Christmas Tree Decorations Tips

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How can I avoid suffering through burned out Christmas tree lights this year?

Eliminating Christmas Light Aggravation

The eternal optimist will approach the box of last-year's Christmas tree lights with hope. Maybe, just maybe, they will all work beautifully. The pessimistic soul, however, will grumble and complain from the moment they lift the cover from the storage box all the way through the frustration of untangling cords.

When the moment of truth comes, everyone holds their collective breaths. You stretch toward the electrical outlet, plug in hand, hoping for the best. The lights flash on and for a split second you feel relief. But then you see it. There's actually an entire strand of lights out. Now what. You could spend the next few hours going through each and every bulb to see which one was burned out, and replace that bulb, or you can go down to the store and buy a new set?

This Christmas, save yourself the aggravation and invest in a LED pre-lit artificial tree. No wires and no aggravation. If you happen to find a burned out LED light, most artificial trees come with easy to replace light bulb units.

How can I decorate my home a little differently this Christmas?

Another Christmas, Another Look

Wouldn't it be nice to see something different in homes this Christmas? It's wonderful to see all of the grandly decorated homes in the neighborhood, with their artificial flickering candles in every window of the house. The lawns may be decorated with LED Christmas lawn ornaments (grazing reindeer, life-size Santa, etc.) and garland may be twisted decoratively around outside stair casings. This Christmas, why not try something a little different. You don't have to go crazy, but a simple change in scenery could really make a difference in your holiday décor.

Instead of over-doing the lawn with garland, and battery-operated life size snowmen, take a classic, simple approach to Christmas decorating. Purchase a few sets of LED Christmas lights to decorate your home with and put only a flood light on your lawn. Aim it toward your house. Inside, instead of erecting the usual set of artificial plug-in candles, do something different. Consider purchasing a set of fiber-optic wreaths to hang in each window or line up a set of mini battery-operated fiber-optic Christmas trees to create a different glow on your home. There's nothing wrong with traditional holiday decorations, but sometimes it's nice to mix things up a bit and show your true creativity by making a few simple changes.

How can I be sure that the artificial tree I'm buying is good quality?

Artificial Christmas Tree Shopping

Most people only have a problem with artificial trees because they've only seen pre-lit trees with wires that are visible even after decorating. These days, you can buy good quality trees that look real. No need to stuff decorations into spaces or “holes” in the artificial tree anymore! To gauge the quality of the artificial tree, make sure there are no visible wires dangling anywhere. How full does the tree look? Can you see right through the branches to the middle pole? Also take a look at the color of the branches. Do they look natural or do they look like something that would never grow in the great outdoors?

The perfect way to avoid unsightly wires is to purchase a pre-lit fiber optic Christmas tree. They're full, easy to assemble, and require no special bulb replacements. The only thing you have to do is set it up and plug it in.

When shopping for artificial Christmas decorations, especially fiber optic ones like garland, wreaths or Christmas trees, make sure you're paying for quality. Before buying something in a box, have a look at the same item on full display and don't be afraid to scrutinize. If the tree has so many decorations that you can't see the boughs, it might have to do with the poor quality of the tree. A good quality tree will have full boughs, will be easy to assemble, and will come with extras, like a storage bag.

Can I find a tree to fit into my small apartment space?

Christmas Decorations for Tight Spaces

Apartment living has its benefits, but space isn't usually one of them. People spend money on interior designers and seek advice from experts on how to make their apartments appear larger than they actually are. When Christmas rolls around, finding a spot for a full-sized Christmas tree can be tricky. Decorating a small apartment with typical Christmas decorations like a wreath, garland, candles, etc., is relatively easy, but where are you going to move your furniture to accommodate that full-sized Christmas tree?

Because of fire hazards inherent with live Christmas trees, apartment owners and landlords may discourage their use. Your best bet would be to buy a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree. If you shop around, you can find Christmas trees to accommodate just about any need.

These days, artificial trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including slimmed down versions designed to fit into tight corners and spaces. If a full-sized tree isn't your top priority, you could also consider purchasing a table-top tree or a half-sized version. A four foot artificial tree might be the perfect solution to your space restrictions. This year, enjoy your pre-lit wreaths, garland and specialty-size artificial Christmas tree without sacrificing furniture or space.

