I don’t know about you, but now that we’re well into fall, I’m ready to start planning for the holiday season. I’ve got the Christmas gifts picked out, and I know what I’m bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. My halloween costume is ready to go. My favorite thing to do at this time of year though, is to pick out a Christmas tree. Here’s how to get the perfect tree for your house this year.

Before you rush out the door to pick your tree, you need nail down some details. Ask yourself and your family what kind of tree they want, and where to get it from. Do you want a real tree, or a fake tree? A real tree gives off the fresh scent of pine needles, but it can be a bit of a mess to clean all those needles off the floor later. If you’re getting a real tree, look for one that doesn’t have very many gaps, or where the gaps are clustered together so you can hide them against a wall. Make sure to put your tree in water so it stays green for longer, and get a sturdy tree stand so you don’t have to worry about it falling over.

A fake tree is much easier to clean up. You can also use it year after year, another plus. But fake trees tend to look, well, fake. You can find fake trees that look very real. Try home decor and home improvement stores for the most real-looking trees. There are a ton of different kinds of fake trees. You can get the kind that look like real pine trees and arrange the branches perfectly. You don’t have to get a fake pine tree, however. Lots of places sell fake trees made to look like birch or cedar trees. You can also lean into the fact that the tree is fake. Get a tree that has little color-changing lights on the branches, or one that is covered in glitter and fake snow. Your tree does not have to look real to be beautiful.

However you get your tree, real or fake, make an event out of it. Set a day to get your tree and make a date night out of it. Go out dinner and then look at the different holiday displays at the store before selecting your tree. Or take your kids with you and let them help you choose the tree. If you’re going to a tree farm, it might be fun to wear coordinating outfits and take pictures together in a field of pine trees. Alternatively, you can take pictures with your tree once you’ve set it up in your home. Show off your photos on some christmas cards. You can order custom holiday cards from Basic Invite. They allow you to edit your cards however you want, so you can make sure they look perfect. Your holiday photos will look great on your Christmas cards.

Real or fake, I hope you love the Christmas tree you get this year. Have fun decorating it and enjoy spending time with your family this holiday season. Happy holidays!