The holidays are coming, and it is time to think about your Christmas tree—especially where you think it’s going to be placed in your home. For most of us, the tree is probably the most important feature of our holiday décor. However, there are decisions about your tree (is it a tall artificial tree or a live tabletop Christmas tree?) that will influence where to put it in your house.
Whether they’re big or tabletop-sized, there is something special about going out and purchasing a live cut tree. It may be an important—and fun—Christmas tradition. But large live trees require a little extra maintenance, like keeping the water reservoir full. The location of your tree needs to be both picturesque and easily accessible for watering. And don’t forget: It’s easy to fill the reservoir with water when you first set the tree up, but it’s a little more difficult once the tree is completely decorated. That being said, there are also smaller, live tree options that can be a centerpiece on your dining room table or tucked onto an end table for ambiance. You get all the benefits of a live tree with the ease of maintaining something much smaller.
With a full-sized artificial tree, you don’t have to worry about placing it where you can access a reservoir. Plus, you can choose to have a tree that is pre-lit. All the lights are permanently attached to the tree, so all you need to do is plug it in. That is a huge convenience when you can tuck it into a corner and not have to worry about the space required for stringing up lights. There are also smaller, tabletop-sized artificial options, but buyer beware: Some of them aren’t the most convincing and can look a bit more Charlie-Brown-esque than you anticipate once you have them assembled.
Whether you decide on a live or artificial tree, the next decision is how big your tree will be. This means height and width. Do you want your tree ceiling height? If you have high ceilings, you may need a ladder to decorate the top branches. Remember to allow room for your tree topper as well.
How wide do you want the tree to be? A quick tip: When purchasing a live cut tree, remember that the tree has been bundled for shipping. The branches relax a little out in the cold but not as much as in the warm house. We recommend measuring those bottom branches to determine what the actual width of the tree will be when fully relaxed. You’ll want to have the space for that.
Some people, however, aren’t looking for the giant postcard Christmas trees. And that’s why there are specialty trees available. Like we mentioned, live trees come in sizes from less than a foot tall to about four feet tall. The larger trees are meant to be planted outdoors after the holidays as part of the landscape. The smaller versions can remain in the home as a houseplant. They are also great for those who are unable to bend down to lower branches or stand on a ladder to decorate upper branches. Many people purchase a tabletop tree in addition to the full-sized tree. There are also slim or skinny trees. These also are great for areas where there isn’t much horizontal space, but plenty of height of a full-sized tree. Lastly, there are backless artificial trees. These trees are placed against a wall and give the illusion of a full-sized tree but are half the width.
Now that you have your tree, where is the best spot to place your tree? Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding:
- Place your tree where you will enjoy it the most. The room you and your family spend the most time in is the logical choice. For most of us, that will be the living room or family room.
- Don’t put your tree in a spot that hinders traffic through your home. And don’t forget to account for presents under the tree!
- Check your furniture placement. Place the tree so when seated, people in the room have a view of the tree and each other. If the room seems too crowded, try shifting your furniture around to accommodate.
- Don’t block air vents with the tree. Your furnace can’t work at its normal efficiency when a vent is blocked. Another consideration is that a live tree will dry out fast if it is subjected to warm air throughout the day and night.
- While having your tree in front of a window so everyone going by can enjoy your tree, it might not be the best idea if it is a southern exposure. That window typically lets in a lot of sunlight and that warms your house. It also can dry out your live tree faster.
- Placing your tree in an alcove or corner, or on a tabletop, will protect it from accidental bumps and brushes from people or pet traffic.
- Be sure there is an electrical outlet nearby.
- For safety, your tree–whether a living tree, a live cut tree or an artificial tree–should be kept at least three feet from a fireplace or a space heater.
With these tips and considerations, you’re sure to find the perfect spot in your house for your Christmas tree. Happy Holidays!