If you celebrate Christmas, chances are you’ve had a Christmas tree in your home. A festive omen of yuletide cheer, people around the world have been putting these Christmas conifers in our homes to mark the season for years. In more recent years, advancements in technology have allowed us to eliminate some of the downsides of having a live tree in your home, courtesy of artificial christmas trees.
Nevertheless, real live Christmas trees remain the solid winner when it comes to being the first choice of families around the world. The sense of satisfaction you gain when caring for a living tree just can’t be replicated or replaced by a lifeless imitation of the real thing. Sweeping up pine needles and allotting time to water your tree are small prices to pay for such a feeling!
Of course, not everyone prefers a live Christmas tree. In fact, any real estate agent can tell you, some prefer to skip the Christmas tree altogether and decorate a tumbleweed instead! For some, caring for a Christmas tree is little more than a pointless hassle that yields nothing but headaches and wasted time. There’s no shame in that; with busy lives like ours, we can hardly be blamed for seeking a bit of convenience.
So when and how did artificial Christmas trees originate? The first fake Christmas trees were created by a toilet bowl scrub brush manufacturer called Addis in the 1930s. Artificial trees were ideal for people living in the plains where pines and junipers weren’t available. By 2007, 18 million fake Christmas trees were sold in the US alone, and you can buy them in varying sizes, and assumed varieties.
Pros and cons of fake Christmas trees
Now, in spite of the various opinions many might have surrounding the debate between real and fake Christmas trees, there are some concrete take-aways that can be brought to the table to gain a clearer picture of the facts. We’ve taken the liberty of dividing these into pros and cons, so you can make the right decision this season. Let’s get into it!
Pro: cost and ease of acquisition
Artificial Christmas trees are cheaper than real ones, especially when you factor in the ability to use them over and over for years. If you’re tight on money, this can be a very compelling reason to buy a fake Christmas tree this season. Once you’ve bought one, you can reuse it next season, and the next season after that.
Another benefit is the ease with which you can acquire a fake Christmas tree. In the uncertain times we’re currently living in, the ability to avoid the human contact you’d doubtless encounter at a tree farm by ordering a tree online will help you stay off the COVID-19 naughty list this Christmas. This really is a great example of how technology can save Christmas in 2020!
Con: not a real Christmas tree
However, they obviously don’t give your home quite the feel that a real Christmas tree can; artificial trees just don’t have the same vibe. You won’t get that Christmassy smell, you may spend hours fussing with the branches to fluff them just right. No matter how far technology advances, it’s doubtful that this will ever change.
One of the most attractive pros of having a fake Christmas tree is the convenience. Fake trees don’t need to be watered, don’t leave messy needles strewn around, and can be conveniently put up and taken down without hassle. If you buy a fully decorated Christmas tree, you don’t have to worry about accessorizing, and with fiber optic options, you can create a low-cost solution that eliminates multiple wires and cords and a high electricity bill.
Con: health and safety concerns
The PVC plastics they are made off have multiple disadvantages, such as releasing dioxins (which are toxic to animals and humans) and increasing fire hazards (fake trees burn faster and more fiercely than real trees) according to tests run by fire departments. This should definitely be taken into consideration if you’re worried about this sort of thing.
On the other hand, a fake tree has the added benefit of being free of many of the common allergens dispelled by a living Christmas tree. If you or someone in your family struggles with allergies, you’ll want to consider getting a fake tree instead of a real one to avoid all the sneezing and sniffling that usually occurs with a real tree.
Pros and cons of real Christmas trees
Maybe you’ve got your heart set on having a real Christmas tree. Despite the notable cons you’ll deal with when maintaining a living tree in your home, there’s just something irreplaceable about this beloved Christmas tradition that can’t be replicated with a factory produced imitation. Some traditions don’t need to be tampered with, but here’s what you need to do anyway. Let’s begin!
Pro: supporting U.S. agriculture
When you buy a Christmas tree in the U.S., you are helping U.S. farmers! Almost every real Christmas tree sold in the U.S. is grown in the U.S, with approximately 25-30 million trees sold each year. That means jobs for over 100,000 workers! You’re sure to feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that your purchase is helping support local and national farmers.
Another con of having a live Christmas tree is the time and effort you’ll spend taking care of it. You’ll have to deal with the maintenance and mess, as real trees must be watered and are sure to shed needles while they are up in your home. If you don’t have the time to sweep up needles and water the tree everyday, you might want to opt for an artificial tree.
Pro: environmental consciousness
The approximately 350 million real Christmas trees growing right now in the U.S. help keep air clean, provide sheltered habitats for various kinds of native wildlife, and are replanted at a ratio of 3 saplings for every tree harvested. This means that your purchase will be helping protect the planet and fight pollution!
One of the most notable cons of having a real Christmas tree is the cost, which can be high if you live in an area far away from where real Christmas trees are grown. If you don’t have a ton of surplus money in the budget, then you might have to go with a fake tree this season. Or, save up some money and splurge a bit on a real one. It’s your choice!
Pro: family fun
Real trees make choosing your Christmas tree a fun family event. Gather up the troops, pile into the car and travel off to the tree farm or tree market. You can choose your tree and even cut it yourself if the tree farm allows! Either way, choosing your own unique Christmas tree is a lot of fun and provides a valuable opportunity to strengthen your family bonds. This is one way to outsmart the Grinch that nearly stole Christmas this year, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which Christmas tree did you choose?
Whether you chose the convenience and low-cost option of an artificial tree, or the smell, look, and experience of a live one, the important thing is enjoying your Christmas tree with your family during the holidays. This is a special time of year, and the best way to celebrate it is by enjoying it with the people you love the most. That’s what the season is about!
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I only put empty wrapped boxes at work under the tree.