First, check the ceiling height where you will display the tree. Try to select a tree at least 6" shorter than the ceiling height.
Do a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull towards you. Very few needles should come off in your hand.
Store your tree in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the wind and sun until you are ready to decorate it.
Before you place your tree in the stand, make a fresh, straight cut across the trunk (about a 1/2" up from the original cut) and place the tree in a stand that holds 1 gallon or more of water.
Keep the tree stand filled with water. Sap will seal the stump within a few hours if the water level drops below the tree base, preventing the tree from absorbing water. If a seal does form, you will need to make another fresh cut.