Keep Your Christmas Tree Shining All Season

Christmas lights add a magnificent dimension to any Yuletide display. With bright clear lights, you can give your Christmas tree a warmer and more inviting glow, while with multi-colored bulbs, you can instantly turn it into a festive holiday highlight. This makes keeping your Christmas lights running efficiently throughout the season that much important.

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Tree Classics’ Alberta Spruce Christmas Tree

In this post, Tree Classics takes you through the process of repairing and maintaining your Christmas lights. By following our step-by-step guide, you can easily handle Christmas lighting issues you might encounter during the holidays.

Why Aren’t Your Lights Working?

To find out what is causing your Christmas lights to malfunction, you need to check every string of your lights. Most of the time, the problem stems from a bad plug connection, a defective fuse in the plug, a broken, missing, or loose bulb on the light strand. By doing one of these steps, you can get your lights to function normally again.

Step 1. Pull the plug of the defective light strand out of the wall outlet and plug it back in. If the lights switch on, then you had a bad plug connection.

Step 2. Replace broken, missing, or loose bulbs on the strand, then plug it in. If the bulbs emit light, then the problem was on the bulbs.

Step 3. Plug the malfunctioning light strand into the wall outlet, and then plug a working strand of lights into its socket. If the latter fails to switch on, you need to replace the fuse in the plug of the damaged strand.

How Do You Replace Damaged Bulbs?

Regular Bulb Kit

Most stores that offer pre-lit Christmas trees also have replacement bulb kits available.

Replacing damaged bulbs can be done very quickly. Simply get the extra light bulbs that came with the package of your Christmas lights. If you don’t have any of these, make sure the ones you’re going to buy will match the brand of your lights. If they don’t match, the base of the new lights might not fit into the sockets of your light strings.

If you’re ready, here’s how you can replace defective bulbs.

Step 1. Identify the defective bulbs on your string of lights. They have dark spots that are not visible on the good bulbs.

Step 2. Hold the base of each defective bulb and pull it out of its socket.

Step 3. Center the wires underneath the base of your replacement bulb, then insert it into the socket of the string.

How Do You Replace a Broken Fuse?

Fuse

Christmas lights use fuses to regulate the electrical current within the strands.

Suppose you discovered that a broken fuse is causing a string of lights to malfunction, here’s how you can to quickly replace the damaged fuse.

Step 1. Identify the strand or strands of lights with broken fuses.

Step 2. Open a tiny compartment in the plug of the malfunctioning strand.

Step 3. Replace the damaged fuse with a new one.

It’s not only in majestic pine trees and dainty ornaments that we see Christmas, but also in sparkling lights that deck every home. With this guide, you will be able to maintain your Christmas lights and keep your home beautifully aglow this season.

Photo by Pete via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

How to Mix and Match Ornaments on Your Christmas Tree

After finding out how to properly assemble your Christmas tree for the season, it’s now time to learn how to choose Christmas decorations that would look best on your tree. Just like in any other decorating project, the key to a stunning Christmas display lies in finding the right combination of ornaments that would both present the elegance of the holidays and your own personal style as well.

In this edition of the Tree Classics blog, let us walk you through the fine art of Christmas tree decorating. Here is our easy to follow guide to choosing the best ensemble of Christmas ornaments for your dream Yuletide display.

Plan Your Christmas Theme and Stick to It

Before you start decorating your Christmas tree, try to come up with an overall theme first. Not only does it add personality to your holiday display, it also helps keep your ornamentation balanced and harmonious.

For a rustic holiday display, you can dress up your Christmas tree in a woodland theme using floral picks and bird ornaments, such as these assorted mini snow-bird and mini cardinal ornaments. The bright red plumage of the cardinals adds a festive accent to your display while the pristine white feathers on the snow-birds give it a cool wintry charm. Whatever theme you choose, be sure to stick to it to avoid making your Christmas display static and confusing.

Create an Impact Using Overscaled Ornaments

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Tree Classics’ Gold and Silver Glass Ornament Set

Another way to add character to your Christmas tree is by using overscaled holiday ornaments. Large ornaments, such as these gold and silver glass ornaments, cover a wider area on your Christmas tree, allowing you to use fewer decorations than you would with smaller pieces. This is a great idea if you want to let the beauty of your Christmas tree to become the focus of your centerpiece.

Match the Color of Your Home

If you’re still looking for a theme to suit your Christmas tree, you can take inspiration from the design of your room. Using ornaments with matching colors as your living room or dining room allows your tree to blend easily in your home as seen on this holiday display.

