Not all trees are created equal: artificial Christmas trees are


Averi Creef, Staff Writer

For as long as I can remember, my family has put up an artificial Christmas tree. Last year, we decided to stray from this tradition. What a mistake!

The first time the tree fell was the night we decorated it. Sentimental ornaments we had collected over the years shattered all over the floor and tears were shed. Before the holiday season ended, the tree fell two more times. It was a disaster. To get the tree standing up again, we had to call in help. It took my brother, step dad and one of his employees to get the tree upright again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that my family couldn’t handle a real tree. It’s just that real trees don’t even hold a candle to our tried and true fake tree.

Artificial trees come with many advantages. The first is cost. While fake trees are more expensive than real trees, the investment in worth it. When buying a tree, consider quality and duration. Although fake trees do cost more when they are originally purchased, they also last longer. Real trees only last one Christmas and you have to buy a new one each and every year. So in the end, real trees end up costing more than your artificial tree over the years.

Now the lights and the shape. Who wouldn’t like a tree that comes with lights evenly placed from top to bottom? And wires wrapped nicely around the branches so they aren’t visible? A tree so realistic that even you will second guess whether it is fake or not? A tree so extravagant that there is a spot for each and every ornament to fit perfectly so that your Christmas tree looks like it’s out of a magazine? When friends and family come over to my house during Christmas, they’re always commenting, “Wow, your tree looks really nice! Is it real?” That always cracks me up because I don’t think it’s possible to have a 14 foot tall, narrow, live tree, but if the guests ask, then the tree must fool them. The authenticity of artificial trees sold today is just another plus.

When it comes to maintenance, fake trees are way easier to deal with. Real trees require water and cleaning. With a live tree, you have to remember to water it each and every day. And if you don’t it dries out and becomes a major fire hazard.  And then there is the cleaning. During the Christmas season there is always so much going on, and I don’t have time to constantly pick up the needles under the tree or the ones tracked through the house.

Christmas trees have been the main part of the holiday tradition for centuries, but you no longer need to cut one down in the wilderness to have an authentic looking and smelling tree. Most artificial trees resemble real ones, with people not being able to tell the difference. It’s easy to get the smell too. Stores sell candles and aerosol spray in Fraser fir scents.   Even though a fake tree may not be “nostalgic” for some, a fake tree can still be traditional.

Our experiences with a real tree last year confirmed for me why artificial trees are best. You pull them out of the box, snap the pieces together, fluff the branches and plug in the lights. You cannot go wrong with an artificial tree.