Should you Choose Real or Artificial Christmas Trees?

by bizilady

Real pine Christmas trees or fake pine Christmas trees; each one has their pros and cons. I have changed my mind about family traditions and so my anxiety level has improved.

Traditional Christmas trees meant cutting a real pine tree, to use for the holidays. The mess, expense and fire hazard has lead people to use artificial ones. Which one is best for you?
I have used both and can now see the advantages and disadvantages for using each one.
I have settled for one kind as you will read. Perhaps you'll agree.

Traditional Christmas trees

my family tradition

Every year people debate over what to get for their Christmas tree each year-real or fake. I grew up in a family that always bought a real pine tree for Christmas. I remember the anxiety of getting the tree close to the actual date. My dad was safety conscious and would not get one until a week beforehand, and even then it had to say outside a few days. He was concerned about the needles falling off and the tree drying out too fast. My brothers and I were anxious to get it up and decorated. One week before Christmas, the tree would be bought and we'd wait for the right time to bring it inside. The trunk always had to be trimmed to fit into the tree holder. It sure made a mess as my father or brothers trimmed the bottom. I now wondered why they didn’t so this outside but I guess they needed to see how it looked inside first.

One year my younger brother surprised everyone and used a jigsaw to trim the trunk! I thought he had lost his mind; it made the such a mess! Maybe he had a little eggnog beforehand. It was his first trimming so he was proud to get in the tradition.


Anxiety around the holidays

Anyway each year I felt more guilty about killing a live tree so we could have a pine smell in the house. Another concern was the fact that the pets didn't know what to make of a real tree in the living room. The cats would climb it and one year the whole tree came down three times after one cat insisted on climbing to the top! They also liked to bat the decorated bulbs on the lower branches. The dogs lifted their legs on the tree so they had to go out into the porch or garage for the holidays. They would carry on with an awful howling .Come to think of it, Christmas was a little stressful because of the tree.



New traditions for me

As I grew up and moved out of the house, I had come to realize that a fake tree wasn't so bad and bought my first one. No, not the silver foil ones with rotating color wheels, or the white one that looked like snow, but a green two piece “bottle-washer” one that already had lights attached. It didn't have that pine smell but I could assemble it weeks ahead of time and not worry about it drying out to become a fire hazard. I bought my own bulbs and garland so a new tradition was born. One good thing about this fake tree was my stress level was way down. I did have a cat that smelled it and tried to climb it but there wasn't any trunk to grab on to. She still played with the bulbs and watched the blinking lights in awe.

cat in the tree

Why I choose an artificial tree

Some of the differences between a real tree and a fake one was my level of anxiety, the mess of a real one verses no mess of a fake one. The time setting up a fake one was minimal compared to a real one. Also the costs was one time; no more haggling with the yearly tree salesman for the best tree and price.

All in all, a fake one has been better suited for my needs. I know there are some purists that insist on real one, but I'll stick with the real fake one for now.

fake Christmas trees

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Use artificial trees all year

Use it for Holidays, birthdays, or a geneology project.

It occurred to me after writing this, that an artificial tree such as a Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine or other evergreen varieties, can be used after the holidays. Remove the decorations and place it in the living room or other room with a decoration for each holiday. If people can use silk trees, and plastic plants for decoration, why not use the "Christmas" tree as well?

Having a fake pine tree in the room shouldn't look or feel odd. Why can't one hang  hearts on it for February 14th Valentines Day? And how about  green shamrocks on March 17th for St. Patrick's Day celebration?

Easter eggs would look great on the limbs and so would Halloween decorations for that matter. I think we could start  an new tradition. Don't pack up the pine tree after January 1st anymore.

One more idea came to mind. Start a genealogy project and keep it standing proudly in your living room; call it the family tree!

With some imagination, the holiday spirit can stay alive throughout the year!

Which Christmas tree do you prefer?

real tree or fake

Christmas decorations

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Updated: 12/27/2015, bizilady
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bizilady on 07/13/2012

Yes artificial ones are safer and less work.I can support the local tree farmers by buying trees for my yard. Thanks for your input.

Regi_B on 07/12/2012

I position on this changes with the season. Artificial ones are less care. Real ones support local farmers (if you buy local).

bizilady on 04/02/2012

xlorah: yes that's another good reason to get an artificial one;lower ceiling.
The one that is still alive outside must have had some roots left!Thanks for reading.

bizilady on 01/02/2012

Hi bayouladyJDKimball:
I like real trees but fake ones are much safer, as you pointed out.
Thanks for reading.

bayouladyJDKimball on 01/01/2012

I started using the fake trees a few years back when there were six Christmas tree fires within a week or so reported on the local news. One such fire caused the death of several small children. I'm just an old scaredy cat,plus I like not using a living tree only to discard it. If I ever have another live tree,it will probably be a potted one. You know what they say........." Christmas comes and goes,but pine needles stay 'til Easter."

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