I know, I know. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where there are 3 tree farms for every 10 mile radius.
1. Save Money
Let’s get the big one up there right off the bat.
As gorgeous as the real trees are, those suckers are expensive! And then they die.
Since having our own home, my husband and I have gotten two real trees. The first year, it died within days. We kept it up until Christmas, but it was seriously crispy.
The second year, it set us back more than $75.
So the next Christmas came along and we decided to get a fake tree. They’ve come a long way since those wire-y things you put together branch by branch.
Let’s do the math, shall we? We’ve had the fake one for 10 years. Assuming we would have continued spending about $75 per tree per year, we have saved $675, give or take. I know that isn’t a ton of money over the course of 10 years, but for a family on a Christmas budget, 75 extra dollars for gifts goes a long way!
2. I’m just going to say it. I’m lazy.
I think the idea of going to a tree farm, getting hot chocolate, and picking out a tree is fantastic!!
But actually doing it, sounds like a huge drag. Here in the PNW it’s not just chilly outside. It’s also windy and rainy. If it snowed more often and I could act out the whole cutting down a tree thing in the snow? Perhaps it would be more magical. Or it would still be a lot of hard work, and really, really cold.
Then you have to carry the tree and tie it to the car. Next, you pray the whole way home that your tree doesn’t fly away. (It happened to us before when I was in high school. And no, I was not the one who tied it down.)
With our wonderful, amazing fake tree, we can decide on a whim to put it up, and it’s actually up within 5 minutes. It only takes that long because we have to carry the three separate pieces downstairs from the garage.
3. Next up, the maintenance.
Not only do you have to water a real tree to prevent it from becoming even more of a fire hazard than it already is, but those pine needles get everywhere. For a fake tree, there is no maintenance. You set it up, decorate it, gaze at it starry-eyed for a month, then take it down.
My husband said his least favorite thing about having a real tree in the house was the sap. He was the one that always got to get up close and personal with the tree, so he would know all about the sap that never, ever comes off. A fake tree doesn’t have any sticky substances that come with it.
Two things I had to overcome regarding my fake tree:
1. The smell.
Or, rather, the lack of smell. It doesn’t smell like Christmas. It doesn’t send me back to my childhood when I would sit next to the (flammable) tree by the fire. My solution for that? Add your smells! A few years ago my daughter and I made cinnamon ornaments.
They turned out really cool and they smelled great! They aren’t extremely brittle, but if you aren’t careful, they will break.
2. The lights.
A lot of fake trees come prelit, which is great! Fantastic, really!! For the first three years.
By the fourth year, a third of your lights are out. By the sixth year, only ten lights work. Finally, after much deliberation, my husband and I decided to split the arduous task of removing our prestrung Christmas tree lights. At the time, it sucked. I had more wounds on my hands from the clipping, pulling, and fighting with fake pine needles than I can count. But now? Three years later? It’s awesome. Our tree is still perfectly shaped and beautiful. Now we just have to string up the lights ourselves-just like a real tree!
So which side do you stand on? Do you get a real tree every year, or do you have a fake one?