Erecting your Christmas tree for decoration can be a frustrating task. Even manoeuvring it from the car boot to the living room can cause many of us a bit of a headache (and the odd smashed vase).
An estimated eight million trees will be bought in the UK during the run-up to Christmas, so in light of this, here are a few handy maintenance tips to stop you from blowing a fuse:
· Firstly, if you’re not planning to erect your Christmas tree immediately it’s important to store it in a cool, sheltered spot.
· Before you bring your tree into your living room, saw off (minding your fingers) approximately 3cm of the trunk. This will open up the pores in the bark and allow the tree to draw water by capillary action.
· Pick the right spot for your tree, somewhere away from direct heat sources, such as; radiators, space heaters, and fire places.
· Make sure you invest in a sturdy, water-holding tree stand. Fixing your Christmas tree upright can be a fiddly business; you might have to use wedges to help achieve a stable base. You might also want to keep the netting sock on when working around the base of the tree to prevent you from getting a face full of spruce needles.
· Once set in place, add some water into the base of the stand (if possible) to help keep your tree hydrated.
· Keep your tree topped up with water every day. Christmas trees are thirsty and can drink up to three pints of water a day.
· If you don’t like the sight of your Christmas tree stand you can invest in something more decorative such as a Christmas tree skirt.
· When decorating your tree it’s best to follow the tried and tested order of; lights, tinsel, baubles, and then star, angel, or another such pinnacle ornament.
· If you’ve opted for an artificial tree, make sure it’s a “Fire Resistant” model. Never use electrical ornaments or lights on an artificial tree with metallic leaves or branch coverings.
· When buying Christmas tree lights, look for the BS Kitemark and avoid buying second-hand. Never insert or remove bulbs when the lights are switched on, and do not use lights which are damaged.
Finally, when it comes to putting it all away again – think ahead! Wrap your lights around a kitchen roll inner tube and pack things away individually; decorations have an amazing ability to get tied up in knots while your back is turned.
Of course, if all of this seems too much like hard-work, you can always book one of our beautifully decorated holiday cottages for Christmas and put your feet up instead.
Season’s greetings from all at Toad Hall Cottages.