Which is the better Christmas tree option: real or fake?


The Catalyst / Genevieve Klein

Decorating the Christmas tree, regardless of what kind, offers a chance for families to bond.

When it comes to Christmas decorations, none is more memorable or important than the Christmas tree. No matter what size or how it is decorated, the Christmas tree is a central part of both the holiday and the surrounding spirit. For many families, putting up the tree is what truly begins the Christmas season. Some families select and bring home a real tree every year. Others reuse fake trees for years at a time. So which option is better?

If there is one thing a real Christmas tree has that a fake one does not, it is the smell. Pine trees have a distinctive winter and Christmas smell that feels fresh and full of nostalgia. A real Christmas tree will fill the house with that festive scent.

Real Christmas trees, which are usually cut down or bought from Christmas tree farms, also create an opportunity for families to bond and get into the holiday spirit together. Decorating the tree is typically already a family endeavor and making the trip to choose one from a farm adds to that bonding experience.

While fake Christmas trees do not include the same memorable trip and decision-making involved in picking a real tree, the assembly required still allows time for group or family fun while setting up the tree. Fake trees are often stored away for much of the year and they must be brought out of storage and put together before they can be decorated.

The plastic pine needles of fake Christmas trees may lack the festive smell of real ones, but they do have one advantage: they won’t make a mess. Unlike real Christmas trees, fake pine needles will not continuously fall off the tree and scatter across the floor. Using a fake tree saves clean-up time both while the tree is up and when it needs to be taken down.

Taking down the tree as the holiday season ends presents another difference between the kinds of trees. A fake tree can be disassembled, packed away and saved for the next year. A real tree, on the other hand, cannot be preserved for the future. Artificial trees are reusable and prevent the waste of cutting down and throwing away a new tree every year.

Real and fake trees each have their benefits and disadvantages, so each family’s decision will depend on their own personal preferences. Regardless of their differences, both real and artificial Christmas trees are still Christmas trees. They will still look beautiful and festive no matter what they are made of and that is what is truly important when decorating for the holiday season.