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Helpful holiday hints
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It’s hard to believe another year has passed and Christmas will soon be here. 

The following are a few suggestions that may help you during the holiday season.


• Wreaths made from cut greenery will last much longer if kept cold, so plan to use them outdoors. Bring them inside for short periods on special occasions.


• To prolong the life of a flowering poinsettia, keep it evenly moist and protect it from being chilled or subjected to drafts. Keep it in full sunlight between 65-72 degrees.


• The Christmas cactus will be coming into bloom.


Reduce watering to prolong the blooming period. Keep in full sun at 70 degrees.


• The most important thing to remember is that real trees need water just like a fresh bouquet of flowers.


• Make a fresh cut across the base of the trunk, 1/4 inch up from the original cut. 


When a tree is first cut a seal of sap occurs naturally over its stump, which keeps moisture in the tree.


It’s important to break that seal to allow the tree to take up water needed to keep it fresh throughout the holidays.


• Until you are ready to decorate, keep your tree outdoors, standing in a bucket of water and protected from the wind and sun. This will help the tree retain its moisture.


• Position your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators and television sets.


• Test your light cords and connections before hanging them on the tree to make sure they are in good working condition, i.e. without cracked insulation or broken sockets, and all the sockets are filled.


Don’t forget to unplug the lights when you go to bed or leave home.


• Remember to recycle your tree. A Christmas tree is biodegradable.


Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.