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Christmas tree ~ Fresh or Artificial

Updated on August 31, 2016

Christmas Tree "Fresh or Artificial" a choice ~

When we moved to Wisconsin, buying a real Christmas Tree had become harder and a real chore...the ice and snow, the cold wind, the lack of finding a truly fresh tree not one sprayed green, and one that is symmetrical.

As the years passed it just got more uncomfortable to do this chore, and yes it became a chore...then I discovered a nice tree at Michal's Art & Craft store.... and thought, my gosh this looks like a real tree! why not use this? For the past years our Christmas Tree has been an "artificial tree" You say, but what about the smell? I buy branches for decorations, this brings in the Christmas tree smell.

When you're young and can go out and find a wonderful fresh tree, that's wonderful! As for now, I have to use the artificial tree for my own comfort and pleasure, this includes no watering of a tree, no vacuuming of dried needles, less of a fire hazard, no disposing and easy cleanup.

I do love real trees, the smell and look, but the choice I made for the type of Christmas tree to use, was for my personal reason of comfort and convenience...

This story is about bringing together an artificial tree, not an expensive one, but nonetheless one that does the trick...all within the comforts of a warm home from start to grab a glass of wine or what ever you fancy and help me assemble and decorate the artificial Christmas tree.

Pennsylvania Dutch Chest of Drawers stores the decorative collectible ornaments


In this beautifully hand painted 1860s Pennsylvania Dutch chest of drawers, is where I keep all my good, collectible and personal Christmas decorations and ornaments...I place the drawers on my coffee table and then hang the ornaments according to the drawer, this way they always go back into their boxes and drawer number.

Plain Xmas bulbs, lights and such items are kept in containers in the downstairs room. I have arranged and cataloged each item for easy return storage.


The Ornaments - my collection

For many, many years I have collected horse ornaments, and at the height of my horse breeding ownership I adorned my tree with approximately 250+ horse ornaments (which are For Sale now)

In 2008 my last horse went into the Pearly Gates. That Christmas I did not use one horse ornament. I then realized I had just as many "other" ornaments and decorated my tree with those.


The Four Drawers

Top drawer have display items, and the bottom three drawers are filled with Horse ornaments, including some very old ornaments from Germany, Austria, Sweden and Czechoslovakia.

Drawer number 4 - closeup and personal

This drawer is full of collectible Horse ornaments
This drawer is full of collectible Horse ornaments

Horse ornament collection

Trail of the Painted Ponies Old Fashioned Holiday Ornament
Trail of the Painted Ponies Old Fashioned Holiday Ornament

I have over 250+ horse it's a given I like horses...this one on the left is from the Trail of Painted Ponies. They have many different designs, check them out!...I have also submitted designs to them and maybe someday they will choose one of mine to make an ornament.


Tree assembly - my husband's job

The assembly of each section was secured and a Tree came the lights and decorations.

A Note:

I purchased this tree at an after Xmas sale, it was inexpensive but does the trick for us. One can spend a great deal more for an artificial tree and get an incredible the long run it pays for itself.

Added lights - and then the ornaments

tree trimming
tree trimming

Trimmed Tree - built up with layers filling the tree branches

As Seen in the Dark

xmas tree dark light
xmas tree dark light

It's a process of layering the ornaments, this is what makes it look full. Too bad you can't see the ornaments in and under the branches, there are also many Antique bulbs in there.


Closeup of just a few of the ornaments all layered in one section.
Closeup of just a few of the ornaments all layered in one section.

My Tree - horses and other animals theme

Having Christmas Eve dinner at our house, I decorated with many lights wanting it to be homey and warm looking.

