As I said earlier, I LURV a real Christmas tree. If there are no allergies to battle in your house, then give mother nature a chance.
At first I was worried about the branches supporting the weight of my ornaments. Now, I think that I have the hang of it: look for good, thick branches. So far, no problems.
Here was another thing that I didn't know what to do when getting a real tree: How to stand it up??? At first I was ok spending $35 for a tree, but I didn't want to spend more money on a new stand. Enter: Anthropologie window displays. A few years ago, they had tons and tons of Christmas trees in their windows that were sitting in big buckets filled with rocks.
That's what I've done. It's taken 2 years to get my form down, but I think I've got it. I put a small bucket in a bigger pot and I fill both of them up with rocks that we bought at Lowe's for less than $5.
(It get's a little messy, but that's what shot-vacs (or is it shop-vacs) are for, right? )
Then come the ornaments. I LURV ornaments. So much so, that I had FIVE HUGE TUBS full of them. That is way too much for one tree! I've slimmed things down to 2 tubs (btw...I love the word "tub." It's so American, especially because we store stuff in tubs and eat stuff out of tubs. Outside of the states, I think that people bathe in them. Crazy, right?)
Currently, we have tried to keep our favorite ones that are a combination of: