Are real trees bet­ter than fake?

The Christ­mas tree is the epi­cen­tre of the fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions, but do you go nat­u­ral or faux? Two fans of each say why they pre­fer man-made or for­est grown

Real Homes - - Contents -

If it was real it’d start los­ing its nee­dles, go­ing brown and I’d be con­stantly clean­ing un­der­neath it. I don’t want my tree to look half dead by 25 De­cem­ber

YES

‘I love the smell and the am­bi­ence; it gives your home a lovely feel­ing’

Lisa Smith lives with hus­band Stu and their three chil­dren in Wolver­hamp­ton, and choos­ing a real tree is a Christ­mas tra­di­tion.

‘I don’t re­ally like ar­ti­fi­cial trees. I love the smell of a real one and the whole am­bi­ence of it; it just gives your home such a lovely feel­ing. We don’t buy it un­til mid-de­cem­ber so it will last through un­til the New Year, and we’ll get a door wreath at the same time. We get the kind of tree that doesn’t drop its nee­dles.

‘The kids start ask­ing in Novem­ber when we are go­ing to get it. It is a big fam­ily af­fair. We all put our wellies on and go down to Lan­g­ley Hall Farm and pick one. Last year it snowed and the chil­dren were hav­ing snow­ball fights. Some­times we’ll put them through the tree-net­ting tube, too! We see lots of other peo­ple we know choos­ing theirs. And a tree is planted for each one cut, which is good for the en­vi­ron­ment as they ab­sorb harm­ful gases and re­lease oxy­gen. I bought a pot­ted one once and put it in the gar­den af­ter­wards – it’s 12-foot tall now. This year, I am putting lights on that, too.

We put the tree in the bay win­dow so it can be seen from out­side, and dec­o­rat­ing it is a fam­ily tra­di­tion. The tree stays up un­til New Year’s Day, and when it’s been taken out for re­cy­cling, I’ll light scented can­dles in­stead.

‘When I was young, we had real trees and I have such mem­o­ries of those. To me, it smells like Christ­mas.’

NO

‘For me, a nat­u­ral tree is never per­fect. There are big gaps. I need sym­me­try’

Blog­ger Kim­berly Du­ran (swoon­wor­thy.co.uk) shares a home in Shrews­bury with part­ner Wayne, a dog and two cats.

‘Ever since I’ve started putting trees up in my home, they’ve been fake. We have a seven-foot ar­ti­fi­cial tree that is flocked and pre-lit. No one is go­ing to think it’s snowed in my house, but it looks so pretty and re­ally makes the baubles stand out.

‘We don’t have kids so there isn’t the rit­ual of find­ing a tree and dec­o­rat­ing it as a fam­ily. My part­ner knows to stay away as I want it to look how I want it. Re­mem­ber Mon­ica from Friends when she let them dec­o­rate the tree and then she turned it around and it was per­fectly dec­o­rated? That is how I am. For me, a nat­u­ral tree is never per­fect. There are big gaps. I need sym­me­try be­cause I want it to look Mon­ica per­fect.

‘One of the rea­sons I like ar­ti­fi­cial is that there’s so much less mess. I get the tree up by the first of De­cem­ber. If it was real, it’d start los­ing its nee­dles, go­ing a bit brown and I’d be con­stantly clean­ing un­der­neath it. I don’t want my tree to look half dead by 25 De­cem­ber.

‘I had my pre­vi­ous tree for eight years, and the one I’ve got now for four years; eco­nom­i­cally, ar­ti­fi­cial makes sense. If you buy a good one, they last quite a long time. I’ve got cats who climb up in­side of it and it’s still go­ing strong.

‘It’s also one thing less for me to think about. I don’t need the has­sle of go­ing out and buy­ing one. I get it down from the loft and it’s ticked off my list. And I’ve seen pic­tures where they’ve taken the real tree out at the end of the hol­i­days and have a rug of nee­dles on the floor all the way to the door. I am so glad I don’t have to do that!’

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