Decorated with a bird theme


My Own Painting of Ornaments


the "Reason for the Season"

 "Reason for the Season" painting of Simon and baby Jesus
"Reason for the Season" painting of Simon and baby Jesus | Source

Christmas in different parts of the world

The most recognizable live Christmas Tree - in Washington DC

Washington DC Xmas tree
Washington DC Xmas tree

Garmisch, Germany

My view from across the street
My view from across the street | Source

My childhood German Christmas

This church is the very church I saw everyday across the street from where I lived

(photo Besther'sBigAdventure)

I have very few memories of my German Christmas time...we had moved to Garmisch in Bavaria, the war ended shortly after our arrival. I remember only one Wartime Xmas, it was in the Castle Gross Stein, where a soldier friend of my parents came giving small gifts for my sister and strange I would remember this, as I was maybe 3 years old...sadly I only remember a few times we had celebrated Christmas in my early German youth.

During my childhood in Bavaria I especially remember how we celebrated with the Advent Wreath (Adventskranz) and the Advent Calendar (something I still do) we only received ONE gift, it would be under the tree covered with a tablecloth, you were not able to see the tree till Christmas Eve, then with candles lit we celebrated our time together singing songs and praising God.

Saint Nickolas would come with a sack of presents, with him came a dark evil looking man Knecht Ruprecht who would have a switch in his hand, asking if you have been a good little boy or girl...I didn't like that part.

The tree then was taken down a week later in yearly January during a celebrated day.

I don't have one photo of our Christmas at that time, they where all lost during our many moves.

German Tree with candles
German Tree with candles

German Tree with candles

photo from "An Extremely Wise and Merry Christmas to you all"

I love German Christmas trees, I have wonderful memories of our tree there During my childhood.r

Personally I do not recommend real candles, they can be very dangerous especially when they make artificial candles that look so real.

German Bavarian Church

we have been in this little church
we have been in this little church
the look of a real Xmas tree
the look of a real Xmas tree

The real Christmas Tree

and a setting to dream about

Being an evergreen coniferous some call it a Yule tree, it's decorated with ornaments and candles/lights. There are many species of the evergreen, but most commonly used, the Fir.

Starting in the 16th century in Livonia and in Germany the decorating of the tree became a tradition for Christmas time. A Star or an Angel was placed at the very top of the tree, representing the Angels around the manger or the Star of Bethlehem.

The tradition of the Christmas tree then started to travel the world, and actually it is not that of an old tradition here in the United States. Different countries had different traditional decorations and up to this day families like decorating to style and colors...I personally like the old traditional.

artificial tree
artificial tree

Artificial Christmas Trees

can look real and beautiful

Around the 19th century The Germans developed an artificial Christmas tree, most where made with wood and goose feathers and dyed green. This was a good excuse for the purpose of continuing deforestation. The feather tree made it's way to America and became popular for a while.

The artificial tree can be made from different products and can look so real, but this can be very costly, yet it pays for itself over time.

Aluminum | Source

Aluminum Tree

do you remember these?

The aluminum Christmas tree is an artificial Christmas tree first made in Chicago by a company named Modern Coatings, Inc...but most (more then a million) where produced near here in Manitowoc, Wisconsin by an Aluminum Co.

When the Charlie Brown Christmas TV show Aired in 1965 it helped end the era of the Aluminum Tree... and then in the 80's collectors found them in garage sales and auctions, the 7ft Pink tree in particular sold for thousands of dollars.

I have seen a comeback of this tree in stores last Christmas, yep they are coming back!

Charlie Brown tree
Charlie Brown tree

Or you can have this!

Yes Charlie Brown helped end the Aluminum Tree era because this is what he chose!

Sadly I remember our first Christmas tree in the USA resembled this one.

cut your own
cut your own

Christmas Tree "Real or Artificial" - what's your choice?

I know most people would opt for the 'real' tree, and I also love the real Christmas Tree, but it's not an option for me, so looking into the alternative of an artificial Tree, you can still have enjoyment of admiring a beautifully decorated tree....

The option of getting a Christmas Tree

in the cold or the comfort of you home...I made my choice!

What do you choose, Real or Artificial?

