Holiday Face-off: Are real or fake trees the superior decoration tradition? — Real Trees

The holiday season is here again, and if you celebrate Christmas, it’s time to buy a tree. Traditionally, most families drive out to a farm and cut down a real tree. Nowadays, artificial trees are becoming increasingly popular, but when it comes down to it, having a real Christmas tree is the way to go.

Getting a real tree is a tradition. Year after year at the end of November, my entire family goes out to the nearest farm and picks out the winning tree that we will house for the month of December. It’s brought home, trimmed, set up and decorated. For many families, getting the tree is something they make a day out of. However, when a family decides to purchase an artificial tree, that’s the end of the tradition. The big family outing is now changed to a trip into the attic or basement to get the tree out of storage.

A real tree, after putting it in its stand, is ready to decorate. With an artificial tree, however, there is a process of putting together the tree before you can even think about decorating it. All of the branches have to be moved around and spread out after being in a box for 11 months. It’s a tedious, frustrating process that needs to be done exactly right; otherwise, you have to start all over again. It could drive anyone crazy after just a few minutes.

Of course, with a real tree comes the real tree smell. There’s nothing like the scent of fresh pine needles in your home at

Christmas time. It’s exactly what you’d expect to smell at this time of year. The closest smell you’ll ever get with an artificial tree is through a can of air freshener, and that’s not at all close to the genuine smell. Real trees just make the atmosphere feel more Christmas-like.

Ultimately there’s nothing like a real Christmas tree. Shopping around, using your favorite decorations and smelling the fresh pine scent are a few of the many things that you look forward to when getting a tree. If a trip to the attic and the smell of mothballs is enough to get you in the spirit, then by all means, get an artificial tree. Just remember what you’re missing out on when you find yourself fixing your plastic branches and spraying a can of pine-scented air freshener.

-Danielle Gittleman

Freshman journalism major



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