How to Choose the Perfect Artificial Christmas Tree and Christmas Decorations

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Today the majority of American homes are decorated with artificial Christmas trees. A surprisingly wide variety of sizes and "species" is available, with pre-lit Christmas trees and pre-decorated Christmas trees becoming increasingly popular. For most consumers the question is not "do we buy an artificial Christmas tree?" The question is, ''which artificial Christmas tree is the right tree for me?"

With the advent of artificial Christmas trees in a myriad of sizes and styles, decorating for the holidays has evolved into an often intimidating task. Is there a straightforward approach to choosing the perfect artificial Christmas tree? Yes, according to Diane Ladley of collectiblestoday.com, a popular internet shopping site offering premium-quality artificial Christmas trees from Roman, Inc. "First and foremost," says Ladley, "consider safety and quality. Second, decide upon a theme for your Christmas decor, and make your Christmas tree the centerpiece."

In today's market, Christmas trees from reputable manufacturers will have a number of safety features. Flame resistant components are a must and, in the case of pre-lit Christmas trees, UL® approval is mandatory.

High-quality construction and ease of use are also important. Foliage should be crafted of fade and crush resistant materials. The tree should separate into easy-to-handle, easy-to-store sections, and come with a sturdy base. One person should be able to assemble the tree with ease. Premium manufacturers like Roman, Inc. produce Christmas trees with branches made of heavy-gauge wire and dense, well-balanced foliage with many tips. Even a relatively small tree should have hundreds of tips - the 4.5' Tiffany style offered at collectiblestoday.com boasts 586! These are the types of trees preferred by professional decorators, now readily available to the average consumer at reasonable prices. All the artificial Christmas trees available at collectiblestoday.com are pre-lit, and for good reason. It takes the average person hours of frustrating effort to create a lighted Christmas tree; pre-lit Christmas trees are hand-strung at the manufacturer, with nearly invisible wires and extraordinarily dense light coverage - up to thousands of bulbs on taller trees.

"After that," comments Ms. Ladley, "the fun begins!" She advises consumers to base their Christmas décor on the style of their home or furniture, or choose a theme to decorate the Christmas tree to express their taste and passion. Crazy about Thomas Kinkade? Create a Thomas Kinkade Christmas tree. Longing for the tree of your childhood? Create a retro tree with Christopher Radko blown-glass Christmas ornaments and bubble lights.

Today's artificial Christmas trees represent an astonishing array of lifelike "species." In a traditional decor, where the emphasis is on an welcoming atmosphere, Roman, Inc.'s classic pre-lit Douglas Fir Christmas tree is a perennial favorite. Available in heights from 4.5' to 8.5', this lighted Christmas tree comes with clear or multi-colored lights. Its natural medium green foliage has as many as 2,000 branch tips on the tallest models! Ideal for the nostalgic Radko ornament line, the Douglas Fir also suits popular family-oriented Christmas tree ornaments like beloved pet ornaments, Charming Tails® mice ornaments, and Disney character ornaments. The Douglas Fir also provides a sturdy showcase for holiday decorations reflecting favorite family hobbies – Harley Davidson ornaments or sports themed ornaments, for instance.

If tastes run more toward the Victorian, consider the handsome Hawthorne Fir artificial Christmas tree from Roman, Inc. Providing a lush backdrop to elaborate "historic-style" decorations like the Thomas Kinkade ornaments, the Hawthorne Fir is available in 6.5', 7.5', and 8.5' heights, and is pre-lit with clear bulbs. A partially pre-decorated Christmas tree, it has clusters of deep red faux berries and a hint of "snow" on the branch tips, creating a timeless ambiance perfectly suited to Kinkade's Old World Santa ornaments and Old World Victorian Christmas ornaments.

Sophisticated and elegant light effects are easy to achieve with Roman, Inc.'s regal Tiffany Christmas tree. Available in 4.5', 6.5', and 7.5' heights, the Tiffany has mixed medium and dark green foliage and hundreds to thousands of realistic tips of varying lengths. Try using the Bradford Editions' Era of Louis Comfort Tiffany ornaments, or faceted crystal ornaments, like Waterford Crystal's Cross ornaments. Either will catch and reflect the hundreds of clear or multi-colored lights that illuminate the Tiffany tree and create a breathtaking shimmering effect.

For those whose time or space is limited, Bradford Editions offers a wide selection of pre-lit, pre-decorated tabletop Christmas trees based on the artwork and designs of Thomas Kinkade, Terry Redlin, Norman Rockwell, Christopher Radko, Precious Moments® and more. They also offer tabletop Christmas trees devoted to popular Major League Baseball® and NFL® teams, perfect for a bedroom, den, or dorm room. There's even a pre-decorated The Simpsons™ tabletop Christmas tree that lights up!

Ms. Ladley reminds the shopper that collectiblestoday.com also offers pre-lit Christmas wreaths and Christmas garlands in styles complimentary to their artificial Christmas trees. These high-quality accents are as easy to use as their companion trees, and provide the finishing touches to any Christmas decor.

Collectibles Today is the premier Internet shopping site for unique, quality collectibles and giftware from the finest companies worldwide, offering Collecting Expertise, Excellence and Excitement for collectors as they pursue their passion for collecting. Collectibles Today is the online retail channel of The Bradford Exchange and its affiliated companies, the leading international provider of fine limited-edition collectibles.

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Penny Powell
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