For traditional homes, you can create a display featuring the timeless appeal of classic Yuletide colors. You can go with these red and gold assorted teardrops, holiday tradition ornaments, or with these snowmen and holly glass ornaments in order to showcase the red, green, and gold colors of Christmas.

If you prefer a minimalist display, try adorning your tree with these green and red and green and gold glitter glass ornament sets or with these glass champagne ornaments. The simple style of these ornaments makes them an ideal accent piece to match the tamed or muted colors typically used in modern or contemporary homes.

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Tree Classics’ Timeless Treasures Glass Egg Ornament Set

Make you Christmas tree more festive and delightful with these timeless glass egg ornaments. These ornaments make use of traditional colors in unique and fun designs.

Create a Designer Look Using a Monochromatic Christmas Tree

Give your holiday display a unique and designer look by using a monochromatic Christmas tree. One-color trees make excellent backdrops for Christmas decorations in different shapes and textures. It allows the focus to stay on the ornaments themselves and not on the Christmas tree. With this you can use holiday ornaments in various sizes or try to combine shiny and matte finishes as well to create a theme for your display.

Some examples of ornaments that would work well on a monochromatic Christmas tree are these holiday heirloom ornaments, gold and copper beaded pearl ornaments, and these iridescent globe ornaments. Each set features ornaments in different designs and finishes that would stand out on a one-color tree.

Make your Christmas display memorable each season by learning how to mix and match your holiday ornaments. With these simple holiday decorating tips from Tree Classics, you easily create a new look for your Christmas tree to match your personal tastes.

Christmas Decorating Tips: Pet-Proofing your Tree

Decorating for the holidays is a fun and worthwhile activity that all members of the family – our pets included – look forward to each year. Our pets, too, get excited by bright and festive seasonal decor. Sometimes, however, we tend to pick holiday decorations that aren’t really safe for our furry friends. This could lead to various accidents involving your pets, such as ingesting Christmas ornaments and getting shocked by electrical wires, brought about by their curiosity and playfulness.

Christmas Dogs

Celebrate the holidays safely with your furry friends.

Make your Christmas display safe for your pets by following these simple decorating tips from Tree Classics. Learn to avoid house accidents by choosing the best Christmas decorations that are not only beautiful but pet-friendly as well.

Keep Your Christmas Ornaments Away from Your Pet’s Reach

Similar to how adults keep dangerous objects away from children’s reach, the same goes for your pets. Certain Christmas ornaments, such as Christmas balls and tinsel, are made from hazardous materials that could cause intestinal blockages if ingested by pets. Shards from broken Christmas ornaments could also injure your pet’s paws, mouths, or any part of their body.

Avoid Using Edible Christmas Ornaments

While edible Christmas ornaments make adorable decorations, these can cause a serious problem for your pets. These are too enticing for your pets and they might start snagging them off of your Christmas tree, causing it topple over. There is also the chance that your pets might mistake non-edible ornaments for edible ones and ingest them. These include holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants that have been proven to be poisonous to animals.

Spray Pet-repellent Scents and Flavors

Christmas trees make a very fascinating plaything for pets, especially for cats. There’s something about the artificial tree that cats just can’t help but climb up the branches and try to reach the top. Often you’d be left with a toppled Christmas tree and a big mess to clean, not to mention an injured pet to care for.

Keep this from happening by making your Christmas tree less attractive to your pets. Before your place your decorations, spray your tree with a scent or flavor that is repellent to pets. Some examples you can try are clove oil, citrus oil, bitter apple, or even a mild hint of vinegar. Try out different scents and see what works best for your pet.

Place Paw Repellents and Climb Blockers

Using paw repellents and climb blockers are another great way to keep your pets from ruining your Christmas tree. Cats hate walking on anything that makes a lot of noise. Placing a layer of aluminum foil or any material that crackles below the tree base can give your feline friend just enough annoyance to keep her away from your Christmas tree.

Discourage your pet from climbing into the branches by covering your tree with a dark mesh or plant netting. This will make it harder for their paws to get a good grip on your Christmas tree. You can also use these climb blockers on the Christmas presents to keep them from getting damaged.

Secure Light Strands and Power Cords

For owners who have puppies or kittens that are still teething or chewing, make sure to keep them away from Christmas lights and other electrical connections. They might mistake them for chew toys and start gnawing at the cords. Always remember to tape any expose indoor and outdoor wires to the wall or the sides of your house. Avoid placing Christmas lights on the lower branches of your Christmas tree so that your pets cannot reach them.

