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An Energetic Christmas Story: Getting A Real Tree!


family carrying a christmas tree

The holiday spirit was in full force, bringing energy to the whole Eckert family – even enough to invite their cousins, the Erickson family, along on the trip to cut down a real Christmas tree. Everyone loaded up in trucks with Aunt Dye’s homemade cozy hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music the entire way there. And of course, they couldn’t forget to bring their kitten, REO, along for the ride! 

Once they arrived at the tree farm, everyone scattered to look for the best tree. After just minutes of searching, cousin Haco found the tallest one that would be perfect for the Eckert house. Knowing they needed to follow safe Christmas tree practices, they inspected the tree to make sure it was fresh and that green needles didn’t fall to the ground which could indicate it’s dying. After the safety check, Uncle Wise exclaimed, “I think this is the one!” They loaded up the tree with lots of laughter and drove home. 

As they got the tree inside the living room, they realized they hadn’t bought new Christmas lights in quite a few years. Some of their old lights didn’t work, and others got very hot to the touch. To lower electricity costs and keep everyone safe, Uncle Otto insisted on running to the store to get new LED lights. After all, they didn’t want the tree up in flames this holiday season! 

After decorating the tree as one big, happy family, they filled the tree base with a gallon of water and made a weekly list of who was in charge of watering the tree. This tall tree can take up to a gallon of water a day so it doesn’t dry out! They even put a gate around the tree, so REO doesn’t have too much fun with the ornaments. 

This holiday season, we encourage you to also make safe decisions when it comes to getting a real tree in your home. Follow the check list below: 

1. Make sure the Christmas tree looks fresh – you don’t want a dry tree in your home, as they can be more flammable.  

2. If the green needles easily fall off the tree, this could mean it’s drying out and dying. 

3. If you have old Christmas lights, consider new LED lights to lower your costs and risk of  

4. Have a system to keep your tree watered daily.  

5. If you have pets and/or small children, consider a boundary between them and the tree to eliminate the risk of it falling over. 

6. Place the tree at least three feet away from heating system registers and fireplaces.  

7. Enjoy your real tree with your family this holiday season! 

Looking to recycle your old Christmas lights? The City of East Lansing is accepting lights through January 12, 2024. Click here for more information. Eaton County is also accepting holiday lights through January 31, 2024 at the following locations: 

  • Charlotte Area Recycling Authority: 201 Hall St., Charlotte, MI 48813 

  • Delta Township Administration Building: 7710 W Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917 

  • Delta Township Recycling Center: 5717 Millett Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917 

  • Sunfield Recycling Center: 126 1st St., Sunfield, MI 48890