See results

The argument for the environmentally friendly REAL Christmas Tree

something to think about

The argument for the environmentally friendly...cutting down a tree verses throwing an old artificial tree in the me it's kind of an Oxymoron because there should be a solution for disposing artificial trees with some sort of recycling. The real tree once chopped down has a new tree planted in it's place.

My argument for an Artificial tree is "only convenience and comfort." Yes I really would prefer a fresh cut, fresh smelling Christmas tree.

Do you have an environmental stance?

A true story about "The Christmas Tree Ship from Milwaukee Wisconsin"

A true story:

The true story behind the people and the ships fate...

Some time in October of 1971 a Milwaukee scuba diver named Gordon Kent Bellrichard had surveyed an area in Lake Michigan off the coastal area by Two Rivers Wisconsin.

Bellrichard had been searching for a ship named Verona, a 700 Ton Steamer that was lost during a 1887 storm, but instead he discovered another ship, it was the schooner Rouse Simmons known also as The Christmas Tree Ship that sunk during a storm in 1912....

Read this very interesting story from the National Archives

What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb

Thank You!
Thank You!

Created 12/07/2009


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    • CrisSp profile image


      3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This is our first Christmas in the new place (from the big city to suburb) and so we decided to have a freshly cut Christmas tree from the farm. We just had it set and all lit up this past weekend. The room smells terrific and it's lovely 'cept that (you are right) I have to make sure to water it regularly and the drop of needles could be quite annoying.

      I think, I'll go back to my artificial tree next year. Still have the old one in perfect shape neatly tucked in the box.

      I enjoyed your hub plus the lovely images and I commend your great organizational skill. :)

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I must say that Christmas in a home isn't complete without the tree!

    • tmadeira lm profile image

      tmadeira lm 

      4 years ago

      This was always a hot button topic in my family when I was growing up. My dad would always want the smell of a real tree whereas all us kids wanted a fake one. We always lost the battle, even though we were the ones stuck cleaning up after it and watering it...Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      WOW!! Fantastic pictures, decorations and your Christmas tree is beautiful Thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love your ornaments collection and how you've arranged them on your gorgeous tree. I've heard Christmas is a great time to visit Germany with all the local Weihnachtsmarkt celebrations. If I ever want to see snow again, maybe I'll go. (I'm spoiled by CA weather!) That photo of the church from your childhood is stunning... makes me *almost* want to see snow... :)

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      I love a real treee... and so do our cats. It ends up being another water bowl for them.

    • delia-delia profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @aesta1: Oh wow, Thank You for sharing your experiences, it's always nice when someone can relate...Have a Wonderful Christmas and New Year!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed your experience around your varied Christmas trees. We are in Hanoi now so I have to contend with a small Christmas tree but yesterday, I found in Sofitel Metropole some Stollen and Lebkuken. When I was there, a lady from Tennessee was also there and asked about the Stollen. Last night, I gave one to our Tai Chi teacher. he doesn't know about it either.

      Anyway, I can feel some of the experiences you've had as I am now reading the Armageddon (Berlin immediately after the war). I just could not put the book down. I wish I have learned all that in school. We have also been to Bavaria and it is very pretty. We have a German daughter in law whom we love very much.

    • Alana-r profile image


      5 years ago

      We have an artificial trees, but i remember the smell of a real tree from growing up, i do like Maggies suggestion though, might give that a try. Great lens!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      While I love a real tree.. I know just how much work it is. My parents have an artificial tree in their mountain home... and we don't miss a "real tree" one bit (just look out the window to see them). We always decorate trimmed branches from a tree, and put them in a vase. It gives off that piney smell.

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 

      5 years ago

      I've never had a real tree.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      5 years ago from Canada

      I prefer real trees but we usually put up a small artificial tree for convenience, and it's less messy.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I go with a real tree, but I love the smell. You do have a beautiful tree. I buy my kids an ornament every year, so I'm always looking. It helps encaptulate their most recent year.

