GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -One of the great things about the Christmas holiday is picking out and decorating a tree.

If yours is one of the 25 to 30-million households to get a real tree, you'll want to make sure it lasts through all the ho-ho-ho's and tidings of comfort and joy.

So how do you keep your tree fresh?

There's an old wives tale that putting hot or warm water in the Christmas tree stand makes it last longer.

But if you ask the National Christmas Tree Association, that doesn't make a difference. They say the real game changer is a fresh cut.

If you can't get the tree into water within 3-6 hours of taking it off the lot, just cut a little off the stump before you put it in. This will re-open the pores and let your pine drink up!

Some gardeners still swear by the boiling water trick. The first time they fill the tree stand, they fill it with boiling water. They say it's to liquefy any sap that's hardened at the base of the trunk since it was cut.

The one verified perk of the boiling water is that it releases an incredible fragrance.

You only have to use hot water the first time. From then on, always keep the reservoir filled with cool water.

Bottom line - don't ever let the water go empty, and your tree should last through the holidays!