Christmas Trees: Real or Fake?

Celebrating the Season

Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, do you have a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?

I am wondering because for the first time in about 30 years, we will have only a fake tree. This is the result of an impromptu decision on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We saw a tree at the Sears store that is going out of business in our mall and couldn’t resist the price! I got a $300.00 tree for less than $75.00 with tax!

Since we’ve always had a real tree, this is somewhat of an experiment. I don’t know if I’ll like having only an artificial tree. I say only, because most years we’ve had a real tree on the main level of our house that we cut from a locally owned Christmas Tree Farm.  An artificial tree was used the lower level, where we spend time to watch television.  All of the boys handmade school ornaments got put on the artificial tree, along with fun, secular ornaments that signified trips, interests, or hobbies each of them had. It was fun to get the ornaments out each year and recall the memories.


Boys to Men

But, our “boys” are now 24, 19, and 17 years old. Trips to the tree farm over the last few years have become harder to orchestrate with jobs, school work, and extracurricular activities, not to mention that it gets dark by 4:30 p.m. at this time of year.  It got to the point that to get a live tree, my husband and I would end up going during a weekday, by ourselves. It’s just not as fun as it used to be when the boys were younger.

Last years live tree. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2017.

So, having an artificial tree for its convenience has intrigued me for years. I can put it up by myself, the lights are already strung on this one in my preferred clear color, and there won’t be any mess from dropped needles! Just like any one who buys a live tree, you know that despite watering regularly, there will be some needle drop. And, some years (only a time or two, many moons ago) we got a tree that dropped most of its needles upon set up in our livingroom. I believe that only happened when the boys were very young and we purchased a pre-cut, live tree off a lot in the parking area of a local hardware store. That experience put an end to purchasing the Blue Spruce and pre-cut trees.


In general, I preferred cutting a fir-tree, either Fraser or Douglas Fir, for their long-lasting, short needles. Fragrance varied from year to year, but was always enjoyed when the tree gave off its musty evergreen scent, reminding us of its gift from nature.

This year, I know that there will not be a wonderful scent emanating from our tree. But, I’ll work to replace it with candles and the artificial tree scents you can place within the tree to make one believe it is real.  I also know there will not be any needle drop mess to vacuum up or find tucked away near a baseboard come spring.  I am looking forward to setting up the tree at my convenience, because it has become that anyway. Gone are the days that the boys enjoy helping to decorate or are even home long enough to do so.


Despite all of the advantages, I am not sure I’ll like just having an artificial tree. But, as my husband told me, I can try it for two years and if I decide I don’t care of it, we can return to getting a live tree. Then, we can donate this tree and still not be out any money because we would have spent $35.00 – 40.00 dollars on a cut live tree each year, anyway.  I think that’s a good way to look at it.

I honestly do not feel one type of tree is better than another, and I also understand that some families have a rich tradition of tree cutting and decorating that dictates what they do and when they do it.  However, I do think each family needs to choose what type of tree is right for them and go with it. For us, it is a time of change. Why not change the type of tree we have at Christmas too?  After all, when we are all gathered around it together, it’s not the tree that we enjoy the most.


6 thoughts

  1. I grew up with an artificial tree, but Chris and I enjoyed cutting down or choosing our own tree for many years. Then we bought this really cool artificial tree – 3, actually, on one base – skinny, like the Lodge Pole pines out West. We loved it for many years. Then three years ago, the cat wouldn’t leave it alone – kept climbing and scratching it. So we haven’t had one for the last couple of years. Don’t think we’ll set it up this year either, due to the cat and kitten. Oh well. We enjoy our other Christmas decorations, including a variety of crèches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We grew up with an artificial tree, too. At least I never remember going to cut one. My sister in law hasn’t put a tree up in years…..It’s been interesting to read the thought’s of others on this and has made me wonder if it was a wise choice or not….we’ll see. As I said in the post, we can always go back to a real one. I also appreciate your comments about the cats/kittens – pets so influence tree choice, I think. Merry Christmas, Peg!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, your real trees are very cheap! We would pay four or five times that amount for a real tree! When I lived in Australia I had an artificial tree. It looked lovely, but I found it really tedious to put up as it had a gazillion parts to colour-match and then the stickers came off, and then it wouldn’t fit back in the box! That tree makes me grateful for a real one every year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that is the price our family has paid in the past. I think one or two years we paid $55.00 and/or $75.00 but it wasn’t the norm. Were real Evergreen trees hard to find/get in Australia? I don’t even know if they grow in the climate there! I’ve always been able to squeeze our smaller artificial tree back in the box but we’ll see what happens with this one! Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy the holiday season!


  3. I grew up with real trees, the pre-cut kind bought from a tree lot. Yes, we had lots of needle drop, but the fragance made it worthwhile. Besides, since I was just a kid, my dad was the one who had the task of getting the tree into the stand, not me. 🙂
    When my then-husband and I had young boys, we had the tradition of going to a tree farm and cutting our own tree, and that was wonderful! But my “boys” are now all grown up and have families of their own. I bought an artificial tree about 10 years ago. It’s what I still use, and it’s still beautiful. I do still miss the aroma, though! 🙂 Merry Christmas! ~JudyK (

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