Keep your pets safe and secure this season by following our o pet-friendly Christmas decorating guide. With these practical tips, you can help make your holiday celebration fun and enjoyable for everyone in the family.

Photo by Carmen Rodriguez via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Ask Santa: Father Christmas Answers Questions from His Fans

Everybody knows Santa as the jolly old man in a bright red suit. This holiday season, however, Tree Classics is giving everyone a chance to get to know the man behind the beard.

As Mr. and Mrs. Claus, together with their reindeer and Little Helpers, get set to deliver presents on Christmas Day, Father Christmas takes a break from his busy schedule to answer some of your most interesting and tongue-in-cheek questions to bring in a little cheer! Watch Santa share a few wise words and a couple of jokes here and there in our Tree Classics Ask Santa campaign. Here’s a sneak peek:

To watch more Ask Santa clips, visit Tree Classics’ Ask Santa Page.

How to Set Up Your Artificial Christmas Tree

For many families, setting up their Christmas trees is one of the most cherished and time-honored of all holiday traditions. From the oldest family members to the youngest, each one takes part in bringing this beloved tree to life with classic and fanciful ornaments. It has bridged countless generations together. With the Yuletide season now in full swing, it’s time bring back the Christmas tree into our homes and into our hearts.

To help you setup your Christmas tree for the holidays, here are Tree Classics’ four simple and easy to follow steps on how to assemble an artificial tree.

1. Take out your Christmas tree from storage and cleaning it

After spending several months tucked away in your closet or garage, chances are your Christmas tree may have accumulated a few layers of dirt and dust. The best way to get rid of these is to wipe the branches and needles with a clean piece of cloth dipped in water and soap. However, if you’re dealing with a pre-lit Christmas tree, it would be better to skip the soapy water to avoid ruining the light connections. As you work your way through the different sections of your Christmas tree, make sure to pay close attention to even the smallest tips and corners of the foliage. Once you finish, let your Christmas tree dry for a few minutes before continuing your tree assembly.

To avoid having to worry about dust and dirt covering your Christmas tree during storage, try storing it in a Christmas tree storage bag instead of its original box. These storage bags are specially designed to keep your artificial Christmas tree dirt and dust-free while kept away. They also help preserve the quality of your tree for more years to come.

2. Put your Christmas tree together section by section

After cleaning the foliage your artificial Christmas tree, it’s time to put tree all together. Start by setting the tree stand on a level place. For smaller Christmas trees, you can use a support base to give it more height. Some homeowners place their trees on a small platform for elegance while others prefer an old wooden or steel bucket for a more rustic look.

Next, assemble your Christmas tree according to its section, beginning with the bottom. Insert the tree pole into the tree stand and secure it. Spread the branches of the tree outward so you can see the following connection for the middle part. This is also to prepare the foliage for the shaping and fluffing later on. Attach the next section of the tree then repeat the same process as before. Finish the assembly by adding the top of your Christmas tree and attaching all the light connections together.

3. Shape the branches of your Christmas tree

To achieve an elegant and realistic look for your Christmas tree, always remember to shape and fluff its foliage. Since different trees have varying shapes and forms, this process allows your artificial Christmas tree to take on the appearance of its live tree inspiration. It involves spreading out the branches of the tree either upward or downward starting from the innermost parts to the very tips. Fluffing your Christmas tree also makes its branches more suitable for ornamentation.

4. Check the Light Connections and Bulbs

The following step is very important whether you have a pre-lit Christmas tree or an unlit tree you plan to decorate with lights. Dealing with light connections requires the utmost care in order to keep your family safe and to avoid any untoward incidents during the holidays.

Before you plug your tree to an outlet, make sure to double check all the wires for any damages or loose connections. Pay attention to the lights to see if there are any busted bulbs that need replacement. Once you’ve scanned the light strands, plug your Christmas tree in. Again, watch out for busted bulbs or malfunctioning connections.

If you spot any damages, carefully unplug your tree then set it aside. Contact the store where you bought your tree for any possible parts replacement or a professional electrician to check and fix the connections further.

The Christmas tree is an important part of many family traditions. It is a classic reminder of just how much we value celebrating the holidays and the spirit of giving it represents.

Tweet to Win in our #TreeClassicsChristmas Giveaway

Tweet your dream Christmas Tree from Tree Classics! Get a chance to win a pre-lit artificial tree worth $600!

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Once upon a time, making a Christmas wish meant writing down your wishlist on a piece of paper and snail-mailing it to Santa Claus in the North Pole. (Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to catch him at the mall for your own one-on-one chat!)

