View Full Version : Real or Artificial Tree?

12-01-2012, 10:34 PM
Growing up, my family ALWAYS had real Christmas trees. About 10 or so years ago, I decided to buy an artificial tree, since the quality has vastly improved over the years so they don't look nearly as hideous as they used to. I like the convenience and cleanliness. Plus, it's fiber-optic, so I don't need to string lights.

However, there is definitely something lacking--that smell! I talked to ds, and we think we will get a real tree this year.

I'm curious about what everyone else does (those who celebrate Christmas, of course :) ) ?

12-02-2012, 09:35 AM
I had to switch to artificial several years ago because my allergy to the real thing got too severe. I was single at the time and had to drag it in and out by myself. I would have hives all up and down my arm and intense itching. I decided that it was not worth it. ;)

12-02-2012, 09:49 AM
We have an artificial, that does not mean that is what I want. I want a real tree. Some years we get one, other times we don't. Part of it depends on where we are living and the space we have since the artificial takes up less space than any live tree I have ever chosen. My husband thinks that if I choose a tree it will overwhelm the house and there won't be room to move. I think if he chooses a tree it will look like Charlie Brown's. The artificial is a compromise, just like the butt-ugly star that we bought back in 97 when our angel died. The idea was if we both hated it, it would force us to find something we liked. We have yet to find something we both like, so the butt ugly star lives on. Thankfully, we have solved the yearly fight over lights--he likes those horrid little twinkly things, I like real ones with bulbs that are easy to change. We found his stupid twinkly things with covers that make them look real. Going on 22 years now, and decorating is still a challenge!!

12-02-2012, 09:51 AM
We have an artificial tree because we wanted a short one that could go up on a table when the kids were babies. I'd love to get a real, full-sized one, but we don't have a good place to put it in our house. Also, the initial expense of buying lights, more ornaments, and a stand is too much for us at this time of year.

12-02-2012, 09:55 AM
Real! I grew up with real and I love the whole ritual of picking it out and bringing it home! And the smell... THAT's how I know it's Christmas. :)

12-02-2012, 10:19 AM
My parents bought a real Christmas tree every year but I don't have any really great memories of that. My grandmother always had an artificial tree, and when i got older I put it up for her and decorated it. My other grandmother always had an artificial tree, and got a new one a few years ago. Now I get to help her put hers up every year.
We have an artificial tree, and it's not one of the super nice models, but I do like that I can stick ornaments inside the tree, especially the shinny balls. They reflect the light and I think that looks nice. I'm hoping to buy a bigger tree when we move and have more space. We are starting to need a new one just because of all the ornaments...lol.

12-02-2012, 10:52 AM
we live in an apartment so we don't have a lot of room, and when TW was really little we didn't even have one. now we have a pre-strung little one with fiber optics that sits on our table. I'd love to be able to live somewhere where we can have a nice big real tree. but for now this is the most practical option for us.

if you miss the pine smell try the pine-bay-nutmeg boiled potpourri from this site. it's really yummy.
DIY Natural Room Scents (http://www.theyummylife.com/Natural_Room_Scents)

12-02-2012, 11:17 AM
We get a real tree even though DH complains about the process. It is our tradition to go to a "cut your own" place and have the kids help to pick it out and cut it down. When I was a kid my family always went to my grandmothers land to find a tree. It wouldn't be Christmas for me without the argue over which tree is best and who gets to saw first!

12-02-2012, 11:21 AM
I grew up with an artificial one. My mother was a single mom with little money and we lived in an apartment.

Dh swore he would always have a real one until he was too old to physical get one in the house and then only if he didn't have kids old enough that he could make them do it. That goal changed two years ago when it became clear that ds has severe allergies to live trees. He would up with a really bad case of pink eye and the next year we bought a fake tree. I like that it's pre-lit, that I'm not finding pine needles for months later, and that we know exactly how much space in our very small living room we need to come up with.

12-02-2012, 11:50 AM
Real, the only way to go for us. Plus we get to go and cut our own, the junior forest wardens use it as fund raiser, each year they get a section of forest that can handle some thinning. The benefit with a fresh cut compared to buying from lots is huge needle drop is minor on the fresh tree.

