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Miss the pine smell with your artificial tree? Try this

Growing up, the thought of having an artificial tree seemed like sacrilege. But as an adult with kids and dogs, the idea of keeping one more thing alive in my house (and cleaning up after it later) was just too much to handle. So, we became an artificial tree household.

Yet it just didn't feel like Christmas without that authentic pine tree smell. Candles and other scented impostors didn't cut it.

Then my dad, the master of all things Christmas, made a suggestion. It was as simple as it was brilliant: Hang a fresh pine wreath in the house.

You can even just take sprigs of pine trimmings and tuck them into your artificial tree, your bookshelves or incorporate them into other decorations around the house. I used to lay boughs on my mantle, but that was before I had an actual, working fireplace.

You can make your own wreath using branches trimmed from the bottom of a friend's tree. Or you can do what I've always done: Go to the garden center of a big box hardware store and ask if you can scoop their trimmings off the ground for free.

It's free, it's easy and it makes all the difference.

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