We have all seen the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where they get the Griswold family Christmas tree and realize it is too big for the car so they have to tie it on top of the car to make sure it doesn't fly off and then they can't see out of the car and they get it home and it breaks a bunch of windows because it is too big. As funny as that scene is, most of us would like to avoid that in real life.

If you are planning on getting your Christmas tree this weekend or next you probably want to get it home safely which is where I come in to help. Triple-A has put together a list of tips to get your tree home safely this year.

1. Choose the right vehicle.  If you have multiple cars you can use, the best option is something with a roof rack.  Simply, make sure the vehicle is big enough.

2. Use quality tie downs.  Bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to tie the tree to your roof if you're going that route. DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE.

3. Protect the tree . . . and your car.  Have the tree wrapped in netting before loading it up if possible.  At the very least, secure loose branches with rope or twine.  Use an old blanket or plastic tarp to prevent paint scratches on your car.

4.  Point the tree trunk towards the front.  Always place the tree on a car roof with the bottom of the tree's trunk facing the front of the vehicle.

5.  Give it the tug test.  Before you leave the lot, give the tree several strong tugs from different directions to make sure it's secured in place and won't blow away.  The last thing you need is for the tree to go flying off into traffic.

Good luck and happy tree hunting!

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