I struggle with this question every year: Is it better to have a freshly cut tree or an artificial one? I think the answer is neither. Or both.
Aren’t you glad we got that settled?!
As a nature-lover, I’m not fond of the idea of cutting down a tree each year, only to throw it away (or at the very least compost it) after a few weeks. People float the idea of a live tree that you bring indoors each year, but given the size of the average pine or fir, the tree would outgrow your home in a few years. Further, the tree would do poorly in a dry, heated home, preferring the outdoors instead.
Clearly, artificial trees are the way to go.
Or are they?
Artificial trees last a long time. You can use them year after year, they never dry out, they’re less likely to catch fire and they’re sized for the average home. They are, however, made from synthetic materials, that will one day end up in a landfill. Styles change, the frame of the tree might break or you may buy a bigger (or smaller) house that dictates the size of the tree.
In our neighborhood, we have a coordinated effort to display cut trees on our lawn each year. The trees go up the first week of December and come down New Year’s day. I’m block captain for our street, and we make it a family affair. We borrow a neighbor’s truck, load up the trees, and delivery them up and down the block. The neighborhood coordinator purchases over 300 trees. Each block captain collects the order forms, deposits the checks and then delivers the trees. It’s fun and festive.
Indoors we have an artificial tree that we store and use year after year. We made that choice for all the reasons I mentioned above. So…I feel like a fraud at times, supporting different choices on either side of the door.
One choice isn’t really a choice at all: simply giving up the long-held and delightful tradition of a Christmas tree.
If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree each year? Real or fake?
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