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Real Christmas Tree vs Fake: Which is Best?

BY: Editors | Nov 29, 2018

Perhaps no holiday debate riles up more people than the "real Christmas tree vs fake" showdown. While there are many other heated arguments ("Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?" comes to mind), nothing turns friend into foe quite like the question "Are real or fake Christmas trees better?"

We decided to finally to bring an end the "real or fake Christmas tree" debate by asking two of our writers to make closing arguments for their preferred form of tree. It got personal. Enjoy!

(And psst—get great deals on Christmas trees here.)


Fake Trees Forever

By Sarah Gorr

I've had a fake Christmas tree my whole life. Only once when I was about 9 or so did my family ever bother with a real tree and while I remember being delighted the day we got it, I quickly refocused on things I cared about more like what exactly was going underneath it. When the fake tree returned the next year, no one batted an eye, and today my love of fake trees is firm. A fake Christmas tree is the only way to go.

It's not that I don't understand the allure of the real tree—the smell! the look! the ceremony of it all!—it's just that I think a lot of that allure is fleeting if not mostly imaginary.

In reality, most of us aren't skipping through picturesque woods on a snowy winter's day to select the perfect tree to chop ourselves. No. Most likely, we're in the parking lot of a Home Depot or grocery store surrounded by dirty gray slush and oil slicks. Then you've gotta strap the thing to your car if you have one (or pay for delivery if you don't) and lug it into the house before setting it all up only to realize that the delicious piney scent you crave is completely gone in a day or two and you can't stop your dog from drinking all the dang water out of the stand.

A fake tree though? A fake tree can be set up on a whim the second the holiday spirit strikes you. Just pull it out of storage and poof, up it goes. And aside from merely being cheaper, aren't the holidays busy enough without one more errand to run? Purchase once and use basically forever! Methodically fluffing the branches with my sisters every year is weirdly one of my most cherished holiday memories. So don't overlook the humble fake tree. It's not any less of a festive tradition; it's just easier for you and who can argue with that?

Shop real deals on artificial Christmas trees here.


Keep it Real

By Andy Seifert

How sad, Sarah, that you've never experienced the ethereal joy of skipping through picturesque woods on a snowy winter's day to select the perfect tree to chop yourself. How very sad. But that's not actually how it happens.

When you choose a fake tree, you choose to deny yourself an authentic Christmas experience: that of the struggle to find a suitable douglas fir at a tree farm 70 miles away, haul it on top of your mini-van, strap it precariously to the roof with a bungee cord, drive home through a blizzard while hoping against hope that it doesn't hurl itself into a nearby ditch on the way, and then awkwardly mount it in the living room.

Now, that sounds like an ordeal—and it often is!—but it's real, doggone it. And at the end, not only do you have a gorgeous conifer to stare at with pride, you have an often-hilarious story about the whole episode.

Plus, a real tree gets you:

  • The heavenly smell of balsam!
  • Needles on your floor!
  • The piece of mind that you can just throw it away on Dec. 29!
  • Smugness!

And one other thing! You only get one opportunity each year to place a real tree in your living room and still come across as a sane person. Why would you waste that opportunity on a plastic tree? When I go for a drive, I don't grab the keys to my fake plastic car. When I'm hungry, I don't eat a fake plastic apple. And when I celebrate a holiday, I want a real tree there for Santa Claus to see upon landing in my fireplace.

Shop real deals on real Christmas trees.

Winner of "Real vs Fake Christmas Tree" debate: Anyone who doesn't take this debate seriously—happy holidays!