through pollution, chemicals and waste.
So when we recommend an artificial tree in this list, it's
only carefully. And here's an example of a fake tree that
passes muster, and is really rather elegant too. Reusable
forever, this is a fabulous tree to pass down from
generation to generation as you solidify yourself as a 'No
Cut Tree' family. Set the lights on a timer and way you go.
This is also a sharp tree for business offices that often go
the PVC tree route. All you office managers, stop! Before
you commit to one of the plastic trees, see if you can do
better for the air quality of the office. Your staff will
Available in specialty Cristmas stores, and at this link:
7. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try a bonsai or
miniature evergreen tre.
Especially if your space is limited, or you just adore
small, miniature evergreen trees are a readily available
alternative to cut Cristmas trees. They last a long time,
and again, because they are living tres, using them or
Christmas will help the planet immensely. Remember, a cut
tree is a dead tree!
Visit online retailer Red Envelope for more information
about the Mini Cypress Tre or Rosemary Tree
8. Instead of a cut Cristmas tree, sponsor the planting of
15 or more live tres in a damaged ecosystem.
Those of you who read the regular issue of Joy to the Planet
(88 ways to enjoy life AND help the planet) know I am a big
fan of planting trees. And doing so for Christmas is a truly
perfect choice. In the face of the millions of trees that
are cut down for Cristmas, PLANTING 15 or more, for US$15,
is a bold and brilliant statement worthy of celebrating.
The non-profit organization American Forests makes it simple
and easy to do. Just click the link and consider hanging a
Christmas wreath beside the certificate they send you as
9. Instead of a cut Christmas tre, decorate a completely
different kind of household tree or plant.
In Hawaii, the Cristmas tree of choice is actually the Palm
tree, and the family at this link
chose to honor their banana tree with ornaments this year.
(Thanks go to Tom Elliot's Alternative Energy Information
Centre for the photo and inspiration.) What living room
plant or tree can you dress up? 10. Instead of a cut
Christmas tree in your house, stop and make a point of
enjoying all the Cristmas trees that are already out there.
Have you ever stopped and noticed how many Christmas trees -
artificial, cut, potted, inflatable, outdoor, what have you
- you walk by every December? Last time I was out, I counted
more than thirty!
So this year, instead of cutting down a Cristmas tree for
your own private viewing, why not take a moment and enjoy
the many trees that have been decorated with care out there?
Whether it be at the mall, on the Christmas television
special, in magazines, the Internet, or the one in your
friend's living room (until next year, when you convince her
not to get one!). There's plenty of tree to enjoy for all of
Merry tree-free Cristmas!
Andrea Lee firstname.lastname@example.org To sign up for Joy to
the Planet, the ezine that shows you how to enjoy life AND
help the planet, just visit
for more information. It's fun, and free! Note: Although we
have carefully researched the various links above, we cannot
guarantee the quality or availability of products purchased
from other companies. Please inquire directly with the
respective online companies for pricing, warranty, and other
detail. Thank you!
JoytothePlanet.com 2003 Andrea Lee. All rights reserved.
Questions? Write to email@example.com
About the author: Andrea Lee is former General Manager of
CoachVille.com, Small Business Coach and multiple online
business owner. To reach her, visit www.andreajlee.com or
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