Christmas Tree Shortage = Higher Prices

 If a real tree is a must-have for your Christmas, you may want to get one early this year.

A national Christmas tree "shortage" means fewer trees at higher prices. The most popular trees -- like the Frasier fir -- could sell out earlier than normal.

The National Christmas Tree Association tells Newsweek magazine that you can -- and should -- get your tree now to get the best deal. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit the tree farm on Thanksgiving Day or on a weekday.

Once you buy your tree, get it into a strong stand don't let it dry out during the holiday season. With regular watering, the tree should last through Christmas Day.