    • oxfordian profile image


      6 years ago

      I went artificial about 6 years ago and I am so glad I did. I hated cutting down a living tree and buying one in a pot was so expensive. Plus, as the tree dries out, it looks so sad, I would get so depressed looking at it if it started to droop before the holiday season was over. I love, love, love my artificial tree!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      My dad used to put one of those aluminum trees on top of his 60-foot ham radio tower every Christmas. It was visible for miles ... the very tree and 4-color rotating light you've shown here. Thanks for bringing back happy memories. I enjoyed this very much. Merry Christmas!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      germany and austria share the same culture so i am familiar with those christmas traditions. thank you for the refresher.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another great lens D. Happy Christmas :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've actually never had a real tree. I always use the artificial ones.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 

      6 years ago

      Wow, I love the festive look of your living room! Brings back good memories of our family Christmases.

    • adamfrench profile image


      6 years ago

      Real Christmas tree, I love the smell of pines

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My compliments to you for the beautiful christmas tree - its perfect! Interesting lens, loved reading it.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Your artificial tree is lovely with your collection of ornaments. Having it on the side table adds to it's beauty. We had a fresh tree for years but now have an artificial one. It's much easier if we are not home for the holidays. I do miss the scent of a fresh Christmas Tree. Happy Holidays! :)

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      7 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      Excellent tips, Delia. I like the way you store decorations. I think that opting for an artificial tree offers many benefits.

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      First thing I thought when I saw the first pictures of your Christmas decorations was... you're so organized! And what do I see as main thoughts in this guestbook? You're so organized! Yes, you are! You even have the boxes! I'd like to be so organized... I lost all the decoration boxes and am now obliged to store the Christmas tree entirely decorated instead of storing it apart from the decorating items, lol. Oh my... Delia, you're amazing and let me tell you that you seem to have a wonderful collection of Xmas decorations - including those old fashioned boxes!


    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great personal photos. You seem so organized too. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • delia-delia profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @julieannbrady: you're funny Julie, it's called an organized mess!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My dear, you are so organized with your decorations in those boxes! If you ever make it to Jacksonville, Florida, you can help me get organized with my decorations! Ah, celebrate the Christmas tree -- for us since we live in Florida, we opt artificial and already decorated. My favorite was the lighted palm tree that we got last year!

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      8 years ago

      I prefer an artificial tree because I like to put my tree up in November! It gets me in the Christmas spirit, and I don't have to clean up pine needles. It is a very nice, full tree, and has lasted so long. I just love it.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Your Christmas Tree is beautiful but I was most interested in your gorgeous Pennsylvania Dutch Chest of Drawers. Wow, what a treasure and signed, too! We always have had a live tree and can't imagine us doing otherwise but it is getting harder and harder as we get older. Lensrolling to A Christmas Tree In The White House by Gary Hines.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It's like traveling around to all the pretty trees. Thanks for sharing. Lens rolling to my desserts lens, as Christmas time always brings the goodies.. Thanks for sharing, great lens, wonderful pics. And I still like watching Charlie Brown Christmas...

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Thanks for lensrolling my Christmas tree lenses, I will do the same. Excellent Christmas tree lens. Some artificial trees look so real. 5 stars.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Lovely... your collection of ornaments and the gorgeous chest of drawers are superb. Thanks for lensrolling my Best Artificial Christmas Tree lens. I am doing the same as yours fits in beautifully with mine. Happy New Year!

    • ssuthep profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. Love all the pics and your collection of ornaments. Great original and fun lens. Blessed by this SquidAngel.

    • mosaic lm profile image

      mosaic lm 

      8 years ago

      I love the color theme of your lens and you are so meticulous and neat when it comes to your ornaments! You have a beautiful tree. Happy holidays!

    • Xmas-Deals profile image


      8 years ago

      I love the real Christmas tree, but the artificial one is more convenient inside the house. The real Christmas tree grows in front of my house, so I can enjoy the real one as well looking through my window. Thanks for the beautiful lens.


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