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The Clean-zine, Issue #12 - Keeping Holiday Greenery Fresh - and Green
December 01, 2013


1. Keeping Holiday Greenery Fresh - and Green

2. December Housecleaning Checklist

3. TLC for Your Cut Christmas Tree

Keeping Holiday Greenery Fresh - and Green

Fantasy: Deck the halls with boughs of holly...

Reality: Anyone who has ever tried decking anything with holly has found out that holly will dry to a crisp indoors in a day or two if you don't stick its little boughs in floral foam.

Fantasy: A website or magazine picture showing a roaring fire with lush, fresh garlands draped from the mantel.

Reality: That scene is the 'before' picture. The website or magazine never shows the 'after' picture with toasted garlands dripping with brown, dried-out needles.

We all want the old-fashioned kind of Christmas we read about in books. The kind with greenery draped down banisters and across mantels. The kind with huge trees bedecked with candles. The kind with fresh wreaths and mistletoe and kissing balls and...

What we forget is that these idealized Christmases occurred long ago - before central heat.

In modern times (when we don't have to wear gloves indoors), the decorating scheme must undergo a little change. We can still deck our halls, we just need to choose the right greenery and know how to maintain it.

Read the full article on Keeping Holiday Greenery Fresh here..

December Housecleaning Checklist

December Home Checklist: 10 things to include in your home cleaning and preventative maintenance program this month to keep your home well-maintained.

1. Get in the Spirit. Hang exterior lights and decorations. Make sure Rudolph’s nose still shines and Santa still waves.

2. Deck the Halls. Put up greenery and the tree. (Soak greenery 24 hours before putting up to help it last longer.)

3. Finishing Touches. Take out ornaments and decorations and carefully dust away a year's worth of debris. Check light strands for duds and replace with fresh bulbs.

4. Ornament Yourself. Clean your jewelry so that you'll sparkle at parties, too.

5. Be Our Guest. Prepare guest rooms for your holiday visitors. Make sure you create an inviting, welcoming haven with everything your guests might need to enjoy the holidays.

6. Take Time for Touch-Ups. Clean front-and-center interior surfaces to ensure they sparkle - along with you - this holiday season.

Be sure to include kitchen counters, appliances, and the all-important guest bathroom on your prepping-for-the-holidays to-do list. And plan to check it twice before guests arrive.

Continue reading the December Home Checklist here.

TLC For Your Cut Christmas Tree

When should you buy your Christmas tree? Wait until two weeks before Christmas to get the tree if you possibly can.

If you can't, well, keep the vacuum cleaner handy.

Which type of Christmas tree lasts longer? Most species of trees hold up well if you buy them fresh, so just choose what you like.

Follow these steps to make a healthy, economical choice:

1. Check It Out: The tree shouldn't look wilted or have brown needles.

2. Bend the Needles: If the tree is fresh, the needles will bend instead of break.

3. Shake the Tree: It's natural for some needles to fall, but not too many.

4. Measure: Get a tree that's at least a foot shorter than the ceiling that will eventually be above it. Remember that the stand will add height. And since you pay by the foot, you don't want to trim that extra off at home.

5. Examine the Trunk: The trunk should be straight so that it will fit in the stand. Also, the diameter of the trunk should fit easily into the tree stand. If you have to whittle away bark to make it fit, the tree is just going to dry out even sooner.

Care: Once you'll selected your tree, as the attendant to cut one inch off the base at the lot. A fresh cut enables the tree to take up water.

As soon as you get home, place the tree in a pail of water because the sap will seal the pores again in four to six hours.

Read the full TLC for Christmas Trees article here.

Happy holidays!

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