The holidays are upon us as celebrations, shopping, family and friend gatherings are just a part of the traditions we enjoy.

For years we used to go out with the kids and pick a Christmas tree to decorate. To be a part of the wonder and excitement of picking a tree with your family is a fantastic tradition. The smell of the pine, choosing the perfect shape and size, and feeling the needles for freshness was just part of the fun.

You have found the perfect tree and now it’s time to bring it home. Here are some tips to protect your tree and vehicle this year.

If you can have the tree bundled, I encourage you to choose this option, it protects the branches and is much easier to secure. Bundling also prevents debris from flying off while traveling.

With bundling or without, bring an old blanket or large painter’s drop cloth to wrap your tree in. By wrapping your tree you keep any sap and needles from getting on you, or in your vehicle if your transporting the tree in the trunk or back of you are vehicle. Bundling and wrapping also makes it much easier to get your tree in the house with much less mess.

Should you choose to bring your tree home on top of your vehicle, I would again encourage you to bundle and wrap it. Tree sap on your vehicle over time can cause damage to the paint, and in the winter months it is much more difficult to remove that sticky stuff.

Warm water and some Simple Green will do the trick should you need to remove any sap inside or out of the vehicle.

Another reason to bundle and wrap the tree is to prevent scratches to your vehicle. Simply strapping your tree to the roof without a cover will certainly scratch your paint.

When it comes time to sell or trade that vehicle those scratches will have an impact on the price. Even a short trip down the road is going to cause damage if you don’t protect your vehicle.

Do not use a plastic tarp in cold temperatures as the tarp will be less pliable and could also scratch the paint.

Bring good straps and rope to safely secure your tree. Strapping down the tree properly protects your vehicle and the safety of others on the road. You don’t need it flying off the roof like Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

Have a blessed holiday season, keep those traditions going and share the road!

“Keep pressing forward”

This twice-monthly column is sponsored by Brad Spry State Farm Insurance, Norm’s Auto Body and Walker Ford in Walker.

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