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The Big Debate: Real vs. Fake

christmas tree

Christmastime is here and all the decorations are being unpacked and placed in their special spots around your home. The focal point, of course, is that iconic symbol of Christmas, the Christmas tree.

Many families have the tradition of cutting down their own tree, whether from the woods nearby or a tree farm. Others get their live trees from a garden center or stores like Home Depot or the grocery store. There’s something special about displaying a live tree for the holidays, whether it’s that feeling of accomplishment of cutting it down yourself, or that delightful pine scent that fills the room.

Live trees can be a wonderful addition to your home this season, but they do come with a down side. You must have a tree stand and water it regularly. If they get too dried out, the needles fall, and if it dies early, you’re stuck with a fire hazard. But, if you have a green thumb and a knack for choosing a great tree, then this won’t be a problem.

Other families opt for an artificial Christmas tree. Over the past several years, these fake trees have come a long way and, when decorated, look as good as or better than a real tree. Depending on the size of the artificial tree you get, it will pay for itself in two or three years as compared to buying a live tree each time. Plus, artificial trees require no care, other than storing them properly when the season is over. And, many are pre-lit, meaning no messing with tangled strings of lights!

You can get a great deal on an artificial Christmas tree before the holiday if you look out for sales. However, if you want the best price, wait until a few days after Christmas when stores are clearing out their holiday inventory and you may find a real bargain. You can also try online shopping on Christmas day or the day after.

If you decide on an artificial tree but miss the fresh pine scent, look in a craft or décor store for pine-scented decorations or candles. There are even products out there like pine-scented sprays that you can mist onto your tree, or ScentSicles – sticks you wrap around the inside branches so they are out of sight but make the tree smell real.

Whatever the type of tree you trim this year, enjoy the tradition of decorating it with your family!