When choosing a Christmas tree this holiday season, you may be wondering if you should use the artificial tree that is tucked away in the basement, or if you should buy a real tree. There are many things to consider when making your decision, and here are a few tips when doing so:
Think about the amount of time you have to spend on day-to-day maintenance. If you buy a real tree, you will likely need to water it once every few days (if not every day, depending on the type of base you have), and clean the area around the tree as the needles begin to dry out. I was very excited to have a real tree last year, but I had to vacuum 2-3 times per day in order to keep the carpet free of needles. Even though I made that a priority, I still found needles here and there a few months afterward. With an artificial tree, the maintenance is minimal.
Consider the people and animals in your home. Do any of them have allergies? If so, an artificial tree is the safest option. Do your animals like to play in or around the tree? I have a dog and a few cats, and they are all very interested in the tree each year, along with the ornaments and other decorations we use. When we have an artificial tree, the cats seem to knock it over more often, as it isn’t very heavy. The real tree, however, was still if great interest to them, but because of the weight of the tree, it wasn’t as easy for them to knock over.
Consider your holiday budget. In West Virginia, our real trees don’t cost much more than $50, and that’s typically for an 8-foot tree. We purchased a very nice, very healthy 6 ½ foot tree last year, and it was only $30. Not only that, but our money went toward a church camp, so it was nice to know where our money went and that it was helping a good cause.
Think about your environmental impact. Obviously, if you use an artificial tree and use it from year to year, the impact on the environment is not something you need to worry about. However, if you use a real tree, you’re taking a tree out of it’s natural environment. Some people keep the roots attached to the bottom of the tree so that it can be planted again, so if you worry about that, keep in mind that you do have the option to replant a tree if you choose to do so.
Regardless of what tree you choose, you will make memories for you and your family that will last a lifetime. I have had both types of trees, and have been very happy with my purchases. Consider decorations, time you are able to spend on maintenance, and your budget. This will help you make an informed decision, and can make your holiday more enjoyable.