Christ­mas­treeshow­down: Real­treev­er­susar­ti­fi­cial

Serve Daily - - FOSTERING INNOVATION - By Joe Capell

The whole idea of the Christ­mas tree seems rather odd, doesn’t it? We go out into the for­est and kill a tree. Then we bring it back to our house, where we plant the dead tree in our front room in or­der to com­mem­o­rate the birth of a very im­por­tant baby.

(It’s a good thing we don’t do this for ev­ery baby that is born. We might run out of trees. And all those pine nee­dles would get messy.)

Of course, not ev­ery­one brings a real tree into their house. A large per­cent­age of peo­ple use ar­ti­fi­cial trees in­stead. There are pros and cons to each ap­proach.

A real tree smells like a real tree. (Some peo­ple LOVE that fresh pine scent.) A real tree looks like a tree, be­cause it ac­tu­ally is (or was) one. If you shop around enough, you can find a great-look­ing tree that will fit per­fectly in the space you have for it.

Un­for­tu­nately, some­times you mis­judge the size of that “per­fect” tree, and when you get it home find you have to chop some off of the top or bot­tom. Also, a real tree smells like a real tree. (Some peo­ple HATE that fresh-pine scent.) A real tree can shed pine nee­dles worse than a cat sheds its fur. (You might still be find­ing loose pine nee­dles in the car­pet in June.) And, as the tree dries, it can be­come a fire haz­ard.

On the plus side, ar­ti­fi­cial trees are con­sis­tent. It’s the same tree year af­ter year. If it fit last year, it will fit this year. Many ar­ti­fi­cial trees come with the lights al­ready at­tached, so no worry about string­ing lights or fire haz­ards. And you don’t have to traipse through the for­est to find it; just grab the box from the at­tic.

On the neg­a­tive side, ar­ti­fi­cial trees look the same ev­ery year, so there’s no va­ri­ety. Most ar­ti­fi­cial trees look fake. (It’s easy to tell they aren’t real.) They also don’t smell like a real tree (if that’s some­thing you ac­tu­ally like.) If the lights don’t work, you have to re­place the en­tire tree. Plus, you have to dig around in the at­tic for it ev­ery year. (The at­tic is a nasty place full of spi­der webs.)

Which tree should you choose? It really comes down to per­sonal pref­er­ences. Me? I go with the ar­ti­fi­cial tree. I’ve met one too many pine nee­dles with my bare feet.

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