The 25 days until Christmas countdown has arrived and I couldn't be more in the holiday spirit than I am right now.

The tree is up, the stockings are hung and the Christmas Village is lit (literally). One of my favorite things to do when Christmas comes around is putting up the tree itself, but I'm very specific as to what kind of tree. I'm opposed to fake plastic trees and I won't buy a tree unless I can cut it down myself. It brings me peace knowing that it's as fresh as the day I chop it.

Each and every year, as a tradition, my family goes to a small tree farm in Westport, right off of Sodom Road called Bristle Cone Farm. The owners provide you with cutting shears and a saw to choose and cut your own tree on the property, and it's only $55 for any size.

This is my favorite part: the cutting down of the tree. Something about it brings a sort of accomplishment; it's a feeling I can't describe.

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Now for the important part, some tips and advice on how to keep that freshly-cut tree alive well throughout the holidays and beyond. According to the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association, the following steps will allow you to take care of your tree with ease once you've stood your tree straight up inside the tree stand:

  • Add hot tap water for your first watering to help increase the absorption process by 50 percent. This is the most important step and the golden rule. The larger or deeper the stand, the more water you'll be able to contribute.
  • Water often, making sure it never dips below the fresh cut part of the tree to avoid it from sapping over. This will suffocate the absorption flow and not allow any water to be absorbed by the tree.
  • The more hydrated the tree, the less likely the chance of a fire, so let this be your motivation to keep it hydrated throughout the season.

Lastly, not to sound like a broken record, but common sense is free, so make sure to keep the tree away from any heat sources such as heaters, vents, lamps, or any other hot objects that could cause the tree to dry out or catch fire.

Hope this helps. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

GET SOME HOLIDAY CHEER: Christmas Trees on the SouthCoast

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