By now, a good share of you have braved the cooler temperatures and traveled to your favorite Christmas tree hunting grounds. The important thing now is to maintain your tree, so that come Christmas morning your gifts are not buried in needles.

I am happy to report that centered perfectly in front of our living room window stands our six-foot, Ponderosa Pine, the symbol of my family's 2017 Christmas holiday. I wish I'd been there to witness the actual extraction, but instead I was in bed with the flu. My wife--along with a handful of her family members--headed to an area south of Burley Saturday morning, and by seven o'clock in the evening, our tree was safely mounted in our home.

We have always been early starters when it comes to getting our tree decorated, so it takes a group effort to ensure our new, prickly member of the family, survives the four weeks until New Years Day. Remember, your tree IS a living thing, not just something to hang your decades-old collection of porcelain figurines on.

Aside from the most important, and obvious life-sustaining force--that being water--I also uncovered some other tips from the good folks at The National Christmas Tree Association that might be helpful in keeping your forest friend healthy. Making sure your stand properly fits your tree, using lower-intensity lights, pulling the plug at bedtime and keeping your tree at a good distance from heat sources, are all vital things to remember, according to the site http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/All-About-Trees/Care-Tips.

And of course, keep an eye on "Whiskers" at all times, or he might suffer a fate similar to that of the Griswold's cat.