What I learnt this week: real or fake?

Before your mind goes wandering – I’m talking Christmas Trees!

Last weekend I found myself in a garden centre, looking at artificial Christmas trees – and wow, they are so much better than they used to be. No more assembling branch by branch. In fact you don’t even have to fiddle about with fairy lights – it comes with them already on. So just remove from loft (umm, they haven’t made that part easy yet) open box, insert top part into middle part, into bottom part. Fluff the branches out. Add decorations.

Done.

So I started wondering – why do I bother buying a real tree every year?

The case for the artificial tree

  • After about 4 years, it is effectively free (assuming real trees are around £40 a go).
  • It doesn’t require a trip to a garden centre, followed by the inevitable hoovering of the car after the tree you’ve jammed into it sheds a third of its needles when you try to pull it out.
  • It doesn’t need part of the trunk sawing off the bottom.
  • It doesn’t shed needles in the house which then get stuck in your sock, stuck in the carpet and can still be found six months later.
  • You don’t have to remember to water it.
  • It isn’t drooping by Christmas Eve.
  • You don’t have to hoover your car for the second time in a month after the dead tree you’ve lugged to the recycle centre dumps the final third of its needles.

The case for the real tree

  • It smells like a pine forest.

And yep, that’s about all I can think of.

Yet every year I still go out and buy a real tree. The boys have long since grown bored of choosing one and decorating it, so much as I’d love to, this time I can’t blame the kids. My husband really couldn’t care less whether we have one or not.

So it’s my fault. I moan every year about buying it, putting it up, taking it down. Yet the following year I do it all again.

Why?

Besides the smell, I think it’s the tradition. My family always had a real tree, so for me, Christmas means a real tree.

And when it’s up, for that first week when I’ve remembered to water it and the central heating hasn’t killed it, a real tree does look gorgeous.

Before the droop.

Before the droop.

 

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I just wish it still looked as gorgeous on Christmas Day….