How to Get the Christmas Tree Back in the Box
When you buy a christmas tree, the box is perfect. It is not bulging, it is not torn. You can tell that the manufacturer did not have to stuff the tree in the box then sit on the box to get it to close. You get the tree home and it slides right out of the box. It goes together so nice and smoothly. This is great, you think...
Then it comes time to get it down. The branches won't fold in, the pieces feel like they have been welded together. You can't remember where the pieces separate. The tree will not un-fluff. The box must have shrunk because there is just no way that this tree is going in that box. Impossible! My friend Brandie and I came up with the reason that this happens. The manufacturer must use a girdle on the trees that they do not include in the purchase. Or they have a vacuum machine for the box and tree problem. Or maybe its like that machine that sucks the air out of packaging so that meat can last longer in your freezer.
Last year, I decided to try some way to avoid it. It didn't work out great but I dragged the naked tree (since I took off all the holiday dressings) out into the garage. It stood there completely assembled in all of its fluffy glory all year long. I actually didn't mind it except that getting it out there was just as much trouble as fighting the box. First of all, the tree is heavy. It is not an easy thing to move. The fluff obstructed my line of site so I did crash into stuff on the way to the garage. My tree was fatter than I thought. The door was to small. I had to push, shove, climb, & pull to get it through 2 doors. Here is my Christmas gift to you: a good visual, I battled this over 6 foot tree in my barely 5 foot 2 inch, barely 100 pound body. There were small injuries to both me and the tree. I had scratches on my hands and many little pine needles gave their life for the cause. Finally, we get threw the door to the garage and we fall over on top of each other before we get to the spot that the tree will own for the year. It was actually not in the way or anything for the year which was a good thing. I did have to relive the story in reverse order to get it back in the house this year.
This year I started thinking about some effective, anti tree fluff procedures. It is really important for me to get that big fat tree into that little skinny box this year. There are great products out there, but I am on a budget and wanted to test myself. Could I find a solution using some of the stuff I don't use in this house? So, my mind starts working. I imagine myself jumping on the tree and attacking it with string. I envisioned a mummy. Then I looked around, no string. Ok, well lets keep thinking. Aha, I have a bunch of old t-shirts in the garage. They were my husbands throw away t-shirts. We used to recycle them about once a year. I had intended to cut them into rags, one day. My mission was to tie down the fluff. This was not the most convenient thing to do in terms of time, but it really worked. It took longer, but was much easier on me then my past wrestling attempts. I used 2 old t-shirts cut into different sized strips. I grabbed a limb, tied a strip, and moved on. The t-shirt was surprisingly gentle on the tree. I think I lost less needles putting it away this way than any other way before which is great. I want to keep the tree as long as possible after all. I love the Charlie Brown christmas tree, but I don't want to turn my tree into it. Once everything was tied up, I did have to wrestle with the tree. I forgot where the tree separates again. So I lifted and jiggled. Nothing happened. I yanked and tugged. Nothing happened. I flipped it upside down and started jumping up and down to create more force. It took a while but finally the tree came apart. After all of that, I am happy to say that it slid into the box and closed up pretty easily, except that I don't have tape. Am I suggesting that you do all of this, not really. I mean, I had fun. I like grappling. Just sharing my accomplishment. Box 0, Me 1... woo hoo!
- Use soft cloth strips. Use old t-shirts, bed sheets, etc or buy soft, smooth, cheap, thin materials.
- Gently wrap each branch cluster tightly with cloth and tie. Wrapping it will close the stems, no need to 'de-fluff'. Makes things faster for you.
- Take apart, unplug, and place in box. Done.
Nov. 2012 - An Update.
Getting the tree back in the box last season really paid off since I had to move. The tree made it safe and snug into the new place. The best part of this was how easy it was to take the tree back out of the box. It really was a breeze and it gets even better. An amazing, unexpected side effect to this method was that it actually made set up a lot easier. Once again, I am losing a lot less needles compared to past years. I would be tempting to say that I lost almost none. I think I saw maybe 5 - 10 little needles. I think I lost more the first time I took it out after buying it. Less needles = less clean up... woo hoo! Plus the tree will last longer! I know you probably can't tell, but I am sporting my accomplishment kool-aid smile along with the weird 'master plan' giggle... hehehehe! The branches were also easier to fluff up because they sprang out when you untied them. The best part... I could see all the wiring and didn't have to hunt for them to plug the tree in. AWESOME!
The box is good for people with limited space. Its shape and size makes it easy to stand up and tuck in a corner. Some people find wrestling it into an attic storage easier in a box. For those of you that don't want to keep the box or de-fluff, I recommend getting a cheap Christmas tree bag. You can just take the tree apart and put it in the bag. Thanks to my shed, I was able to move to this. I lay it on top of the tubs that hold my ornaments. There is usually room for garlands and small wreaths or wrapped lights. The cons are you would need the space for it. It doesn't keep a shape, carrying it is cumbersome because it flops all over you. The material is cheap and will tear is you drag it so lifting is a must. It won't stand vertically. Definitely testosterone friendly, many of my male friends have it.