It’s not Christmas without fresh cut tree adorned with memories


Ragen Twiford, Staff Writer

“O Christmas tree O Christmas tree how lovely are thy branches,” the soundtrack of my family’s annual Christmas tree outing. This song brings back memories from years past. Along with the priceless memories, our freshly cut Christmas tree fills our home with an inviting scent while benefiting our environment. Christmas just isn’t the same without a gorgeous North Carolina Fraser Fir fully trimmed in lights and dripping with tinsel.

The annual Christmas tree outing is a long standing tradition for many families, including my own. I vividly remember the year snow covered the ground as my brother and I ran through all the trees proclaiming we had found the most perfect tree in the lot. We then placed our lively tree in the same corner and topped it with the same sparkling angel we use each year. We add old and new ornaments we have created and collected throughout the years, with each telling a story we are able relive as we decorate our tree. Our Christmas tree is perfect every year mostly because of the laughter and joy this tradition brought us as a family.

With a real Christmas tree, there is no need to have your cabinets stocked with Christmas scented candles and scented air fresheners.  Every time you walk in the door you get the sweet smell of fresh pine, which I love so much! This smell fills your house for the entire Christmas season and reminds you of all the warm feelings and memories you have shared with your family and loved ones over the years.  Because of the real Christmas tree, the smell stays strong and fresh throughout the entire holiday season.

At the end of the Christmas season, you don’t have to pack the tree up and squeeze it in the attic. Instead, you can recycle it, which helps our environment. Packing everything up after Christmas is a hassle, a real tree is one less thing to pack up after the holiday.

Most artificial trees are made up of toxic, non-recyclable materials, which harm the environment. The polyvinyl chloride, or PVC as it’s more commonly known, used to make these trees has been linked to harmful health and environmental impacts. On top of this, 85 percent of artificial trees come are imported from China. At least we know real trees with all natural products right here in the USA.

Real Christmas trees also benefit our beaches. The Outer Banks has beautiful beaches, and part of the maintenance for the beaches includes stabilization of the sand dunes. Christmas tree are used to stabilize the sand dunes that are constantly being eroded by nor’easters and hurricanes and a busy tourist season. Each year, trees are collected and repurposed along our coast.  Trees are most often put in areas that have experienced strong winds, erosion and heavy foot traffic. These areas often have less vegetation and need the trees to help hold the sand in place.

The trademark of the holiday season, a real Christmas tree, is essential. The scent alone will take you home for holidays and remind you of the many memories created with your family and friends. So why don’t you keep your artificial tree in the box this year, and go get a real tree.