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During a nighttime holiday drive through various neighborhoods, it is not unusual to see a fully decorated and lit Christmas tree displayed prominently in a large picture window, along with the usual outdoor lighting displays. Other homeowners, however, may choose to place their trees in a less visible corner of their living rooms, or use a smaller artificial tree on a table stand to save space. There is no one correct answer to where you should put your Christmas tree, but there are a number of things to consider beforehand.
A live Christmas tree often has a few needs that affect where it can be placed. If it is relatively large, it may need more support than a tree stand alone can provide. In order to prevent accidental toppling, you may have to attach some additional guide wires to the tree, along with installing support hooks into the wall studs. If you have a larger live tree and stability may be an issue, you'll most likely want to place the tree in a corner of the living room and use the adjacent walls as your anchoring point.
A large artificial tree may prove to be more stable than an equivalent live Christmas tree, so you should have a few more options on its placement. If you have a large picture window facing the street, a well-lit artificial or very stable live tree should fit nicely. Be sure you have a sufficient number of electrical outlets nearby to power the tree's lights. One important thing to keep in mind when displaying a Christmas tree in a large living room window is a certain loss of privacy. Be aware that passersby may be able to see more than the Christmas decorations under the right lighting conditions.
Many people who live in cramped quarters or apartments often choose a smaller artificial Christmas tree designed to fit on a table top. This has the advantage of portability, but stability and visibility may be a concern. Be sure the area designated for the display is large enough to accommodate the tree stand and tall enough for easier decorating and display. Since these smaller artificial trees can fit just about anywhere, you may want to consider the visual balance of a room. You could center a smaller tree in front of a non-working fireplace mantle, for example, and expand the decorations from that central focal point.
When placing a live Christmas tree, keep in mind that you will have to refill the stand with water and other nutrients periodically. Try not to select an area which would make this task prohibitively difficult. Some homeowners have been known to rig up a funnel and tube system which allows them to refill the tree stand reservoir without removing the tree skirt. You may also want to avoid placing a tree in a high traffic area or directly in front of an important light switch or fuse box.