Monday, October 31, 2011

Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree: Part One

Defining Perfection
Everyone has their own idea of the Perfect Christmas Tree. I’m sure my idea is different than yours and both of our ideals are different from the professional Christmas tree grower.
Perfection comes in all sizes, shapes,colors and scents. Some of us want the Christmas tree of our childhood memories. The perfect Christmas tree was the center of our holiday traditions.  Some of us have matured and we want that sparkly tree that we saw on Martha Stewart or in Southern Living magazine. Some of us are simple trying to forget the trees of Christmases past.

So take a few moments and define your version of The Perfect Christmas Tree for you and your family. Here are some things to consider:
  • Height
  • Width
  • Fullness
  • Length of needles
  • Color
  • Scent
Remember: You will pay for perfection. A perfect Christmas tree that is perfectly fresh and perfectly symmetrical along with a perfectly straight trunk and perfect all the way around is going to cost you big time. And I don’t know if a "perfect" Christmas trees really exists. 

In your pursuit of picking the perfect Christmas tree consider where you might be willing to compromise. If your tree is going into a corner or against a wall does it really need to be perfect all the way around? Can I tell you how many times we’ve “turned the bare spot to the wall” -- every year since 1958. Nobody noticed and in the end, nobody cared. In my experience that one bare spot that you didn’t see at the lot will end up being the perfect place for that over-sized ornament you never know what to do with.
Probably the one characteristic to stand strong on is the shape of the trunk. Granted, no one will see it but the actual installing of the tree in the stand sets the mood for the whole Christmas tree trimming experience and no one wants that job to take 5 hours. On a Sunday. With all your kids sitting patiently. With boxes of breakable ornaments on their laps. And that very special one that they spent all week making at school.

In retrospect, the trunk doesn’t even have to be that perfect. Just make sure that the bottom foot of the tree trunk – the part going in the stand – is as straight and as true as possible. And make sure that that perfectly straight tree trunk will fit inside your tree stand. If your tree stand is in two parts, why not take the cup part with you and try it on for size.

And it won’t hurt to remind your honey that you when you were picking out the perfect Christmas tree, you sacrificed the one you really wanted in order to get a straight trunk for him.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The 2011 Christmas Tree Stand Review: Part Seven

   Phone:  800-589-7058

In order to do my very best for The 2011 Christmas Tree Stand Review, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure both of these stands out.  One of them had far better reviews than the other.  So I will pass on what I learned and let you decide.

From what I can tell, both are manufactured by Lewis Tools.  They both are round. They both have Christmas tree motifs on the side.  But they are packaged differently and their fastening system, while similar is still different.

If you go to their website, you can click on a video that introduces to Dan Wright, the President of Lewis Tools, and The Santa's Last Stand Christmas Tree Stand.  For you manufacturing geeks (and I count myself amongst you), here's a clip on how the Santa's Last Stand is made:

Santa's Last Stand (the one with the solid Christmas tree motif) comes in two sizes and they weigh approximately six pounds.  The base for Santa's Last Stand is 16" across and has three T-bolts for tightening the tree trunk into the stand.  The smaller of the two is for trees up to seven feet tall, and the larger is for trees up to 10 feet.  Both of the two Santa's Last Stands can accommodate a tree trunk up to 7" in diameter.  The reviews that I did find were mixed in with the reviews for THE OTHER one, Santa's Last Christmas Tree Stand. So I can't say that I'm 100% sure that the reviewers were NOT as confused as I was.

It appears that Santa's Last Christmas Tree Stand is made for Christmas trees taller than 10 feet. The base is one inch wider across -- 22.  It weighs almost twice as much at 15 pounds.  This large Christmas tree stand is made of steel and has a lifetime guarantee.  There are also 4 T-bolts to attach to the tree trunk, not just the three as found on Santa's Last Stand.
I emailed Lewis Tools to find out what the water capacity is for all the tree stands, but never heard back from them, so I had to do my own deducing.  Since the cups are 7"wide and 8" deep, it seems like there wouldn't be much room left over for water.  I do NOT want to water a tree 4-6 times a day for a month.  It would make it difficult to keep a tree fresh for sure.  On the other hand, I really, really love the looks of both Santa's Last Stand and Santa's Last Christmas Tree Stand.

Both of these Christmas tree stands are marketed under both names, and can be found at a variety of Internet sites as well as retailers across the United States.