You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...but do you recall the most infamous holiday disasters of all?

By Amy Streifel
Last Christmas I tried my hand at a real Christmas tree. I knew nothing about caring for them and always wanted to try having one. How hard can it be? Turns out its easier said than done, at least for me. I usually like no maintenance and easy. I knew the risks of having a real tree, such as a fire if its not properly watered. The first week, my tree looked great. I was very vigilant on making sure the lights were turned off when we weren't there. I watered it every day without fail, but by the second week, I was over the maintenance. I ‘forgot’ to water the second week, when in reality I was testing my theory that I really didn't need to every day. By the third week my tree was still alive, but turning brown. At this point I was scared to even turn the Christmas lights on. By the fourth week, I had my artificial tree back up. Turns out real trees are not my thing. They are beautiful and I commend people who have them, but I did not have the patience. I told my children we were doing a fun little experiment when they questioned what I was doing.
Christmas tree fires are more common then you think. It can take only a matter of minutes before noxious smoke and scorching heat fill the entire room. Christmas trees are a powerful fuel source, especially when dry. The tree gives off a lot of heat energy. A blazing tree can give off as much heat as forty thousand 100-watt light bulbs. There are an estimated average of 170 home fires caused by Christmas trees every year. Most homeowners insurance policies cover fire in and around your home, including a Christmas tree fire. Real trees do not have to be scary. If you pick a fresh one, make the sure the placement is away from heat sources and water it properly there is no reason not to have one. I just may give one a try again in the future..but I'm still keeping my artificial close by.