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The holidays are finally here. That’s right folks — no more singing Christmas carols in secret or lying about tearing up at the end of an early Home Alone showing  — you are now free to spread the cheer.

Several of our HGTV editors spent Thanksgiving weekend putting up their Christmas trees, so imagine our delight to return from break and see that headquarters was already in the spirit, too:

scripps hgtv christmas tree

The lobby at HGTV Headquarters is now home to a massive Christmas tree and festive holiday decorations. Keep up with what goes on behind the scenes by following HGTV on Instagram.

So while we’re all geared up for the holidays, I bet many of you haven’t put your Christmas tree up yet. Perhaps you’re waiting until this weekend (December 1st is Saturday!) to sort through the decorations; it might be your first Christmas in a new home; or maybe you’re just looking for something new. Whatever your situation is, we’ve created a guide to help you pick out the perfect Christmas tree to light up your home this season.

Artificial Trees
artificial tree
Artificial trees come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. You can get them with colored lights, white lights, no lights — you can even get a fiber optic Christmas tree!

Fake trees require minimal care and they last for years. When choosing your tree, first and foremost be sure to do some measuring. Don’t eyeball it; I’m embarrassed to say how many times my family has had to haul a tree back to the store after getting it home and realizing it touched the ceiling.* Width can also be an issue — if you don’t have a lot of space, a wider tree variety is going to take up a lot of room and look bulky.

Like everything else, when shopping for an artificial Christmas tree set a budget. Self-shaping limbs, blinking or singing lights and energy-efficient trees are all features that can quickly add up. If you’re still having trouble finding the artificial tree of your dreams, you can always try to narrow one down with this easy tree selector on Lowes’ website: Christmas Tree Selector

Live Trees
alberta spruce
There’s often something magical about a live tree that an artificial one just can’t replace. When I was little and still living in the Evergreen State, we used to get a “real” tree each year. I can still remember running up and down the rows of the tree farm, completely overwhelmed with excitement, the scent of pine and so many options. Of course, usually by the time I was done gaping, my parents had already selected the tree we were going to get and hoisted it onto the car.

If you’re up to the challenge of taking care of one, a live tree can be an authentic addition to your Christmas decor. The area you live in (known as the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones) often plays a factor in what type of tree is right for you, so be sure to check to see what zone you live in or ask a grower in your city.

Real trees can dry out easily, so be careful not to buy your tree too early and make sure to water it regularly. A dry tree can quickly become a fire hazard, especially if it’s covered in strands of lights and other flammable objects. Don’t put your Christmas tree near an open heat source, and once the holidays are over, find a place to recycle your tree.

Happy trimming!

*My family has assumed a tree would fit in our home only to find that it was at least 4 times too big; in our most recent blunder, the tree was so big we couldn’t even get the top piece on. Always measure.

How are you decorating your tree this year? Once yours is up, visit the links below to get beautiful Christmas tree decorating ideas no matter your style:
Trim Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro
15 Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas
Natural Christmas Tree Decorations
8 Festive Christmas Tree Themes
Decorating Ideas for Mobile Christmas Trees

5 Responses

  1. Jane Y. says:

    The tree and decorations at headquarters are beautiful.

  2. RSS says:

    Nothing smells better than a real Christmas tree.

  3. Linda C. says:

    I always enjoy your blogs Jessica. You always give very useful information. Thank you.

  4. [...] in the comments and visit the links below for more on keeping safe throughout the holidays:  Choose and Upkeep Your Christmas Tree Holiday Energy-Efficiency Tips Fireplace Maintenance and Safety  DIY Network: Outdoor Holiday [...]

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Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on...

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