Now that November has arrived, it’s time to start decking those halls and trimming those trees! If you’re having a hard time trying to decide between a real and fake tree this holiday season, let me make it easier for you. Go with the real one! You won’t regret it. Need more convincing than just my word? Read on for 5 major reasons why you should buy a real Christmas tree this year.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Real Christmas Tree
Given the choice between real and fake anything, real is the better option 99.999% of the time. Think about it. Would you rather have real chocolate or fake “chocolate-flavored” candy? Real coffee or a fake “coffee-flavored” drink? A real smartphone or a fake knock-off? Well, the same reason you’d choose real in all of those cases holds true for Christmas trees: it’s just better. How so? Keep reading to find out.
1. Real trees are much better for your budget …
Let’s start with two things that real trees are definitely better for: your wallet and the environment. Did you know that the average fake tree costs about $108 while a real one averages $75? Honestly, I think $75 is pushing it! I’ve bought real trees for around $30, and they were very big & full. Unless you really must have the Fraser Fir (typically the costliest since it’s the rarest), you can easily get a stunning tree for half the price of a semi-decent real one.
2….and the planet!
As for the planet, there is some debate as to whether they’re supremely better for the planet, just a little bit, or about the same as a fake tree. I agree with those who say they’re much better. First, fake trees are made in factories, real trees are grown on farms. Second, fake trees get thrown in landfills, where they take years upon years to break down (if they ever do). Real trees return to the land. If you live in a woodsy area, you can just throw them out your back door and let animals use it for shelter. Even if you have it picked up for disposal, it’ll become mulch and compost. You tell me which one sounds better for the planet?
3. Picking out a real tree is a wonderful family tradition
While I suppose you could turn picking out a fake tree into a fun family outing, heading to your local mass-market chain store and fighting crowds to pick out the nicest plastic tree just doesn’t have the same charm as heading to nature to choose the perfect real tree. Besides, unless you really don’t like the planet, you shouldn’t be picking out a new fake tree every year, anyway, because that mean’s you’re throwing out a ginormous hunk of plastic annually.
Whether you shop from a small tree farm or head out into the woods to cut down your own (where allowed, of course), real tree shopping is the stuff that family memories are made of. The brisk air mingles with the aroma of Douglas Firs, Blue Spruces, & Scotch Pines to create a smell that is unique to Christmas tree shopping. You can’t find that in a store.
Plus, you can start decorating it almost as soon as you get home. Just snip the twine holding the branches up, pop it in the tree stand, and you’re ready to go. Try getting a fake tree up in as little time! If it comes pre-lit, expect to spend an hour figuring out where all the strands connect!
4. Real trees help farmers & small businesses
A real tree doesn’t just benefit you; it also helps many other small businesses and families. From the farmer who raised it to the owner of the nursery or tree farm that sold it, your purchase has a very real impact on the lives of other families. Yes, you could argue that factories that make fake trees help feed families since they employ real people, too. However, the bulk of your purchase goes directly towards lining corporate pockets, not towards putting food on tables and gifts under trees.
5. Real trees smell like “Christmas” in a way that fake trees never will
If all of that isn’t enough to convince you to buy a real Christmas tree, perhaps this last one will! Nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever smell exactly the way a real tree does. You can buy all the chemical-loaded & chemical-free sprays in the world, light every “Holiday Woods” candle, even load that plastic monument up with Pine Scotch essential oil ornaments and it will never, ever, ever smell like a real Christmas tree.
That smell, by the way, has some terrific benefits. It’s a great stress-reliever! The Japanese even have a ritual around it called shinrin-yoku. It’s basically the act of taking a walk through a pine forest to help clear your mind. Sure, you can get some of those benefits from the essential oils, but you don’t really get the full experience. See, part of the reason pine is so beneficial for stress is because of the memories it invokes. When most of us smell pine, we’re reminded of decorating the tree with our families, getting up early to discover what’s been left beneath it, and just gathering in the living room to spend time together. That natural aroma is in the background of nearly every happy holiday memory. You just can’t get the same effect from a bottle.
It’s easy to see why a real Christmas tree is the better option. In fact, unless you’re allergic to pine trees (which, sadly, some people are), there really aren’t any benefits to choosing a fake tree. Yes, a real tree requires a bit more care than the fake version, but I think the pros definitely outweigh that single con, don’t you?