Every year people go out to buy their Christmas tree. Every year they are faced with a choice: Real or Artificial. For some it is an easy choice... Either a family tradition of going out to pick out the perfectly shaped live cut tree or the convenience of an artificial tree that is shaped absolutely perfect. Either way, the family usually is the deciding factor in which one you choose. Here are some thoughts on which one might be right for your family.
Artificial trees are a safe choice, because you know what you are getting every year, same shape, same fire resistance, same maintenance (none)... An artificial tree is perfect for those who do not have the time to care for a live cut tree, or that family that has allergies that tend to flare up in the presence of a live cut tree. Remember this is a long term investment as most artificial trees can last from 5 to 25 years, depending on the care and models. I do remember my parents artificial tree back in the late 80's and early 90's... WOW we have come a long way... Theirs was a wooden pole with pokey artificial limbs "plugged" into the corresponding color coded holes. Today, the trees come in 3-4 pieces that fold out and plug in... DONE! A little fluffing of each branch and you have your tree!
Now what is missing in that artificial tree... yes the smell, the tradition of choosing/arguing over which is THE tree. Picking out a tree has become a chore to some, a challenge to others and an outright joy to most! Most people love the adventure of having a live cut tree. From the outing to pick it up, to the care of a "living" Christmas tree. The sense of smell is closely tied to many memories, so to have that same smell from Christmas to Christmas, ties all of our fondest Christmas memories together. Some people are scared to get a live tree because of the care.
Well just like the artificial trees, live cut trees are getting better!! The newest one on the market is the Nordmann fir. Its needle retention and ability to stay green and not dry out is giving a lot of people a second chance at having a live cut tree. They have also figured out that most people are not allergic to the actual tree, just all the pollen and dirt that is on it. So giving your tree a good hose off prior to bringing it inside will help reduce or eliminate most allergic reactions to having a live cut Christmas tree!
Either way, Christmas is coming! If you haven't set up your Christmas tree, you are running behind! It is time to start singing those Christmas carols!