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Real or Fake Christmas Tree?

Updated on December 7, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree!

In case you haven't noticed, Christmas is just around the corner. The frenzied shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, entertaining, and socializing will be here before you know what happened.

Of course, this also includes a trip to one, or several, tree lots in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Tree nurseries have started cutting Christmas trees, binding them in wire or plastic, to be shipped hundreds of miles from their beginnings. The trees are transported by truck and rail to distribution points, and from there vendors buy and transport them (again) to tree lots and stores around the area. Tree harvesting is not merely a day or two process. In fact, the whole process takes weeks, even months. So, how fresh is that tree, really?

Is it absolutely necessary to go out and rummage through stacks, piles and rows of cut trees to get in the mood or fulfill the Christmas tradition? Does your husband or wife water the tree adequately and enjoy cleaning up the never ending trail of pine needles? And, then who's going to be assigned sentry duty to guard the tree from curious pets wanting to climb into and munch on the pine needles of the tree limbs. Of course, you won't be successful, so besides the pine needles that appear throughout your home, you now get to clean up your pet's upset stomach disasters.

A fake Christmas tree can avoid most of these additional duties, disguised as traditions. First, you won't be evicting an innocent family of birds or squirrels from their homes, and you'll be doing your part to save the nation's forests. Secondly, you don't need to lug, stuff, and tie a seven-foot (84-inch), 20-30 pound tree into your sub-compact vehicle with about 100-inch wheelbase. Oh, did I forget to mention the tree might be covered with snow, ice, and bugs. Yes, bugs. Besides the fragrant pine scent, trees that grew up in the wild, come with their on entourage of flying or crawling insects. Nothing you can do about it, it is what it is.

A manufactured tree, on the other hand, is bug free, fireproof, needs no special care, and won't end up looking more like a stick adorned with lights and shiny balls. Needle shedding is minimal, and the tree is always perfectly shaped perfectly. So, there's no need to get out that hack saw, which means no accidents, like sawing off the wrong limb or slicing your expensive carpet. Some of these fake trees even erect themselves automatically, and others rotate, continuously, to display 360 degrees of beauty. Now this is Christmas!

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