Thursday, November 3, 2011

The 2011 Christmas Tree Stand Review: Part One

A Christmas Tree Stand Review Overview

The process of "putting up the Christmas tree" has probably caused more marital fights, stress and hurt feelings than every other part of the holiday season combined.  It was during our first Christmas as newly weds back in 1977 that I realized that my handsome, grown up, ex-Navy Seal, strong, calm, handy husband was an -- ummmm -- Christmas tree erection challenged.  I learned that he had no idea what "a little to the left" meant, nor was he able to take instruction OR construction criticism.  I learned that "good enough" is not anywhere near to being acceptable. 

As I sat on the couch and watched him manhandle the Christmas tree, I realized that maybe I would have to let go of the antique Christmas tree stand that had held all my childhood Christmas trees and replace it with something newer, something better.  Which we did -- he did -- in 2009.

A word about Christmas Tree Stands:
While most folks head for the stores the day after Thanksgiving to start their Christmas shopping, most don't really think about the Christmas tree stand until right about the time they are getting ready to put up the tree.  If you wait until mid-December to purchase a new stand, there is a good chance you won't be finding one.  In large metropolitan areas, the best models of Christmas tree stands are sold out by the first week of December. 

The best time to buy a Christmas tree stand is right after Christmas, when the stores are dumping inventory just so they don't have to store it or look at it until next October.  We got our Santa's Last Stand at Home Depot for $10 ... in late February.  Of course these good deals will be last year's models, but I've found that most manufacturers do not overhaul their Christmas tree stand designs every year. 

If you're looking for a good deal, don't forget to check out the Craig's List in your area and also flea markets and garage sales as well as Ebay. 

While compiling research for writing my 2011 Christmas Tree Stand Review, I rated the stands by the following criteria:
  • Durability
  • Appearance
  • Cost
  • Availability
  • Ease of use
  • Water capacity
  • Size of tree that the stand can handle, both in height and diameter of the trunk
  • Warranty
  • Customer satisfaction
I've tried to find worthy Christmas tree stands to fit every budget as well as stands that are readily available across the United States. 

Prices for Christmas tree stands are starting to fluctuate as we get closer to the Christmas season.  I've done my best to keep the prices currant, but these could change daily. 

As I write this blog post, there seems to be several "Last Stand" Christmas tree stands:
  1. Bowling's Last Stand
  2. Santa's Last Stand
  3. Santa's Last Christmas Tree Stand
  4. Grinnen's Last Stand
The companies Jack Post and Great Tidings have several stands available not only on line but in retail stores across the country.  Some are really good, and some are really, really bad.  Make sure you get the right model number.  And if you're buying online, take a few minutes to read the reviews and ratings as well. They could save you some money and a ton of headaches.

And while we're on the subject of Christmas tree stands -- wouldn't a Christmas tree stand be a freakin' great wedding or anniversary gift?  I know!  Is it even possible to register for a Christmas tree stand?  Even if the young bridal couple doesn't think that far in advance, they will remember you and sing your praises every Christmas!

When choosing a Christmas tree stand, The National Christmas Tree Association recommends that your stand should be able to hold one quart of water for every one inch of tree diameter.

No matter what stand you chose, sticking the Christmas tree trunk in a large galvanized horse feed bucket, filled with rocks, then suspending the tree from the ceiling with fishing line and an eye hook is NEVER an acceptable alternative.  I'm just saying.

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