But what if we told you that – thanks to technology – all you needed to make your Christmas dream come true these days was … your cellphone? Yup! You got that right! Your cellphone!

Tweet your wish and Tree Classics just might grant it in our #TreeClassicsChristmas Giveaway!

HOW TO JOIN

1. Follow @Tree_Classics on Twitter.
2. Tweet your dream Tree Classics Christmas Tree. The tweet must include either the link or photo of the Tree Classics Christmas tree.
3. Include the hashtag #TreeClassicsChristmas in your tweet.
4. Spread the word! Retweet the following to earn bonus entries: “Tweet your dream #Christmastree from @Tree_Classics & get a chance to win one worth $600! #TreeClassicsChristmas”

PROMO PERIOD

Promo runs from November 26, 2014 to December 14, 2014. Visit our Twitter page for more updates!

Sweet Pies Everyone will Enjoy

When it comes to pastries, pies are arguably one of the most versatile dessert and snack options available. Depending on the type of stuffing used, pies can be a delectable treat or a filling meal on its own. One thing is for sure though; each bite of this scrumptious grub is sure to satisfy your tummy with a burst flavor. Here are four of Tree Classics favorite sweet pie recipes.

Healthy Breakfast Pizza


Start your day right with a slice of this healthy and delicious breakfast pizza. Featuring a flavorful mix of fruit and berry toppings, one generous serving of this pie is enough to charge you with different vitamins and minerals to last you the whole day. A nice alternative to the usual breakfast cereal, this recipe is also available with a gluten-free version.

S’mores Pie


Enjoy more s’mores with your snacks with this awesome recipe for chocolate pie. A rich thick layer of melted marshmallow and two kinds of chocolate crown this special pie, giving you a mouthwatering treat to cap off your meals.

No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake


Give your favorite pie a new and delightful twist with this easy to prepare cheesecake recipe. A chocoholic’s dream dessert, this recipe combines the satisfying taste of cream cheese with Nutella‘s world-famous nutty and chocolatey goodness. And since there’s no baking needed, you can even let your kids in on the fun in preparing this sweet treat.

Mojito Pie


For a delectable dessert that packs a punch, this mojito pie might just be the treat you’re looking for.  Inspired by the famous alcoholic drink, this pie lets you enjoy the sweet and tangy taste of lime and mint with a little dash of rum. The result is a cool and exciting flavor that is sure to liven up your spirits.

Satiate your craving for a sweet delight today with these four luscious pie recipes from Tree Classics.

Wonderful Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes for Your Home

Thanksgiving is just around the bend, and what better way to show your appreciation for family and friends than by treating them to an awesome turkey feast. With so many delicious recipes to choose from, it’s no wonder why this famous fowl continues to be the main entrée for countless Thanksgiving dinners.

In this edition of Tree Classics Favorite Recipes, we present five different ways to prepare your Thanksgiving turkey. With these easy to prepare recipes, you can enjoy this palatable poultry season after season.

Maple Roast Turkey


For a sweet and savory delight, try out this roast turkey covered in thick maple syrup and butter rub. An all-time New England favorite, this roast recipe features a stuffing made of sausages, apples, and cranberries. Dip your maple roast turkey in its special gravy to enjoy a burst of flavor.

BBQ Turkey


Satisfy your craving for a tangy turkey meal with this easy to prepare barbecue recipe. The secret to this delectable treat is filling the turkey with dry white wine. After putting in all the stuffing, pour 750 milliliters worth of white wine into the opening until the bottle is empty. This allows the meat inside to cook evenly while roasting the turkey.

Turducken


Enjoy the succulent flavors of three meats in one with this turducken recipe. A hat trick when it comes to turkey roast, this recipe lets you combine turkey, duck, and chicken meat into a single dish. After seasoning each meat for the roast, you then stuff the duck with the chicken, then stuff the turkey with the duck.

Citrus Turkey Brine


Here’s a sure-fire recipe for people who prefer their roast moister. Marinate your turkey overnight in brine with lemon and orange wedges. This allows the meat to absorb the citrus favor, giving you a juicier and tastier roast turkey.

Mayonnaise Turkey 


If you’re looking for a new spin to the classic roast turkey, then this recipe is for you. Aside from making the stuffing taste creamier and tangier, you also get to enjoy the health benefits of mayonnaise with your turkey feast. This includes Omega-3 acid for a healthier heart and Vitamin E for better looking skin.

This Thanksgiving, celebrate your family and friends with a hearty and satisfying turkey dinner. What are your favorite turkey recipes? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below.

