It’s time to branch out: Buy fake Christmas trees this year

By Lauren Combs | Reporter

There’s no denying that real Christmas trees have the best aesthetic — from picking them out at the farm, to driving them home on your car rooftop, to smelling the evergreen waft through your home. Yet, is the aesthetic worth the upkeep?

The tradition of decorating Christmas trees dates back to the Middle Ages, according to a Time article. However, the use of fake Christmas trees didn’t become popular until the 1960s, and since then, a popular household debate around Christmastime is whether to buy a real or fake tree. Although it’s a difficult decision, fake Christmas trees reign supreme because of their practicality, despite the aesthetic of real trees.

Real trees not only need watering but also drop sap and needles everywhere, requiring daily vacuum sessions. Plus, have you ever noticed a rash on your hands or a constant stuffy nose after putting up your Christmas tree? It’s probably because you have an allergy to spruce, fir, pine or cedar trees and the molds that they could be carrying. According to an Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center article, 7% of the population has allergies to Christmas trees, which is around 553 million people — more than the number of people who live in the United States.

Additionally, most families don’t realize there is a right and wrong way to dispose of Christmas trees. “More important, each [tree] contains about 20 pounds of planet-warming carbon dioxide it remove[s] from the atmosphere over the course of its lifetime. And once the carbon is out of the air, you want to avoid putting it back in,” Charlie Wood said in a Popular Science article. The carbon dioxide goes back into the atmosphere when trees are burned or sit in a landfill. Fake trees, though they produce more carbon dioxide initially when they are made, are more environmentally friendly because you can reuse them for years.

On a less serious note, nostalgic or family ornaments are more likely to break if hung on a real tree because there is no way to manipulate the curve of the branches. Due to the internal wiring, ornaments and tree toppers are more secure on a fake tree because you can bend the branches upward.

Fake trees also save time, energy and money because a trip to the attic is a lot less work and yearly commitment than buying a real tree. Don’t worry though. You can still attain the same Christmas spirit, family bonding time and cozy vibes with a fake tree.