Keeping your Christmas tree healthy and happy

NOTE: Today I have a guest post on A Beautiful Life about our family tradition of going on a Christmas tree hunt.

Whether you cut your own Christmas tree down or purchase a real tree at the nearest Christmas tree lot, you want your tree to stay healthy and keep its needles as long as possible. Here are some tips:

Choosing a tree

Look for healthy branches with no signs of dryness or brown needles. At the Christmas tree lot, grab a branch and pull it towards you. When it springs back into place, you should only have a couple needles in your hand if the tree is healthy. Make sure you store the tree in a sheltered, cool spot until you are ready to decorate it.

Making room for your tree

Choose a spot in your home that is away from heat sources like the heat register. It should be close enough to a plug-in for the lights.

Setting the tree up

If the tree has been sitting for more than 4 hours or you purchased it from a lot, saw off a small round from the bottom of the trunk. This enables your tree to access water more easily, which keeps your tree vibrant and healthy. The bottom of the trunk should be straight to make it easier for you to mount it in a stand. (Wondering what makes a good stand? Check out 3 Best Christmas Tree Stand Designs.) The stand should be able to hold a good amount of water (some say up to a gallon) so that you don’t have to keep adding water.

There are some people who say just plain water is best and others who insist you need to add a few things to prevent mold and keep the needles on longer. Here are some recipes for Christmas tree food:

 

Safety Considerations

Make sure your light strands don’t have any exposed wires. Keep your tree away from heat sources. Take your tree down before it dries out.

More Information?

 

Do you have any more hints for taking care of a Christmas tree? What’s your favourite Christmas tradition? Please share in the comments below.


Sharing stories with our children

Story quote 1

This week in our Proverbs 31 online Bible study, I especially appreciated Lysa Terkeurst’s questions and suggestions at the end of Chapter 24: Do They See Jesus in Me? Here’s a summary for your benefit:

  • Think back over your life and pinpoint some specific moments that made your heart leap for joy. Write them down, so that you can review them when you’re facing difficulties.
  • Share your happy memories with your children and husband
  • Review your childhood and write down at least one memory where God’s hand was evident
  • Write down a time Jesus was very real to you recently
  • Pray, thanking God for the special moments in your life
  • Write a prayer celebrating parenting and confessing your shortcomings to God. Ask Him for strength to make any changes you need to make.

I hope you’ll take time to do some of these exercises.

Moments that made my heart leap for joy:

  • Visiting my Grandparents in Three Hills (Grandma Beam’s desserts were legendary!)
  • Visiting my Grandparents in Gibbon (It took no time at all for 50 or more relatives to gather!)
  • Using wax paper to make the circular slide beside Grandpa & Grandma Beam’s more slippery
  • When my dad made a special trip to visit me on my birthday while I was attending Bible College
  • Surprising my parents when I was one of the speakers for my Bible College graduation
  • Finding a place to order an out of print book when I worked in customer service at Prairie Bookroom
  • Working at Whitney Lake Bible Camp
  • Getting rid of all the piles of files on the credenza after I started working as a legal secretary
  • My first date with Kendall
  • Our wedding day
  • The day we brought Grace, our oldest daughter, home
  • When we received an adoption order in the mail
  • When Kendall was able to compete in the Yamaha competition in Toronto
  • The day we met Luke and Levi
  • The day Jayson arrived home
  • When Luke and Levi said “Mom and Dad” after 4 years of signing
  • Winning the Northern Lights School Division school board bi-election
  • Bringing Dorothy home
  • Winning first place in the God Uses Ink contest
  • Taking a walk and capturing beauty with my camera

As I thought about these moments that made my heart leap for joy, I realized that every one has a story behind it. I also thought about how I should be more intentional about sharing these stories with my children. There are some things we have put into place to help share the memories:

  • I have made a wedding album as well as a photo album for each child. We often pull out these albums and talk about things that happened and how God has blessed us.
  • We have adoption parties for our children. On the anniversary of the date a child’s adoption order was signed, we have a party. The child gets to pick who comes to the party, his or her favourite food, and where the party takes place.

What about you? What makes your heart leap for joy? How do you share stories with your children?