You actually don't have to leave your home to buy a Christmas tree. There are sources that can supply Christmas trees to your front doorstep via the Internet. I have a site review entitled Best Real Christmas Trees Online and suggest you order early when purchasing by catalog or using the Internet.
Perform a "freshness test" - Take hold of a branch and pull your hand toward you, allowing the branch to slip through your fingers. Most, if not all, of the needles should stay on the tree.
Lifting and dropping the tree on a hard surface should not result in a shower of green needles. Brown needles that have shed the previous year are ok to shed. The tree should have a fragrance and rich green color. Branches should be pliable and bend without much resistance.
Actually, none of this will be necessary if you purchase the tree from a tree farm that lets you watch or perform the harvest. Many times you can find a farm that you or your kids can cut the tree.
Print this About Forestry How To Pick Quick Guide to take with you when purchasing a tree....