Usually our tree is up for weeks, if not months, after Christmas. This year was different because we had a live tree (we named him Doug), and he was losing needles. Like, a lot. He actually started to lose needles at the end of November, when we put him up.
Because we had a smaller tree, we didn’t put up as many decorations. This, in turn, made it easier to take them down. We also tried something different with the lights: per Jessica’s suggestion, we strung the lights vertically around the tree, rather than wrapping them around it horizontally. Not only was it easier to put the lights on that way, it was also easier to take them off.
While it was true that un-decorating Doug was a little easier than in past years, having a real tree meant cleaning up his needles. We vacuumed after removing him from the apartment (and vacuumed, and vacuumed), but we are still finding the occasional needle in the carpet. I have a feeling Doug will still be with us for some time.