Now that December is here, we can officially dive headfirst into Christmas mode without wondering if we’re getting in the spirit too early.

One thing that could benefit from waiting a little closer to Christmas, though, is your tree — if you get a real one every year, you’ll know that keeping it healthy and happy until after the New Year can be a challenge. But if you’re like us and just can’t resist, pull on your Beyoncé holiday hoodie, pull out the DIY’d Urban Outfitters ornaments and read on for some tips on keeping your tree green as long as you’ve got it up.

1. Give it a good shake BEFORE you drag it into your place. Needles on the floor are unavoidable, but shaking out what’s already ready to drop will help. A little. Truthfully, there is no winning when it comes to needles, but it’s worth it!

2. Get it in water ASAP. Whether you’re going to an Instagram-worthy tree farm or grabbing a cut-and-wrapped tree from the supermarket down the street, your tree is going to need water as soon as possible. After a tree is cut, the sap will form a seal over the end of the trunk, and once its sealed, it won’t absorb as much water. If you can give it a fresh trunk trim right before putting it in its stand and filling it with water, all the better.

3. Check the water level in the tree stand regularly. Ideally, you should check it in the morning and at night, but make sure you’re seeing how much water your tree is taking at least once a day. Keep it well-watered.

4. Only give it plain water. You might come across tips about weird concoctions of sugar or, like, aspirin mixed into your tree’s water, but there’s no real benefit. Besides — what if your pet drinks out of the tree stand?! Cats are weird, man.

5. Try to keep your tree away from heat sources in your house. Radiators, fireplaces, vents — the heat will dry the tree out more quickly (and some could even be a fire hazard).

6. Try to stick with LED lights on the tree. These stay cooler to the touch, meaning less heat wrapped around your tree, meaning a longer, greener life!

Do you plan on getting a real tree for the holidays this year? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)