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I wish I'd looked this up awhile ago! Drilling a 1/4" diameter hole up the center of the tree trunk will help it soak up much more water, keeping it fresher longer! Next year for sure.

10 Candy Xmas Ornaments You Can Make with Kids - CandyStore.com

Melted peppermint ornaments! While this one involves, the oven, you can enlist your little helpers to tie ribbon once they’re cooled, and help hang them on the tree.