I don't want to brag, but as a lazy person that hates to clean, I thought I could pass this nugget of sloth on to others. My mother is already a convert.
I can't have a real tree (kids with allergies) and after having all of my fragile glass bulbs get broken over the years I only use kid-friendly sturdy types. So, 2 years ago I came across a wonderful invention, a fake tree that is not only pre-strung with lights (hallelujah!), but it has all the limbs attached.
It comes in 2 pieces that you fit together and then kinda like an umbrella, the limbs come down and you fluff it up a little. Here is the best part, exhausted and overwhelmed, when I went to take it down, I just folded it, ornaments and all and laid it in the box.
This year I only had to take it out and fluff. A couple ornaments came off, but overall, it was a 10 minute process to put up and quicker to take down.
Feel free to steal my idea. I have already posted it on the comments of Twofer Mom's blog. http://www.twofermom.com/twofer-journal/2011/1/10/christmas-clean-up-complete-and-im-reminded-why-some-go-for.html
Here is my tree. Yes, it is a white tree. Don't judge! The kids liked it!