I love the holidays and prefer to keep my tree up as long as possible. But I also love my home and don't want to take any chances with it. Our tree was pretty dry and had stopped drinking water so it was time to take it down. Some years ago my husband and I perfected this technique to take the tree down and not get needles all over the house. It makes taking the tree down so easy that one person can even do it alone with no issues, even with a larger tree. Ours was fairly large this year (it was very wide).
I start by putting old newspaper down (you can use plastic or whatever you want as long as it catches any needles that fall). I then remove all the ornaments and lights (this part takes me the longest as I always try to organize them in some sort of order). Now the fun starts, I use a pruner and start to cut the limbs off at the truck. Just start anywhere you can get into the trunk and start cutting branches off. Once you get started it gets easier as you will make a hole in the branches and you can reach them easier.
As I work I put the branches in garbage bags and keep cutting until I have all the branches off. For the top I usually cut it off and throw that in the bag. You will eventually be left with a big stick. Just pick it up and take it outside. You can cut this up into smaller pieces with a hand saw if you like. Clean the stand up and you are basically done.
I roll the paper up carefully and you can see what I am left with as far as needles, almost none. Vacuum those up and you are done. At this time, the tree as so light the bags weighs almost nothing so just carry them to the curb. Easy!
At our house weekend meals are very casual. Many times we don't even do a full meal everyone just grabs something and heats it up. During the week, I like to make something that facilitates this. Many times I will make a soup that is filling but that makes lots of leftovers for the weekend. This week I made a delicious leek and potato soup. this soup is super easy and makes more than enough for leftovers. Serve with some crusty bread and you have a meal. Check out my recipe here.