“Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree”was playing on the radio as my family pulled out of the Christmas tree farm.  We had found a beautiful 9 ft tree that was draping over the top of my car.  However, that was the only “good, old-fashion family Christmas” moment of the day.  My husband & I forgot to bring a chain saw, so my husband had to use a dull saw (that would barely cut a pencil) to chop down our huge tree.  My daughter cried when the tree hit the ground “we killed it” and proceeded to cry for 5 minutes!  And we must have picked the tree farthest from the parking lot.  This made realize I really need to hit the gym again.  All the walking really got the kids whining.   While selecting and chopping down a live Christmas tree is a wonderful holiday tradition, it always turns into such a Griswold family experience for myself.  Which got me thinking about the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie, and holiday disasters.

While the disasters in the movie are funny, occurring in real life would be no laughing matter.  The insurance agent in me begins to think about claims and making sure there is coverage on homeowners insurance policies.   Did you know that  300 Christmas trees per year in the US catch on fire?   According to the US Government, “Accidents related to Christmas holiday decorations lead to over 12,500 injuries and 150 deaths every year.”

Here are some tips to help keep you safe while decorating this holiday season:

• Make sure to buy a fresh tree.  Don’t buy a dry & dying one.  Dry trees are more likely to catch on fire.  If it is brown and needles are dropping off then it is dry.
• Once you have a fresh tree then you need to keep it from drying out.  Keep the tree well-watered.
• Keep your tree at least 3 feet from fireplaces, furnaces, radiators and other sources of heat
• Use only non-combustible or flame resistant materials to trim the tree
• Never use lighted candles 

Don’t let a preventable accident take the enjoyment out of your holidays!  Now is a good time to set a review with your agent to make sure your homeowners insurance policy would cover a holiday disaster.  Also, click here now to see our page on homeowners insurance,  http://www.aioinc.us/research-center/home-insurance  If the worst should happen, check out my blog on if you do have a claim http://www.aioinc.us/blog/categoryid/1261    On a side note, next year we will be picking an already cut tree.