● Make heading to the lot a family affair. Everybody should have a say in what type of tree to get.
● Look for fresh, bright needles that don’t come off under pressure. Gently tap the tree trunk on the ground. You should not see a shower of needles. A fresh pine scent is required, as is a rich green color.
● Keep your live tree in water so it will retain its moisture. Have the folks at the lot make a new cut to the base upon purchase.
● Buying a tree with a root bulb is a wonderful option — you can plant it in the yard before New Year’s Day!
Dear Heloise: My husband and I have endured years of "cover wars"! My solution is to make the bed with two sets of overlapping top sheets with a shared comforter. No more middle-of-the-night grumpy sheet retrievals!
"Z.Z.Z.," Dayton, Ohio
Dear Heloise: About this time each year, my large family circulates an email "wish list." We can coordinate who gets what gift and who will give what to whom. This prevents Grandma from getting 12 pairs of slippers and seven robes.
Catherine G. in Oklahoma
Dear Heloise: Our family tradition around Christmastime is to collect special ornaments. We give and collect ornaments that have the date and origin marked on them, so decorating the home becomes an affair to remember!
It's especially meaningful if we all can't be together for the holidays.
Robin R. in Maine
Dear Heloise: Getting published in your column is on my bucket list! With two little ones, we ended up with many puzzles. Keeping the puzzles organized was a hassle.
Our solution? We bought an alphabet stamp set. Each puzzle is assigned its own letter, and the letter is stamped on the back of each puzzle piece. Now they are easily organized.
We place a photo of the puzzle along with the pieces in a small mesh laundry bag.
John and Anne, Columbus, Ohio
Dear Heloise: My electric company tells me that my refrigerator uses about 20 percent of my electricity. They recommend the fridge should be set at 38 to 40 degrees, and the freezer should be at 0 to 5 degrees.
Ellen in North Dakota