Is it safe to purchase Christmas decorations online?

Safe Christmas Shopping Online

Are you one of the many people out there who still hasn't purchased anything online yet? With all of the talk about identity theft and credit card fraud, it's no wonder people are afraid to make an online purchase. There are a few things to keep in mind when doing Christmas tree or Christmas decoration shopping online.

  • Look for the little yellow padlock symbol on the bottom of your computer screen before making an online purchase. This means that the personal information you submit is encrypted for your protection.
  • Make sure you're shopping with a reputable company. Stick with well-known department stores, or check with the Better Business Bureau if you're not sure.
  • Take into account the exchange rate (if purchasing from another country) and extra shipping costs.
Before placing an order, check the company's refund and warranty policies to see what is covered. With a little wise shopping, you'll soon be enjoying your brand new artificial Christmas tree, garland or wreath.

What can I do to get the kids involved in Christmas decorating?

Christmas Bedroom Decorating for Kids

The best way to ensure the kids feel involved in Christmas planning and decorating is to give them something that's truly their own creation. In addition to spending time making homemade Christmas tree decorations, consider the possibility of purchasing individual fiber-optic trees or LED artificial Christmas trees for each of your children. Expensive? Not at all. In fact, it's only going to cost about $30 for a two foot fiber-optic Christmas tree. This type of tree is a safe option for children's bedrooms, are inexpensive, and easy to decorate. Because LED lights are very cool to the touch, you won't have to worry about your children getting burned on them or having their homemade ornaments go up in flames because the bulbs became too hot.

Of course, a little common sense is always a good idea. Make sure the fiber-optic trees are turned off at bedtime or when you leave the house. If you're not comfortable with, or can't afford the expense of buying individual trees for your children's rooms, consider buying fiber-optic garland, wreaths, or mini battery-operated Christmas trees for the kids to decorate their rooms with. Let them use their own creativity without your own suggestions or input. Turn it into a yearly holiday tradition!

How can I simplify Christmas decorating this year?

Fiber Optic Christmas Simplicity

There are ways to simplify your the Christmas season. Keep decorations minimal and don't worry about having the best decorated home in the neighborhood. A few simple strands of garland here and there, along with a few classic Christmas decorations are all you need. Unless you're actually in it for a huge cash prize, you're only making yourself work harder than you have to.

Forget lugging a live tree through your home this year. You're only going to have to spend the next several months cleaning up pine needles that mysteriously show up everywhere in your home. Save yourself a ton of trouble by purchasing a full-size fiber optic artificial Christmas tree. They give off a beautiful glow, can be purchased with two LED units (one color and one clear), and really don't need any decorations at all. They are pretty enough on their own! Imagine, just set it up and plug it in. No hassle with messy and sticky pine needles, no aggravation with electrical wires and no need to hang Christmas decorations on the tree.

Is my live Christmas tree really a fire hazard?

Decorate for Christmas the Fire-Safe Way

It's true that live trees give off a sweet, inviting scent. There's something special about capturing nature and stuffing it into your living room. Unfortunately, live trees can also create allergy symptoms, sticky hands and messy needles all over the floor. You could also be subjecting your family to an increased risk of fire and injury with a live Christmas tree. If your Christmas tree lights are from yesteryear, are worn in any way (think frayed wires) or get particularly hot, you could be setting yourself up for disaster.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, causing death, injury and property damage. Fires are typically caused by shorts in electrical lights or from the flames of nearby candles.

There are a few things you can do, however, to minimize the fire risk: Make sure your live tree is very well watered or buy an artificial tree. These days, artificial trees are nothing to scoff at. Sure tradition is nice, but so isn't keeping your family safe. Artificial trees come in all shapes and sizes, and even come pre-lit. You can even buy pre-lit artificial garland or wreaths to complement the tree.

Should I surround myself with fiber-optic lighting this Christmas?