Christmas Decorating for the Procrastinator

Decorating for the holidays is not as complicated as it may seem. Contrary to popular belief, Christmas decorating is more about the practicality of your theme than achieving that perfect holiday look. With a stylish theme, careful planning, and a collection of your favorite Christmas decorations, you can quickly turn your home into a charming Christmas paradise. The following Christmas decorating tips are designed to make this task a breeze.

Porches and Entryways


Start your holiday decorating this season by sprucing up your porch and entryways. Since these are practically the first places people get to see when they enter your home, a nice and heartwarming welcome is sure to get them in a joyful mood.

Create a lovely greeting for your guests by placing a Christmas wreath and garland on your doorway. Staples when it comes to holiday decorating, artificial wreaths and garlands can instantly liven up spaces courtesy of their lifelike evergreen foliage.

While some Christmas wreaths and garlands already come with classic embellishments, you can still go for an undecorated pair if you want to feature your own decorating style. Adding a few red ribbons and Christmas ornaments can easily make your display more festive and adorable.

Dining Room


Another excellent spot to showcase your holiday decorating style is the dining room. You can make your Christmas dinner more fun and enjoyable by adorning this space with timeless holiday décor.

Transform your dinner table into a vision of Yuletide elegance by crowning it with this beautiful Christmas centerpiece. With its lush foliage and luscious berry accents, this centerpiece infuses your holiday tablescape with the classic charm of nature for a bountiful Christmas feast. You can also pair it with a Christmas garland table runner to complement your nature-inspired Christmas dinner table.

The dining room is also a great place to set up your Christmas tree. With various shapes and colors to choose from, you can turn your tree into a charming backdrop for your Christmas dinner table or the main attraction of the entire room. Make sure to plan your decorating theme wisely so you can maximize the appeal of your holiday accents.

Living Room


To wrap up our holiday decorating tips, let’s now focus on brightening up your living room. With most families choosing to end their Christmas evening in the living room for the annual exchanging of gifts, it is only fitting to make this room as warm and cozy as possible.

For your holiday mantel, hang a nice pre-lit wreath and garland combination and a few votive candles to enhance the warm and inviting brilliance of your fireplace.

For your Christmas tree centerpiece, choose a classic evergreen to complement your rustic holiday theme or go with pristine white foliage so you can showcase your colorful ornaments. Flocked Christmas trees are also a popular choice for this coming Yuletide season because of their cool wintry appeal.

Christmas decorating is not as intimidating as many people might think. With these simple and easy to follow holiday decorating tips, you can easily make your dream Christmas home a reality even with short amount of time.

Christmas Tree Trends to Look Out for in 2014

Artificial Christmas trees offer homeowners a chance to decorate their homes with evergreens without any hassles. Compared to live Christmas trees, artificial trees retain their nature-inspired beauty no matter how many times you use them. They are also available in various shapes and colors, allowing you to create a different look for your display year after year.

To help you choose the next look for your Christmas tree this season, Tree Classics presents three of the most popular Christmas tree trends for 2014. Make your display stand out by choosing the best Christmas tree decorating style to match your tastes.

The Versatility of Black and White Christmas Trees


White Christmas trees are an excellent choice in creating a whimsical holiday display. The pristine white foliage acts like a blank canvas, highlighting your vibrant Christmas ornaments. This Christmas tree is adorned with pink and blue Christmas balls and stuffed animals that match the overall theme of the room.


On the other hand, black Christmas trees match well with metallic accents. Holiday decorations, such as gold and silver Christmas balls, instantly stand out from the dark foliage. Black Christmas trees also look more dramatic, especially when paired with LED lights. The warm ambiance from the LEDs creates an image of bright stars in a dark winter sky.

The Timeless Look of Gold Christmas Trees


Aside from red and green, gold is another classic color typically associated with Christmas. This metallic color exudes the timeless elegance of the holidays. As an accent, gold can easily make any decoration shine, but as a centerpiece, it can become a breathtaking Christmas display.

The Wintry Charm of Flocked Christmas Trees 


Turn your home into a wintry wonderland by choosing a flocked Christmas tree for your display. Whether you choose a classic evergreen or an immaculate white tree, a flocked Christmas tree can bring an enchanting atmosphere to any room courtesy of simulated snow on the foliage. The frosted tips also complement the warm brilliance of LED lights on Christmas trees.

This Christmas, create the perfect Yuletide display for your home by choosing your favorite Christmas tree design. With these decorating ideas, you can easily bring new life to your family tree season after season.