When it comes to making one of the most important purchases of the holiday season, consumers are faced with what can seem to be an overwhelming amount of choices. So here are some tips that will help you make your decision and enjoy your holidays:
When considering a real tree, ask yourself these questions:
- Has the tree been well cared for in transit? Look for signs of broken branches or other damage.
- Is the tree free of insects and other pests?
- Is the tree dirty or otherwise contaminated with debris?
- Do you own or have access to a hand saw to cut the trunk of the tree to keep it fresher and perhaps someone in the family or a neighbor to help you with this task?
- Do you have a way of watering the tree so that you minimize possible damage to your carpet and/or hardwood flooring?
- Do you have space in your home for the tree that is not near a possible fire hazard?
- Does the Christmas tree seller accept credit cards? If not, this could be a sign that the merchant is trying to sell leftover trees that are near the end of their period of freshness.
When buying an artificial Christmas tree, consider this:
- First, think of an artificial Christmas tree as an investment. Because you may be keeping the tree for 20 years or more, you may consider purchasing a high-quality artificial tree that has foliage resembling a real Christmas tree. This is often determined by the quantity of the branch tips and design of the foliage. In most cases, having more branch “tips” is preferred because an abundance of branches and needles creates a full look for the tree.
- Ensure the Christmas tree has the specific desired appearance. Look closely to see if you can see the center pole of the tree–if so, it may not be a high-quality tree (though trees with artificial trunks are often designed so that the trunk is visible).
- Choose a tree with a strong stand to ensure that your Christmas tree will not topple or lean to one side, even if heavy ornaments are added to the tree. Some tree stands come with rubber feet to protect your carpet or your wooden floors
- High end artificial Christmas trees have hinged branches, which simplify setup and allow for easy storage.
- If your artificial tree has been in storage, be sure to shake it out and dust it get rid of any detritus that might cause respiratory irritation.