JUST THINKING: Real or fake for Christmas?

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

I have friends who’ve just gone through the big holiday debate — buy a fresh Christmas tree or go the artificial route? I’ve fallen on both sides of this forest through the years, but am now on Team Real Deal.

That said, I understand why people buy fake trees.

They can be reused every year, they don’t drop pine needles, don’t leak sap, don’t require watering, don’t trigger allergies. Plus, once you put it up for a couple of Christmas seasons, you’ve usually paid for your investment.

This is the first year in many that we’ve had a fresh cut tree — a Fraser Fir, to be exact. My son did get sap all over his hands bringing it into the house and I’ve vacuumed my living room carpet more in the last week than I have in the last month. But I wouldn’t trade the clean pine smell of my house for anything. Candles just don’t cut it.

There’s no judgment involved here. It’s all about personal preference. Many years ago, I went the artificial route because I thought it would save a lot of hassle. I didn’t have to worry about it drying out while we were gone for the holidays and it wasn’t so messy to put up and take down. But Christmas is my “thing” and, truth be told, I really missed that mess.

For me, there’s just something special about watching my kids’ personal preference prevail during the process of picking out the perfect tree. There’s short and tall, and full and Charlie Brownish. There’s prickly and soft and blue and green.

I know it’s kind of silly because most pretend trees you can buy these days look good – even realistic. Some come already strung with lights, their boughs adjustable into any shape you’d like, and some even have little pinecones on their branches.

When it comes right down to it, Christmas isn’t about what kind of tree you have anyway. Right? It’s about following traditions old and new, celebrating your beliefs, and coming together with family and friends. A tree – no matter what kind – just helps deck the halls with a little fa la la la la and ho, ho, ho.

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