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Christmas tree showdown: Real tree versus artificial

Dec 01, 2015 08:15AM

The whole idea of the Christmas tree seems rather odd, doesn’t it? We go out into the forest and kill a tree. Then we bring it back to our house, where we plant the dead tree in our front room in order to commemorate the birth of a very important baby.

(It’s a good thing we don’t do this for every baby that is born. We might run out of trees. And all those pine needles would get messy.)

Of course, not everyone brings a real tree into their house. A large percentage of people use artificial trees instead. There are pros and cons to each approach.

A real tree smells like a real tree. (Some people LOVE that fresh pine scent.) A real tree looks like a tree, because it actually is (or was) one. If you shop around enough, you can find a great-looking tree that will fit perfectly in the space you have for it.

Unfortunately, sometimes you misjudge the size of that “perfect” tree, and when you get it home find you have to chop some off of the top or bottom. Also, a real tree smells like a real tree. (Some people HATE that fresh-pine scent.) A real tree can shed pine needles worse than a cat sheds its fur. (You might still be finding loose pine needles in the carpet in June.) And, as the tree dries, it can become a fire hazard.

On the plus side, artificial trees are consistent. It’s the same tree year after year. If it fit last year, it will fit this year. Many artificial trees come with the lights already attached, so no worry about stringing lights or fire hazards. And you don’t have to traipse through the forest to find it; just grab the box from the attic.

On the negative side, artificial trees look the same every year, so there’s no variety. Most artificial trees look fake. (It’s easy to tell they aren’t real.) They also don’t smell like a real tree (if that’s something you actually like.) If the lights don’t work, you have to replace the entire tree. Plus, you have to dig around in the attic for it every year. (The attic is a nasty place full of spider webs.)

Which tree should you choose? It really comes down to personal preferences. Me? I go with the artificial tree. I’ve met one too many pine needles with my bare feet.

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