12-02-2012, 12:25 PM
Like others, we would prefer a real tree, but we have gone artificial. We have crazy high ceilings (10'+) and not a huge amount of floor space. The only trees the farms grow these days are the short, fat kind. They prune them to be all in the same mold. That mold just doesn't work in our space. The first time I saw one of these tall, skinny artificial trees, I went gaga for it. Finally, a tree that would look right in our living room! Our tree is not top of the line, but it looks pretty nice, it's easier to deal with, it's been cheaper, and, like I said, it doesn't look like a weird fat ball of needles just taking up space in our living room.

I wish the tree farms would grow more variety of tree shapes, but until they do, we're sticking with the fake tree and buying some garlands for the smell.

12-02-2012, 01:08 PM
i grew up jewish - no tree, just a bronze menorah. I was very anti xmas for a long time, and the ex didnt care, but once we got back in touch with his family (who thought he was dead, omg they were so happy) we did xmas with the inlaws, and the kids LOVED it, so i gave in and picked up a really cheap fake tree on clearance at lowes one year - i think it was like $20. That was probably 12 years ago. When dh and I got together he said he wanted to get a nicer tree and have it all fancy looking - idk, maybe white lights and coordinated ornaments? we have some we inherited from my mom's second husband, a few i've bought along the years, some the kids made in school. But i told him i really liked all the funky ornaments, and by the time i realized the old tree was really looking like crap, he went all cheap on me.

finally last year I told him i really wanted a new tree, so i went out looking a few days after xmas, and there was not much to choose from. Most were too tall for our house and over 100 on clearance! There were no lit ones short enough. I found one for about $45, its taller than our old one, and fuller, and has some frosted greens and some berries. Orion put it up and i picked up some new lights . .. i really like minimum work. i'm seriously bah humbug. so i'm all about convenience. and have no positive thoughts about a real tree, but with all this allergy talk, i'm glad i never tried.

12-02-2012, 01:08 PM
We have an artificial tree and always will. The cats don't climb/eat it, and I don't have to maintain it.

12-02-2012, 02:39 PM
We have always bought a real tree. Since we moved from VA to NH, we have started a tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm every year to select our tree. We tag it in October and then call them the day before we want to pick it up in Dec. The farm cuts it down in the morning and it is there waiting for us to take home.

12-02-2012, 03:21 PM
I prefer real, however we go artificial and just burn a Yankee Candle with a pine scent to give the illusion of reality. ;)

12-02-2012, 03:44 PM
We have an artificial tree and always will. The cats don't climb/eat it, and I don't have to maintain it.

This is us too, except only one cat and add 3 boys. lol

12-03-2012, 02:06 AM
We have a 9 foot tree that came with the house. Dh loves it. I want to try a real tree just once. He's totally against it. So there it stands all decorated. It's a nice tree, but it's super tall. I would love to have some variety, but for now it's artificial.

12-03-2012, 07:36 PM
Real tree every year, but like farrarwilliams, our space is thin and tall so it's always cramped in the little spot where the stairs curve.

My kids want a Festivus Pole this year. For reals.

12-03-2012, 08:30 PM
We got our tree today, a balsam fir, from a local tree farm. It was fun (complete with hot mulled cider and a cute little black lab in front of their woodstove), and the whole process involved in choosing, cutting, transporting, making space in the living room, setting up, getting it straight, figuring which side to face the wall, cleaning up the needles, etc--well, now I remember why I switched to artificial 10 years ago! Not to mention, $45 for the tree. I think I paid less than that for the artificial one, and I've used it over and over. The fake one fits so much better in the small apt., too.

BUT, there really is something special about a real tree that's missing when I use the fake. I don't think I'll do it every year, but maybe every few years. Unless I get bigger house!

12-03-2012, 08:53 PM
This is our first year with a real tree. We always had an artificially one because we live in Hawaii and trees just don't last here. They arrive in a container the week before Thanksgiving and just get so dried out in the heat by Christmas. But, last Christmas we had to duck tape our artificial tree together, so we trashed it after Xmas. Then we didn't get on top of those after Xmas sales to get a new artificial one, so we decided to just try a real one this year and see how it goes. If it doesn't work we will hit up the after Xmas sales this year and get another artificial one.

12-03-2012, 09:22 PM
We've always had real (even though we live in the freakin' woods and have as many trees as we could possibly want four steps from the door...can you tell I've lobbied for artificial?). Fortunately, the chubby, squat trees fit in perfectly in our chubby, squat house, so I'll deal.

But in a few years, when the kid moves out and gets his own tree? I'm pressing hard for Lucy's favorite: pink aluminum.

