12 Secrets Your Christmas Tree Wishes You Knew
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree…what would you want to tell me?
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Christmas trees can catch fire
Most house fires happen during the holidays, and Christmas trees are one of the biggest reasons, according to the Today Show. Making matters worse, when a Christmas tree catches fire, many explode into flames in seconds. The main reason: Dry trees that aren’t getting enough water. Other contributing factors include putting trees too close to heat sources like fireplaces, space heaters, and candles. One in four tree fires starts this way, so be sure to keep trees at least three feet away from heat sources. Faulty lights can also be an ignition source, so check that lights aren’t frayed or damaged. One last precautionary measure: Be sure to turn off the lights when you go to sleep or leave the house. Learn the origins of 10 favorite Christmas traditions.
There are advantages to both real and artificial trees
Fake Christmas trees come in a variety of colors and styles, are easy to set up, require little to no maintenance, and last for years, notes Better Homes & Gardens. (On that note, one life-cycle analysis found that you’d need to use your artificial tree for 20 years for it to be considered more environmentally friendly than your yearly evergreen, according to Organic Life.) Real trees are better for the environment (they’re recyclable and have no chemical residue), support local tree farmers, and offer that smell that everyone pines for. Check out these 10 creative ways to recycle a Christmas tree.
Not all artificial trees are created equal
If you want your fake fir to last and look good year after year, Consumer Reports recommends buying a tree labeled “true needle” or “real feel,” which mimic the look of the real deal—like this one. Choose models with hinged branches, as well; these are permanently affixed and thus easier to set up. Trees with hooked branches cost less, but the branches must be attached individually to assigned spots on the central pole. Prefer a pre-lighted tree? Select a style that comes with bulbs that have no-twist sockets and that’s labeled “continuous-on lights” or “with burn-out protection.” That way if one bulb burns out you’re not stuck trying to figure out which one it is. Finally, to help ensure your holiday doesn’t go up in smoke, make sure the tree is fire retardant. Now that you know what to do and what not to do with a Christmas tree, watch out for these other Christmas decorating mistakes you’re probably making.