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November 28, 2022

Where Does the Christmas Tree Go?

Seems like a good thing to know – before you buy a new home. If you’re buying a home during the spring selling season, the holidays aren’t on most buyers’ minds. But since Thanksgiving has passed, many, including folks in our office have begun putting up their trees.

Christmas trees are a big deal this time of year. My daughter always insisted we shopped for the tree the day after thanksgiving. It always had to touch our high ceiling!

Our 1990-built house had a living room – which is where we put our Christmas tree. Naturally, the living room was directly in line with our glass front door, meaning you could see our lit Christmas tree at night from the street! Very festive.

So, I asked our HDM team and some close associates about their Christmas tree traditions and for pictures of their trees. Those in newer homes had the tree in their family room since they didn’t have a living room.

When I asked if their tree could be seen from the street, a couple replied, “Not the main Christmas tree but we have a second tree just for that reason.” Another replied, “My wife would have a Christmas tree in every room if I let her include one that could be seen from the street.” One of our colleagues puts his tree in his two-story foyer that can be seen from outside.

We also discovered that those with two trees had a fun tree and a “designer” tree.

The fun tree may be filled with kids ornaments over the years. But one fun tree had a name! Our Tobi Saunders has named her fun Christmas tree Diamond – and “she” is fabulous!

Our survey had a mix of real trees and artificial trees. The advantage of an artificial tree is you can keep it up much longer without fear of fire. Indeed, the Justin Bucy family put their tree up before Thanksgiving – including hanging the stocking. It also doesn’t shed pine needles all over the floor. One disadvantage of an artificial tree is its lack of evergreen fragrance and since smells are so closely tied to memories, this is a lost opportunity for nostalgia. Scented candles are somewhat of a substitute, but you really can’t beat the real thing. Another drawback to an artificial tree is finding a place to store it. One designer’s wish was a Christmas tree closet where he could keep their fully decorated Christmas tree and all he had to do was wheel it out. His wife, however, loves the tradition of decorating the tree with their children.

Last year we were traveling over the Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t purchase our tree until the following weekend. That turned out to be a big mistake as the Christmas tree lot was closing for the season. Though we ended up with a great deal on a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Hey – it’s not nothing!

Of course, this time of year, you can find Christmas trees at your doctor’s office, the grocery store (both for sale and decorated), the departments store, the post office, and many restaurants. The one place you’re unlikely to see a decorated Christmas tree is in a model home. Only a few private builders I spoke to will add a Christmas tree along with Hanukkah decorations. Another said they will have one in the design center and corporate office but not the model homes. Yet another admitted they add bows and twinkling lights but keep it neutral.

Are builders missing out on this powerful and festive symbol? Or is it too much of a hassle to put up a Christmas tree? I think potential buyers imagining their family gathered around a Christmas tree is a compelling reason to include a decorated tree – whether real or artificial. And if it is artificial, find some good evergreen fragrance to complete the sensory experience and trigger fond memories.

Do you see the value in decorating model homes during the holidays? From Valentine’s Day to the Fourth of July all the way through Christmas?

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This post was written by Housing Design Matters