[The following post is sponsored by Kidde]
Christmas is such a happy time for me. One of my favorite memories from growing up is helping my grandmother put up her tree each year. It was a fake monstrosity that we would drag downstairs in an ancient, falling-apart box, and then we’d stick each branch into the metal “trunk.” Once all of the branches were in place, my grandmother would stand back and direct us how to bend them to cover up the holes. This was the 70s. Back then I didn’t know anybody who had a real tree – I thought everybody had to bend their branches into place!
Bringing this year’s Christmas Tree home
My sisters and I usually spent Christmas Eve and morning with my grandmother, so in the beginning my parents didn’t bother getting a tree. But as we got older we started decorating both houses, and my dad always got a real tree. And I learned from him how important it was to keep a real tree properly hydrated. It wasn’t just to keep it looking good, it was to help keep it from catching fire! Dry trees are a huge safety hazard.
Omer filling up the tree stand’s water reservoir
Now that I’m a grown-up with my own house, I have my own tree to keep safe. I check it and add water every day, and if we’re going out of town for a couple of days I make sure the reservoir is filled right up to the top. New this year is the fire extinguisher I’ve stashed a few feet from the tree. Sure, I have one on the counter in the kitchen just a few steps away in the other direction, but what if the tree catches fire and blocks me from getting into the kitchen? Now there’s an extinguisher on both sides.
· Make sure your tree doesn’t block any exits
· Don’t position your tree near a heat source like fireplaces and radiators. Heated rooms can dry a tree out quickly.
· Don’t overload electrical outlets with cords. Don’t run cords under a rug.
· Always turn off the Christmas tree lights before leaving your house or going to bed
· Never ever leave burning candles unattended, and keep them far away from the tree
· Know your tree’s expiration date. After about four weeks, it will stop absorbing water and dry out, and will need to be properly discarded or recycled.
Christmas is a special time, and I always want it filled with happy memories, not tragedy.