The tree is in the stand, lights are glowing, ornaments are hung. Ooops, don't forget to water the tree!! There are sooo many thoughts on how to keep your tree from dropping it's needles that it needs to be addressed. First and foremost, water will always be the key ingredient. But what you do to your tree to prep will also help.
Cut any branches and " shading" so the trunk will fit into the stand. "Shading" is the dead needles and small branches that are brown that the sun did not get to. All trees have shading.
Cut an inch or more off the bottom to make a "fresh cut" You want to make sure that the sap from the tree doesn't seal over so as soon as you get home place in a bucket with at least 5 inches of water deep. The tree will start absorbing the water not only from the bottom but also from the thin bark. For every inch of the bottom diameter, that is how many quarts of water you will go through to keep tree hydrated. Transfer tree to your stand and check daily and add water making sure that it does not go dry. Make it a ritual that before you turn the Christmas lights on you have to add water or a daily alarm will do it.
Sugar? Corn syrup? chemical additives? Aspirin? Personally I'm a naturalist and I think that good ole water is just fine but there are people that SWEAR by the above procedures so this is up to you....The aspirin I think is for you because of all the Christmas craziness...
Don't forget to keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces and baseboard heating. That will dry the branches real fast, If you have a humidifier that will make your tree very happy so Have a very happy holiday and hope these tips will help lengthen it's life so enjoy your beautiful tree!