There’s nothing quite like a real fir tree to make the seasonal spirit flow, and choosing it is all part of the fun. But before you go rocking around the Christmas tree, there’s the small matter of getting it home.
Work out the space you’re working with, so you don’t get drawn into buying a tree that stands as much chance of fitting in your car as Santa into a size small.
You’ve got four options: squeezing it into the boot of your car, laying flat a back passenger seat, laying flat a back and front passenger seat and - for those with the very highest of ceilings and a flare for the dramatic - strapping it to your roof rack (don’t try this if you don’t have a roof rack, the tree will slide everywhere and be a serious safety hazard).
The size of tree you choose will also depend on those other key measurements - the space you have at home and how much you want to spend. Figure this all out in advance, so you can head straight to that section to start browsing.
Once you know where the tree is going, prepare your car for this Christmas mission.
To avoid still picking up pine needles in April, lay a blanket or tarpaulin where the tree will go. When you get your tree home all you’ll need to do is shake out the floor covering and maybe have a quick vacuum.
(Most Christmas tree farms will send you on your way with your tree wrapped in netting. If this isn’t the case, you’ll also need an extra blanket and some ropes to wrap it yourself.)
Once you’ve had the required heated family discussion about which tree is best, it’s time to transport that beauty home.
If it’s going inside the car, wedge it in or tie it to the door handles so it won’t move in transit - particularly important if the length means it comes all the way up to the driver.
If you’re opting for transporting it on the roof, you’ll want to put the stump end at the front to stop wind damage as you drive. It’s also worth putting something reflective on the tail end, particularly if it overhangs the end of your car. Most importantly, don’t obscure the driver’s vision and secure it well using ropes or bungee cords.
Finally, take it slow - this isn’t the time to put a seasonal spin on your personal best.
Oh, and since it’s Christmas, here’s a bonus tip: if all that sounds like a lot of work, have a look online to see which local Christmas tree merchants are delivering this season. You might just find a friendly elf who will bring it straight to your door!