5 Ways to Care For Your Christmas Tree

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions, and sweeping Christmas tree photos are 100% my own.

5 ways to care for your Christmas tree, including our very favorite #EvergreenElf! He makes watering your Christmas tree a fun activity for the family. #ad

This is the year that makes me think we have outdone ourselves!

After years of getting huge trees, this was the first time we went to the tree farm, couldn’t find what we needed, called around to find giant trees, and then wound up getting the biggest Christmas tree we ever did get! 18+ feet of awesome.

This tree is special for a lot of reasons. Not only is it the tallest and also widest tree we’ve had, but this was the first year that putting it up was truly a family activity. With Des being five, we no longer have tiny children running afoot. The four of us chose the tree together, took it home together – to the surprised shock of everyone else on the road – and we also care for the tree as a family. While the kids can’t fully help with all aspects related to the tree, we have found one item that makes watering the Christmas tree a fun activity for the whole family. And YOU can have one too! Here are our five tips!

5 Ways to Care For Your Christmas Tree

1 – Choose a healthy Christmas tree. We got ours at a tree farm, and purchased it while it was still in the ground! Our freshly cut tree will last longer than one that’s been cut weeks ago and also shipped around first. As fresh as can be here!

2 – Location and planning. Clear a location for your new tree ahead of time – kept away from open flames or other heat sources which could dry it out. Maybe try a corner or other such place? Place your tree near an outlet, or use an extension cord that runs along the wall and can’t trip you. Cover the floor where your tree is going. Make sure your tree is straight. Grab a helper or two to put up the tree – one can hold it stable while the other fixes the base. Wait some time to decorate.

3 – Decorate your tree with safety in mind. Although this part is fun, it also helps us think about safety. First, we check each string of lights to ensure the bulbs are all working. We also inspect the cords and secure the connections. We place small and fragile ornaments out of reach from small guests and our cat, Junie! She loves to play where she shouldn’t.

4 – Make sure you choose a tree stand that will hold enough water for the size of your tree. For us, we needed a new one this year. You can measure the diameter of your tree trunk in inches, which is how many quarts of water it can hold.

5 – Get an Evergreen Elf! We LOVE ours! Evergreen Elf monitors your Christmas tree’s water level, and has a visual and audio alert to tell you when your Christmas tree needs water. Evergreen Elf talks, to my kids’ delight! We love it because it reduces the risk of Christmas tree fires. The kids love it because it’s fun, cute, and helpful. So much to love!

Evergreen Elf is a water monitor that will alert you by talking and flashing red when your tree is dry, and this saves you the hassle of climbing over presents and under branches to check the water level in your tree stand, when you don’t have to do so. It makes watering your Christmas tree a fun activity for the whole family. The kids are always on the lookout for us.

In fact, you can have one too! Grab one HERE and get 25% off with the code: SHUTTERBUGELF25. And I’m giving away one Evergreen Elf to a reader. Simply tell me your best tree safety tip in the comments. That’s it!

Good luck!

Scarlet Takes Manhattan, IV

You see, now I have “You Belong to the City” in my head. In fact, feel free to listen while you read!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have had a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. They started when she was in kindergarten and Des was two-years-old. They left while it was still dark and she wore her red, mini-me peacoat. The cuteness was overwhelming, and I waited up with bated breath to hear about their adventures. During the second year, I watched it all unfold with the Internet, and we all died of cuteness together.

Last year was Part III. That time they didn’t leave before dawn to arrive after dark. (well, dark is rather early, isn’t it?) Last year they stayed in a hotel in Times Square on the 16th floor or something like that. New tradition! #1 on her wish list? Jumping on the hotel bed. Big dreams, kid. Our adventures begin with Part 4 – and an evolution of cute coats Scarlet wore.

And at least the twenty-somethingth floor!

This year was an odd duck. I built a NJ trip based around photographing my friend’s newborn. Then, I could see Lindsay’s new squish again, play with Parker, see my little sister’s amazing son, Myles, go to Cliff’s ice cream (!!!), and go to my parent’s holiday party. Cassidy knew we were running out of time for his NYC trip, and the weather was supposed to be perfect on Monday, so he got an idea. He’d stay home. The three of us would go to NJ. Then we’d meet in upstate NY – and switch cars. He’d grab Scarlet and head to NYC, and I’d grab Des and head home. It all went according to plan!

And then the fun began.

In these cases, I like to let the pictures tell the stories. Des and I had a fairly quiet ride home, although he had to pee badly. We got Friendly’s drive-thru (a new one for us) and then he went to bed on time and I watched a Hallmark movie, or seven. I took him to school the next morning and went to work. (at home) I think I understood what it might be like to be a single parent with one kid. You’re sort of.. more in sync than otherwise? Or maybe less! I honestly don’t have a clue but it was fun.

Not as much fun as THIS:

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

VIDEO!

These are fun!!

Christmas is so magical in NYC!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Museum of Natural History!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Wait for it..

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

And yes, her Madeline/Yes, Virginia/Sgt. Pepper coat kills me. And I bought it!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity..3?

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

WINDOWS!

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF

**All photos taken by Cassidy, or by random, friendly strangers in NYC.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When it comes to belonging…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

Which city has your heart? I’m partial to San Francisco, Toronto, Anchorage, and many more.

As you may remember, Scarlet and Cassidy have a tradition of playing hooky on a weekday in December and taking Manhattan. Finish the Sentence Friday #FTSF