12-03-2012, 09:25 PM
I grew up going to tree farms and thought we'd always have a real tree! Then hubby convinced me to try out artificial a few years back and I swear I love it now (hate to admit it). It's just so easy to put it up and take down that it makes decorating so much more of a joy now - not to mention the built in lights.

12-05-2012, 03:30 PM
This year will be only the second time in our 14 years of marriage that we'll have a real tree. We gave our artificial one away before we moved to Germany a few months ago. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also thankful that we have hardwood floors, not carpet, so that cleaning up after the tree is a simple sweep.


12-06-2012, 10:50 AM
I love a real tree, but the allergies are catching up to me. Dh has been pressing for an artificial for years now, and I think he may win out this time. I do plan to get a live wreath, though, for the smell. :)

12-06-2012, 11:08 AM
DH grew up with artificial, put up pretty much the minute Thanksgiving dinner was over; I grew up with cut-your-own, a little bigger each year to accommodate a new ornament for every family member for each year. We have a tabletop artificial one and I have to say I love the convenience, but we'll probably go and buy real garland for the mantel.

12-06-2012, 11:22 AM
I love real trees. We have had a tiny fake one since Girl was born, but it's too small for all our ornaments. I like a real one this year. Problem is, places around here sell them "starting at 59.99!" - for tiny, sincere trees. Also, everyone here puts their trees up the day after Thanksgiving; DH and I both grew up with the tree being a Christmas Eve tradition. By the time we want to get the tree, they are all gone or dried out. Can't store 'em outside at our temperatures - they get dried out and all the needles fall off as soon as they warm up. Can't put 'em on top of the car to drive home - too cold; the wind chill dries them out. We might cut one down from our property, but only if we get a break on the weather. I like the garland idea - haven't done that yet. My kids are growing up not knowing the smell. :(

12-06-2012, 01:20 PM
We have a fake one; we used to just use a big houseplant until DS was born. I'd kind of like a real one this year, though, just a small table top size. I don't really want the hassle of a big tree, but I'm not sure DS would go for it. But since I bring in all kinds of natural elements into my "holiday decorating" (if it can be called that), a real tree does seem more--what's the word being used around here recently: simpatico? (Reminds me of Bad Teacher, lol).

Kelly Cyr-Levesque
12-09-2012, 10:42 PM
We have an artificial for 2 reasons:

1. Real ones dry out too quickly creating a fire hazard. DH lit one on fire (outside) a few years ago and starting the following year I refused to ever have a real one in my home again!

2. Real ones are too messy! Needles fall all over the place when you are bringing it in. It's even worse when removing it from the house.

12-09-2012, 11:19 PM
We have an artificial for 2 reasons:

1. Real ones dry out too quickly creating a fire hazard. DH lit one on fire (outside) a few years ago and starting the following year I refused to ever have a real one in my home again!

2. Real ones are too messy! Needles fall all over the place when you are bringing it in. It's even worse when removing it from the house.

That's why it's best to cut one fresh, put it in water before the cut end seals up, and keep it in water all the time. Plus, keep it away from the woodstove or heater, if possible. And use the little lights, they are cooler than the big ones. If you do all that, fire hazard is pretty low. Yeah, it will still drop some needles, but far less than if you don't keep it watered. Giving it a good shake before you bring it in (some tree places even have shakers that will do this for you) helps a lot. Mine only dropped a few needles on the way in, and has only dropped a small handful of needles in the last week, if that. Dustbuster does a good job. Well, it does now that I finally fixed it. :)

But yeah, an artificial is definitely much more low-maintenance, which is why I used one for the past ten years or so. :)

12-10-2012, 09:01 AM
I don't do well with plants. I'm sure if we got a real tree it would look pretty sad before it was all over and done with.

12-14-2012, 12:16 AM
We had a real tree for a few years but I got pretty fed up with the needles, watering it, cleaning it up, etc. We went artificial in 1999 or so, my daughter's first Christmas, and have never looked back. I'd rather have no tree than a real tree.

12-14-2012, 09:23 PM
I grew up with artificial trees because my dad is allergic to real trees. So artificial is what I'm used to.

I also really appreciate it avoiding the hassle of watering a real tree, or vacuuming up pine needles, and worrying that it might get dry and catch on fire. Not to mention having to throw the thing away and all that entails. No thanks.

I do have a nice looking, pre-lit tree, so that makes the prospect more desirable.