Winter Evenings: The Best Time to Enjoy Your Christmas Decorations

These days, a quality artificial Christmas tree, or artificial garland, will look like the real thing even in the light of day. As nice as that is, most people do their entertaining in the evenings whether it's through the week or on the weekend. After all, we're busy shopping, wrapping and working during the weekdays. If you've purchased a selection of pre-lit, fiber optic artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands or other types of pre-lit Christmas decorations, the best time to enjoy them is in the evening when you can dim the lights.

LED garland or fiber-optic Christmas trees create a warm glow in the home. The lighting is just bright enough without being harsh, it's long-lasting, they give off very little heat (if any), and they create an ambiance all their own.

To create an extra-special look this Christmas, buy extra sets of fiber-optic garland, mini battery-operated LED Christmas trees and fiber-optic wreaths and really surround yourself with the glow of Christmas. Your friends and family will definitely comment on the atmosphere you've created and you won't be too exhausted to enjoy their company. There's nothing easier than fiber-optic Christmas decorations. Just plug in and enjoy.

How can I reduce the chances of buying the wrong Christmas tree this year?

The Christmas Tree Selection Process

A winter scene of snow falling, cold wind whipping up tufts of cotton candy snow and smoke billowing from people's chimneys is a nice scene in theory, but not if you have to stand out in it for any length of time. If you're traipsing off to the woods to cut your own tree, or going to the closest Christmas tree vendor, dress warmly and don't forget to bring your patience. Picking the perfect Christmas tree might make you want to decorate with nothing but garland this year. Every tree on the lot looks the same and just when you think you've tagged the perfect tree, you look to your left and see another one that could be just right.

What's a person to do? Unless you've got a PhD in Christmas tree selection, it might be easier to stick with an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree. While you're at it, buy some fiber-optic garland, a wreath, and a couple of miniature Christmas trees for other rooms in your home! It's a lot warmer shopping for an artificial tree than a regular live tree, and the margin of error is significantly reduced. When shopping for an artificial tree, the salesperson can help you find the perfect one for your home, including the style, size, shape, width, color and price of the tree.

How can I reduce my allergies to the Christmas tree this year?

All I Want for Christmas is an Allergy-free Season

Feeling like sticking with just garland as the sole source of Christmas decoration this year? If you suffer from allergies, you might be tempted to do just that this Christmas. While people often complain about the tree as their source of misery, physicians say that the main reason for allergy attacks has more to do with the mold spores and chemical sprays typically found on a live Christmas tree.

Step back and take note of when your symptoms are worse. Is it when you're dragging the tree through your house and setting it up to decorate? Do the symptoms become worse again when it's time to take the tree down? It's very possible that your allergy attacks have nothing to do with the tree at all. Consider your Christmas tree decorations, how they're packed and where they were packed. Decorations that have been packed in cardboard boxes are probably damp and have mold spores within the cardboard itself. Even a light coating of dust on your heavy plastic containers could be enough to stir up an allergic reaction.

This Christmas, don't blame the tree! It might be tempting to decorate with nothing but garland, but consider purchasing a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree if you believe the tree is the true culprit. Wear a protective mask over your mouth and nose while unpacking Christmas decorations, or better yet … let someone else do it.

How can I reuse or recycle my Christmas garland this year?

Christmas Garland for the Birds

This year, when buying garland, buy the real stuff to wrap around outside staircases. A little bit of pine boughs will go a long way. When you're finished with the garland, you can always add honey or some other sticky substance that bird seed will stick to. In the cold winter months when the birds are looking for sustenance, they'll welcome that string of seed covered garland in your backyard.

In the cold winter months, a typical bird diet of insects is hard to come by. They rely on seed production from trees, grasses, and wild flowers, but when the winter is harsh, these things are often impossible to find. Recycling your Christmas garland by turning it into a bird feeding station is the perfect after-holiday solution.

To be able to watch and enjoy the array of birds you attract, place the garland/bird feeder in front of your living room window, if possible. Make sure to anchor the garland into the snow, or put it in a place where it won't get blown away by a strong wind. Draping the garland from a tree is another good option. Not sure what seed to use? Stick with sunflower or safflower seed and be generous! Coat the garland with a thick mixture of honey and add a lot of seed for the birds to enjoy this winter season.

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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace