In the seasonal debate over real vs. fake trees, I come down firmly on the side of the real thing. No need to get defensive, lovers of the artificial tree. I get it. They're convenient, hypoallergenic, and a good investment. But now that I'm the mom, and these kinds of decisions are mine to make, I'm calling live tree all damn day. It's pretty easy to tell which team a mom is playing for, so if you exhibit any of the following signs, you're probably a real tree mom.
I'm a real tree person, born and bred. As a kid, it was a tradition to head out to the country and cut down our own tree. The scent of pine tree in the house was an fundamental part of the Christmas season. There was no question as to the type of tree I'd have in my own home. As a single lady in the city, I'd hit up the local stand and strap a small evergreen tree to the roof of the old Corolla. Now that I'm a mom, I've insisted on a live tree for my family every year, even though the places we've lived aren't exactly u-cut central.
I'm a die-hard "real tree or it isn't Christmas" kind of mom. I have strong feelings about it, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Think you might be one, too? If you check the following off, you can sit with us at the real tree table:
Do you have a violent reaction to any mention of an artificial tree? Does the idea of a tree having A and B parts send you into spasms of Scrooginess? If you answered yes, you're definitely a real tree mom.
I don't let anything get in my way of a live tree. I could be 8 weeks pregnant and puking my guts out or wrangling a toddler solo because my husband is deployed over the holidays, and there will still be a real tree in my house.
No offense, but your air freshener can't hold a candle (seriously, don't come at me with an evergreen candle) to my real, live pine tree. There is nothing better than waking up to that smell. Plus, research shows that the smell of pine needles can help with anxiety, stress, and depression. Who couldn't use more of that during the holidays?
If it takes more than a little maintenance to scare you off, you might be a real tree mom. Real tree mamas know that a live tree requires daily watering and drops needles constantly. However, we're of the opinion that it's worth the trade-off to have the magic a real tree provides.
Live tree moms know that pulling artificial tree pieces out of boxes just isn't as satisfying as cutting one down with an ax. When we go out into the wilderness (or at least the Christmas tree farm), we're making memories. Finding the "perfect" tree is the best part, although the cider and candy canes are a close second.
With no scientific evidence whatsoever, I put forth the theory that crunchy moms are more likely to have a real tree. It's a reasonable hypothesis, I think, since crunchy moms are a green-conscious group. And for sustainability and lower carbon footprint, a live tree is the way to go.
According to NASA Climate Kids, buying a real tree is the more environmentally-sound choice. Tree farms help keep the air clean (it takes 8-12 years to grow a Christmas tree and all that time, it's fighting climate change), and when you're done, your tree can be recycled!
When you're underneath a pile of snarled LEDs, I'll admit that a pre-lit tree starts to sound pretty good. But then you realize that untangling that hot mess is the perfect project for your little "helpers." This Sisyphean task will keep them from breaking your ornament from 1991 and hanging tinsel all willy-nilly.
A real tree is never going to be perfectly symmetrical. It's going to have a "good" side and probably be a little wonky on top. Maybe us real tree moms are just intrinsically in touch with design principles, but we appreciate asymmetry for its visual complexity.
Screw your shiny, pink aluminum tree, Lucy. Only a real tree can transform from the saddest, spindliest stick on the lot into a Christmas tree for the ages.
The indoctrination begins early in real tree households. As a real tree mom, I make sure my kid knows that even after my death, should she ever deign to welcome a fake tree into her own home, I will haunt the sh*t out of her. The Ghost of Christmas Trees Past is judgmental, yes, but she has her reasons.
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