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real tree or artificial tree?

The first, and most important decision, when it comes to the Christmas tree is whether to choose a real tree for your home, or an artificial one.

It’s no secret that real Christmas trees are high maintenance and can be messy, whereas artificial trees are easy to get out of storage to be used every year without hassle. This might be tempting in swaying your decision, especially as artificial trees can be stored and re-used for over 5 years or more, however there are many more factors which you should consider when deciding between which type of tree to commit to.

To start with, there are aspects of real Christmas trees that a fake tree simply cannot replicate. For example, the great ambiance it gives, with that incredible smell— a distinctive fresh woody musk. This kind of sensory stimulation can make Christmas in your home feel all the more sentimental and like a truly special occasion for your family. What’s more, this tradition doesn’t just have to be about having the tree—it can be about getting it too. Going out with your children or partner to choose a tree can become a lovely yearly tradition each December to put you in the spirit of Christmas, and it makes the tree more personal to you and your family.

It’s not realistic to expect a perfect real Christmas tree (although many find that part of its charm) but choosing an artificial tree lets you customize the way you like them. You can buy many different types of artificial trees, in different shapes, sizes and colours. You can even go for a pre-decorated tree if the thrill of assembling the tree feels more like a chore. Artificial trees also give a sense of comfort to those who may have experienced a Christmas time fire scare in the past—most of them are fire-resistant which can give you some peace of mind when stringing up lights each year, or if you simply don’t want to risk it.

With mass production of Christmas trees at this time of the year, another important factor to consider in purchasing a tree is the environmental impact of your choice. According to a study of the comparative environmental impacts of Christmas trees, the WAP Sustainability Consulting company found that "one real Christmas tree generates fewer environmental impacts than one artificial tree." However, an artificial tree can reduce its impact on the environment if the customer reuses the tree for multiple years. Even so, it cannot be recycled at the end of its use, unlike a real tree which is biodegradable and can be re-purposed.

Purchasing real trees locally, as opposed to having mass-manufactured artificial trees shipped from overseas, is also great for supporting your local economy. What better time to support small family-owned businesses than Christmas time!

Ultimately these options both have their benefits and drawbacks. Which will you choose this year?

Christmas tree boy Adobe Stock 129294068

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