Real or Fake Christmas Tree?

Real or Fake Christmas Tree? Picture

"Arial","sans-serif"”>We are a house divided. He likes artificial, pre-lit and I like the Douglas Fir. Of course I mean Christmas trees. If you celebrate Christmas, there is no compromise: you’re either Team Artificial or Team Griswold.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>Yes, the real thing is a real pain and can lead to injury and bruised egos. Injuries happen when the real thing falls on you when you’re being told from beneath its depths to move it to the right and then, NO!, move it to the left and then, wait, back to the right again. The Christmas tree will remain crooked and probably tied to fishing line regardless of the right-to-left and back-and-forth ratio. It’s unfortunate that the Elf on the Shelf can’t earn his keep and keep the tree straight.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>The Elf will, however, leave a note that will be all: oops, tree fell over again. 

Great, thanks for the heads up, Elf.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>His case is that artificial trees do guarantee straight stature and lights that don’t knot and branches that don’t sap or sag with needles that won’t be found lingering in June. Fake (that’s what I call them) trees don’t come with bare spots, either.

Well, I come with cellulite and stretch marks. I’m sure a Photoshopped cardboard cutout of me would do just fine, too.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>Alright, I only thought that, but I know he likes the fake one and I like the real one and what are we to do? Our compromise has been that we have both: sometimes we head out to the nursery and make Mom happy by selecting the one that’s just perfect for us and other times we go with the other one for Dad.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>In general, the folks that prefer real Christmas trees tend to be pretty passionate. Obviously, I include myself in this category. Our daughter could care less, but definitely skews more to the – and it pains me to write this – pre-lit, fake one. Mainly because we have had trees come tumbling down multiple times and we don’t even own an Elf. She’s not a fan of the left/right shuffle or subzero temperature to find the thing or hauling it home.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>When I put it that way, it sure does sound like a lot of work.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>But we only had real Christmas trees when I was a child. I can still remember driving past the old barn, with its two-story wreath attached, and how the sight of it would mean the official countdown to Christmas had arrived. My sister and I still gather around my father’s tree every year and tell him it’s crooked. Then, he’ll dive under and start shaking and twisting and we’ll laugh so hard we can barely breathe.

"Arial","sans-serif"”>It’s the imperfection of the ritual that I love. What’s fun about pre-lit perfection? I completely understand convenience and that some do not have a choice because of allergies, but it’s the mishaps of the real thing that get shared and passed down through the years. The imperfections are the memories.

Photo via Flickr: _M-j-H_

What do you think?

Real or Fake Christmas Tree?

Liz Henry is the irreverent voice behind the award-winning blog The Six Year Itch. She lives with her daughter and her partner, Slasher, in Philadelphia. That's not his real name and that's not her real hair color. Her soft middle is totally real. Liz graduated summa cum lazy with a degree in English literature, which means she knows how to write properly, but rarely does. She loves Harry Potter and Luna is her favorite. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of jamie ater jamie ater says:

    i love real trees we had them when i was a kid and i love the smell the feel and i even love going out in the subzero weather to pick it out i think all the work that goes in to a real tree makes it worth more to me then something that came out of a box

  2. Profile photo of debbie debbie says:

    I like the real trees.

  3. Profile photo of AmyC AmyC says:

    When I lived in the country we always had a real tree. Closer to the city the trees are too expensive, so I switched to a fake. I miss the real though. Hopefully we will get to move back to the country someday.

  4. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    "Well, I come with cellulite and stretch marks. I’m sure a Photoshopped cardboard cutout of me would do just fine, too." — love this. And love real trees (although right now a pre-lit fake is glowing in the corner – sometimes convenience wins out).


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