Real Christmas trees are irreplaceable

Jessie Larrinaga, Social Media Manager

It’s the week before Christmas. You walk into your house and see all the decorations beautifully set up and you sit down to watch a classic holiday movie with your family – but something is missing. Looking at your tree, you are struck by the fakeness of it. It is almost too perfect, with none of the character that real trees have. Your house is lacking the enticing aroma of pine that comes with real Christmas trees.  

Every year, my family and I go on a hunt for the perfect tree. Not perfect in the typical sense – with no blemishes and perfect branches – but perfect in that it feels right, and fits with our home. Looking around together to find the ideal tree is part of the holiday fun. Despite the fact that we live in Florida, looking for a tree is something we can do that makes it feel more like the true holidays.  

But if someone were to propose that we buy a fake Christmas tree and set it up year after year – the same exact tree, with no individuality – I’d say that doing this removes an aspect of the holidays that my family looks forward to every year. What is the point of even having a Christmas tree if it isn’t one that you picked out?  

The smell of a true pine tree is a necessity that I could never give up. Fake trees just don’t have that smell, and no air freshener can compare to reality. Having the aroma of the holiday spirit fill your house is something that can’t be replicated by a manufactured spray. 

There are also environmental benefits of supporting the farms that grow Christmas trees. According to The National Christmas Tree Association, the trees often grow on land that is unable to support other crops, and the trees work to stabilize soil, protect wildlife and secure water supplies. 

Christmas trees are also obviously biodegradable, whereas fake trees, which are created in primarily Chinese factories using petroleum-based materials, are used for six to nine years and then sit in landfills for centuries without decomposing.  

Decorating is also less enjoyable without a real tree. Setting it up is an experience that the whole family can participate in and creates a time for bonding. With a fake tree, this is less authentic, and it ruins the sense of holiday spirit.  

People might say that fake trees have upsides like being less trouble to set up, and not having branches that fall off onto the ground, creating a mess.  

But these things are part of the experience too. Rather than pulling a fake tree out of your garage and putting it together, the real adventure is going to a place that sells the trees, sorting through and finding the one, getting it tied on your car and going home to put it up and making sure it’s not crooked.  

These are things my family has done for my entire life, and Christmas just wouldn’t feel the same without them.  

Jessie Larrinaga
Real Christmas trees have environmental benefits that fake trees don’t offer. This is one of many reasons why having a real tree is superior to using a fake one. Every year of my life, my family has picked out a real tree and set it up, and it is a tradition that I would never give up. Photo courtesy of WIkimedia Commons.