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Christmas Tree Choices, Real or Artificial?

Updated on December 8, 2013

How to Make the Choice

There are arguments in favour of both real and artificial Christmas trees, as with so much in life it's down to deciding what's important to you. For some people the authenticity of the tree is important, others prefer to use the same tree several years in a row. Sometimes it's hard to decide which factor is more important - the smell of a real tree or the convenience of the artificial one. To make this choice easier, I have categorised the pros and cons of both types of holiday trees. Consider the following factors when you're making your choice.

Nostalgia Value

Christmas Tree Nostalgia
Christmas Tree Nostalgia

If you're nostalgic about your childhood Christmases, then it's likely that a real tree wins hands down for you. There's something about the smell that just triggers memories. Do you remember carols playing in the background, as you lovingly unwrap the baubles and tinsel that you last saw in January. Real trees smell of Christmas and plastic ones ... just don't.

Environmental Concerns

Christmas Tree in a Pot
Christmas Tree in a Pot

Well, you could argue this either way, plastic isn't great for the environment but then neither is sacrificing a young tree for Christmas. Maybe you can have a real tree in a pot, and bring it indoors for a few years, but unless you keep your lounge cool the tree isn't going to like it very much. I used to have a tree in a pot and sprayed it with water every day it was inside my home. During the summer it was on the porch and I continued watering it quite often. I managed to keep it alive for 6 years, so maybe you can give it a try too.

Convenience

Artificial Christmas Tree
Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial trees have to win this round. They're light, they don't drop needles everywhere, and even if you have a very large tree, putting it together is quick and considerably easier than something like flat pack furniture assembly. You can store the artificial tree in a box and it won't take so much space as a tree in pot will. Even your children can fit the pieces together and decorate the tree entirely on their own. There is no need to worry that they will prick themselves or will somehow ruin the tree.

Cost

Lovely Christmas Tree
Lovely Christmas Tree

This depends on the size of the real tree and the quality of the artificial one. A large real tree doesn't come cheaply these days. When it comes to artificial trees it's as much about quality as size. Decent looking ones can be quite expensive. On the other hand, you'll get many years use out of an artificial tree. On balance the artificial tree might well work out cheaper in the long run.

Appearance

Beautiful Christmas Tree
Beautiful Christmas Tree

The early artificial trees were, frankly speaking, pretty horrible. Cheap plastic, badly put together, with a vague resemblance to a Christmas tree, but not really! The quality has improved immensely over the years though. No artificial tree is ever going to look as good as a decent real one, at least not at the start of the festive season. By early January however, the artificial tree will still be looking fine, whilst the real one might have dropped half of it's needles and could well remind you of the ghost of Christmas past than a symbol of hope and renewal.

There Is a Third Option

Pillow Christmas Tree
Pillow Christmas Tree

If you can't decide between a real and an artificial tree, maybe you can choose the third option - an alternative Christmas tree. This type of decoration has become more and more popular in recent years. You wonder what I have in mind? Well, alternative holiday trees are made up from all kind of materials - pillows, books, bottles, Christmas lights and ornaments, ribbons, branches, wall stickers and everything else that comes up in your mind. These trees are a wonderful way to decorate on a budget and to create an amazing holiday atmosphere. Get inspired by these 15 ideas for alternative Christmas trees or by the gallery below.

Alternative Christmas Trees

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What Is Your Choice for a Christmas Tree This Year?

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Share Your Preferences or Just Wish Me Happy Holidays :)

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