By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two things are true – real Christmas trees are thirsty and they’re sticky.

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Living things – or recently living things, like a cut tree – need water, and a fresh tree can drink up to a GALLON OF WATER A DAY. So, make sure your stand holds that much water and check it often.

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While brewing coffee or tea in the morning, water the tree; when you come home thirsty and reach for some soda or make yourself a martini in the evening, make it a habit to give the tree a drink too… of water. All your tree needs to stay fresh for weeks is plain water – give it a fresh cut the second before you put it in the water and don’t let the stand ever run dry.

And what about that sap that gets all over your hands, the doorknob and everything else you touched before you realized you had sap on your hands? The quickest way to remove sap is with HAND SANITIZER.

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Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer around while you’re putting up the tree and hanging wreaths and garland to clean your hands quickly and easily. It’s the alcohol in it that dissolves the sap but because it’s so thick, it stays on your hands and gives you time to get the sap off completely. While you’re at it, wipe off the saw you cut your tree with or pruners you used for greens with hand sanitizer too, so they won’t be sticky next time you go to use them.