And just like that, Thanksgiving has come and gone. How many of you already have your Christmas tree and Christmas wreaths up? Despite the scores of Christmas tracks already on repeat in many stores, sometimes it doesn't quite feel like the holiday has started until that first piece of greenery goes up in the house.
Besides being beautiful to look at, Christmas greenery adds a wonderful scent to the air. Even if you ditch the tree, wreaths and garlands can still live on for some time after the last present is opened with just a few minutes of maintenance each day. Here are a few tips for keeping it all fresh and fragrant through the New Year:
#1 Give your tree trunk a quick trim. A cut tree is quite thirsty when you first bring it home. Before you do anything else with it, trim about half an inch off the trunk, straight across, and dunk it in a large bucket of water. Leave it in the bucket overnight — depending on its size, your tree can drink up to a gallon of water by the next morning.
#2 Use only fresh water. With cut flowers, people sometimes add aspirin, sugar, or even pennies to keep them fresh longer. But for a Christmas tree, plain old water is best for keeping the needles green and hydrated. Remember to check the stand daily and refill with fresh water as needed.
#3 Mist your greenery often. Dry winter air, combined with indoor heating, can wreak havoc on freshly cut greenery. Mist your garlands, wreaths and tree often with a spray bottle to keep them from drying out too quickly. Lowering the room temperature can also help slow the drying process.
#4 Keep greenery away from heat sources and bright windows. Display your greenery away from heating vents, space heaters, fireplaces, and stoves, which can dry out the needles, as well as windows with direct sun, which can burn or bleach delicate garlands.
#5 Provide ample water for potted pine trees, poinsettias, and other indoor plants. Of course, you don't want to water too much either. Check moisture levels by sticking your finger into the soil every other day; if the first inch feels dry, give the plant water and ensure it has adequate drainage. Potted plants also benefit from a daily mist to stay lush, or you can simply bring them into the shower once a week and give them a light spray.
Want to cut your own Christmas tree? See our guide to u-cut Christmas tree farms here!