‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Follows 4 Strict Christmas Tree Rules

“The Pioneer Woman” star Ree Drummond is serious about her Christmas tree. In the winter issue of “The Pioneer Woman” magazine, Drummond shares with her readers how she approaches decorating her home for Christmas. For her, the most important part is the tree. Each year, she makes sure to follow a strict set of rules. Here are Drummond’s four Christmas tree rules.

1. Christmas trees should be real

Ree Drummond |  Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst
Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst

You won’t find a fake Christmas tree in Ree Drummond’s home. She tells her readers that her first rule is to have a real Christmas tree. Why is this important? For Drummond, a home isn’t ready for Christmas if there isn’t a scent of a real tree. “Part of the beauty of a Christmas tree is the amazing scent that fills your house, the daily mess of falling needles, the responsibility of keeping it watered, the natural imperfections on this branch or that,” Drummond says.

2. Christmas trees shouldn’t go up until December

Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

These days, it seems like Christmas decorations are going up earlier and earlier. Many people go straight from Halloween to Christmas and forget all about Thanksgiving. It’s not unusual to start seeing Christmas trees in people’s windows during the first week of November. However, Drummond doesn’t agree with rushing into the Christmas holiday. She tells her readers she believes a Christmas tree shouldn’t be put up too early:

A Christmas tree shouldn’t go up until at least the second week of December. I’ve never understood my friends and family members who set up their trees the day after (or, egads, the day of!) Thanksgiving. You have to at least get past December 1, guys! I’ve been known to push it to December 17 or 18—and I’m always proud to be the last one on the block to have my tree up. (Never mind that we don’t live on a block.)

3. A Christmas tree should not be pre-lit

Purchasing lights that are pre-lit are convenient, but Drummond isn’t a fan of them. She would rather put traditional lights on her tree. According to Drummond, working through the conflict that comes with this activity is worth it. “I feel an important part of family (and marital) development is learning to work through the conflicts that arise while untangling and stringing little white lights on a 12-foot noble fir. That which does not kill our marriage makes us stronger, right? I think Santa Claus first said that,” Drummond jokes.

4. Ornaments should never be purchased in bundles

Drummond likes to have tree ornaments that were passed down through the generations and that have sentimental value. She’s not into ornaments that can easily be purchased in a box from a local department store. “The ones on my tree are a mix of crafted childhood ornaments and sweet, sentimental ornaments we’ve been gifted through the years. Some of them are dented, some are chipped, and some are definitely broken, but I’m a sucker for a tree that isn’t too sparkly and shiny,” Said Drummond in her column.

Although Drummond has her rules for Christmas trees, she admits she isn’t so perfect that she would never break one of her rules. She tells her readers that her fifth, unofficial rule is never say never:

Two or three years from now, on Thanksgiving evening to be exact, when I finally break down and set up that gorgeous artificial tree that miraculously doesn’t trigger allergies, require water, or make a mess –and Ladd and I hold hands and plug it in together so that we can enjoy the shiny matching ornaments we picked out together… you can all sit back, pop popcorn, and have a good chuckle.

Read more: How ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Celebrates Halloween

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