Putting up a Christmas tree during the holidays has a long, rich history. It began as an ancient ritual and is now a worldwide Yuletide tradition. In December, you can see these festive trees everywhere, from shopping plazas and hotel lobbies to government buildings and personal homes. Just like singing Christmas carols door-to-door, this long-standing holiday centerpiece is so ingrained in our Yuletide traditions, and there are a wide variety of species that grow across the globe.
Adding a star or angel to the top of the tree has long been a tradition in Christmas decorating. These are still very popular and you can find many variations of these items when you’re collecting Christmas decorations. I have mixed it up over the years and even though I’ve had the traditional angel topper on my trees for years, I prefer to go for a more freestyle look now.
After six months of stashing away your Christmas tree in the attic or basement, it’s time once again to take it out for some much-deserved cleaning and fluffing and celebrate Christmas in July. To help you along, Tree Classics runs down basic steps as you display your beloved tree this summer.
Photo from wolfsavard via flickr. CC BY 2.0
Dust off the Tree
Just like any item stored in a box for months, your Christmas tree may have accumulated dust – and dust often sticks deep within the bristles and branches. Cleaning it can get frustrating. To make things easier, you can either use a handy vacuum or go old school with a whisk broom.
Vacuums can be used on newer and sturdier trees. When using one to clean your Christmas tree, make sure that the vacuum is not too powerful for it. Attach an upholstery bristle to your vacuum and test it out first on the base of the tree. If your tree can handle it, go ahead and proceed with the vacuuming. Once you get to the needles and branches, keep the vacuum about an inch away from the tree so that it won’t suck in the foliage.
When dusting old and delicate Christmas trees, it is better to use a soft whisk broom. Carefully brush the dust off the tree, paying close attention to the branches and needles. You can also use a damp rag for a more meticulous cleaning of the foliage.
For the trunk and larger branches, a bucket of warm water and some mild dish soap will do the trick. Soak a rag in the bucket and start wiping the tree. You can also use shampoo.
For pre-lit Christmas trees, avoid using any liquid cleaner to prevent short-circuits.
Check the Detailing
Once you’re through getting rid of all that muck from your tree, the next thing to do is to check all of its parts. Sometimes in our haste to store our tree right after Christmas, we tend to leave out some of its pieces. We wouldn’t know until the next season when we’re about to take it out again.
Familiarize yourself with each part of your Christmas tree when setting it up and disassembling it. Also, keep the manual for the tree handy to have a complete list of its pieces.
When working on a pre-lit Christmas tree, double check it for loose connections or busted bulbs before plugging it in.
Ask Help Early
If you find that some parts are missing or that there are damages to your Christmas tree, you should notify your tree company’s customer service right away for parts replacements or appropriate repairs. Inspecting your tree’s condition as early as July will save you from further troubles during the busy holiday season.
More than just being a mere summer holiday, Christmas in July is a convenient reminder of how to properly take care of your beloved Christmas tree. Add this to your family tradition and you can be sure of a happy and stress-free yuletide season.