‘Tis the Season: Tree-Trimming & Home Decorating Ideas

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. Why wait? Get started by brainstorming holiday decorating and tree-trimming ideas with these useful articles and product suggestions from The Lakeside Collection.

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Christmas Tree Decorating Tips & Tricks
The holiday season is quickly approaching. Before you know it, it will be time to trim the tree while sipping cocoa from holiday mugs and listening to classic Christmas songs. The Christmas tree can be a daunting task if you aren’t sure how to approach decorating. We’ve detailed some tips and tricks for decorating your tree using the 5 F’s (Fluff, Fill, Festive, Foundation & Finish) to help you with the tree-trimming experience.

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Holiday Decorating Ideas Inspired by Classic Christmas Stories
Home decorating doesn’t get any better than Christmas. Getting together with the family to personalize the tree, stringing up lights or wrapping the stairway in garlands and tinsel. The Christmas story is a big part of many holiday memories. Whether you’re on the lookout for a holiday theme or wondering if there’s a way to bring your favorite story to life, take a look at these decorating ideas inspired by classic Christmas stories.

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4 Popular Christmas Tree Types & How to Decorate Them

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Christmas decorating plans, especially with all the great early Christmas deals already out on the market. The Lakeside Collection is already stocked with Christmas gear to get your home ready for the holidays. In the spirit of the upcoming season, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Christmas tree types and the best ways to dress them up to help you find the right decorations.

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Douglas Fir
Perhaps the most well-known Christmas tree by name, but there are many reasons why the iconic tree has been a popular staple in American homes around Christmas time. For one, the needles are pretty soft, safer for kids or pets. Second, the firm needles branch out in many directions, making it easy to hang ornaments. Lastly, unlike most trees bred for the holidays, they can be found in giant sizes for families that like to go big.

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Fraser Fir
If you’re in need of a tree that will stand tough while being transported and dragged around, the Fraser Fir might be the tree for you. Fairly similar to the Balsam Fir, this durable tree is usually found in the 6 to 7 foot range that makes it easy for most people to throw the star on top, has a bluish tint to its dark green needles and sturdy branches that will be able to hold up most of the heavier ornaments you need to put on the tree.

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Scotch Pine
While it might not have the sweet Christmas scent that the Douglas, Fraser or Balsam Firs might, the Scotch Pine was literally made for Christmas. It’s the most commercial Christmas tree, with brighter coat of needles than the typically bluish firs. The Scotch Pine is also known for its durability, easily surviving throughout the holidays, capable of withstanding dry spells and rarely shedding its needles to save time on maintenance.

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Artificial Options
Christmas traditionalists scoff at the rising popularity of artificial trees, but the truth is that they’re much more practical than real firs and pines. Families across the country delight in how much money can be saved by using the same artificial tree year after year, sigh in relief at avoiding another holiday shopping session and rave about not having to deal with all the watering and needle cleanup that can occur on a daily basis.

What kind of Christmas tree does your family prefer? Comment below to share your own tips and tricks…

4 Things You Can Do with Your Christmas Tree

Christmas-TreeChristmas is over and it’s just about time to take down the holiday decorations — including the tree. It takes about ten years to grow a Christmas tree and it seems wasteful to just leave it in the alley. There are things you can do with your tree so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Here are 4 things you can do with your Christmas tree now that Christmas is over.

Scents Christmas trees have a fabulous natural fragrance and it can fill your home well beyond Christmas. You can put the needles in sachet bags and scatter them around the house or simmer a few small branches in water with a cinnamon stick for potpourri.

MulchRecycle Many communities support Christmas tree recycling. There are drop-off centers who will take your tree off your hands — some cities even have curbside pick-up. The trees will likely be chipped into mulch to cover hiking trails and park paths.

Return it to Nature Trees are a natural habitat for all sorts of wildlife when they’re alive — and they can be a habitat even after they’ve been cut. Prop it up in your backyard for birds and squirrels to use temporarily. If you have a pond or a friend with a pond, you can create a semi-permanent habitat for fish. You have to anchor the tree and fully submerge it in the water, but it’s an excellent way to return your tree to nature.

Pine-NeedlesGardening If you have a garden, remove the branches of your tree to created a natural cover for your vegetable and flower beds. The pine needles will help the ground stay moist. If you have narrow but sturdy branches, you can save these for the spring to make a trellis for a vertical garden or stakes for plants. Evergreen stakes work to give indoor plants support as as well.

Those Christmas trees can’t stay up forever, but you can make use of them long after the holidays are over without tossing them in the alley. Remember that they’re too wet to burn and can be hazardous if you try to burn them in your fireplace and, even if you don’t want to re-purpose your tree, your community may environmentally-friendly ways to recycle it for you.

5 Things You Need to Know About Cutting Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas-TreeThanksgiving is this week, but the festivities are just beginning! After the big meal on Thursday, get your Christmas act in gear, starting with the Christmas tree. Artificial trees are great — no mess and easy storage — but if you want a full-family-Christmas-experience, you can go a step further than shopping for a tree on a lot: you can cut one down yourself. Here are 5 things you need to know about cutting down your own Christmas tree.

Dress Appropriately Christmas Tree farms are out in the middle of the country which means you’ll be out in the cold while you hunt for the right tree, cut it down and pack it on to your car. This could take you a few hours so remember to dress for cold weather! Wear a heavy coat, outdoor shoes, a hat, and good gloves for handling a tree. A fleece jacket and knit mittens aren’t going to cut it.

Use a Saw When you think of cutting down a tree like they did way-back-when, chopping it down with an ax is a logical way to think about taking it down, but it’s not practical. It’s messy, it will take a long time for someone who’s never cut down a tree before and it can be exhausting. Bring a chainsaw or a handsaw with you. Some farms don’t allow chainsaws (the fastest, neatest way to cut a tree down), so call or email ahead to make sure you’re bringing the right saw.

Christmas-TreePacking Equipment Bring plenty of rope, twine or bungee cords to secure your tree to your car. If you’re driving a long way out to select your Christmas tree, you’ll be driving a long way back and you want your tree to be tied down tightly as you’re cruising down the interstate. If you have a tarp, wrapping your tree up will help protect your tree from drying wind and protect your car from getting scratched.

Know the Size You Need When you look for your tree, don’t guess-timate the height of your ceilings. A towering tree in your living room won’t look very big against a blue sky. Make sure you have the right size for your house — it will save you time, energy and the headache of having to adjust the size of the tree once you get home and it won’t have to become part of your outdoor holiday decor.

Christmas-TreeShake it Off If the Christmas tree farm you go to offers a shaking service, take advantage of it. A good shake gets rid of more than loose needles — it gets rid of critters, too. Farm mice won’t mind trading their tree house for your house — if you let them.

Cutting down your own Christmas tree is a big project. If you have the time and the energy, the experience will be worth it and it will make your holiday that much more memorable. Once you get it standing and decorated, you’ll want to keep it up well into the next year!