Real or Artificial: A Christmas Tree’s Pros and Cons

Merry Christmas, everyone!

It turns out I didn’t get more drive to blog in my second trimester 🙂 Everyone probably knows by this point, but we found out Thanksgiving week that baby 2 is a GIRL!

Here’s Liam obsessing over the balloons for the reveal with my family. (In hindsight, popping those precious balloons was not the best decision in the eyes of the kids.)


Anyway, now the Christmas season is upon us! I won’t lie, I love it.

I don’t love all the shopping and juggling of schedules.

However, I do love the music, the weather (though it’s been unseasonably warm here), the traditions, the exercise of remembering that Babe that came as Emmanuel.


I love having a Christmas tree, twinkling with those soft lights at night. But I really dislike getting our artificial tree out of the attic and fluffing each and every prickly branch (putting the lights on isn’t my favorite, either).

As I contemplated this, I concluded that having a real tree would eliminate some of the things that I don’t like about putting up a tree. So, this was the year for a real tree!

The hubs and I each grew up with artificial trees, for the most part. I’ve heard that if one person comes into the marriage with a history of getting a real tree, the issue is settled: they will be a real tree family. But since that wasn’t really the case for us, we thought we’d try it out this year to see how it compares.

I certainly don’t have anything against artificial trees. They’re cheaper (reusable), cleaner, and you can bend the branches exactly where you need them.

Here’s our fake tree from two years ago (I was surprised how few pictures I could find):


I was wrong that bringing home a real tree is less work. It’s probably obvious to the rest of the world, but selecting, securing, and toting a real tree home is harder than getting one out of the attic. 🙂 Then, there’s the maintenance. Watering, sweeping, and disposing of the tree makes for more daily work than the “done in a day” side to the artificial thing.

All of that being said, they are plenty of positives to having a real tree. Even though it’s more work, it’s (potentially) a sweet memory to load the family up to go and pick out the “perfect” one.

Secondly, real trees are softer.


They also smell heavenly. There’s really nothing like it. Jonathan mentioned that it’s also kinda neat to bring something living into your house while everything is dying outside.

So, this is the beauty we brought home this year:


I really want to know, what’s your opinion? Real or artificial? I know people who are very passionate on either side. And, I’m still impressionable, so make your best case and we’ll see what happens next year. 🙂

Either way, one thing is for sure: our trees have come a long way from the tree we had for our first Christmas.





Filed under holidays, personal thoughts

6 responses to “Real or Artificial: A Christmas Tree’s Pros and Cons

  1. I’m a full on real tree at Christmas kind of girl. As you mentioned, I love the process of picking out just the right tree and the excitement of getting it home and up in its stand. I grew up with a real tree, so the watering and vacuuming is just a part of preparing for Christmas to me. And the smell is second to none. I just don’t think there’s any comparison. I will do my darndest to always have a real tree at Christmas!
    Your’s looks great! You’ve come a long way from that first Christmas tree. Hope your last Christmas as 3 is a blessed one!!

  2. Jesse Moody

    Great post Sami.

    For us the decision is based on financial priorities. While I love Christmas and all of the traditions and memories associated with it, I refuse to spend the money that a live tree costs. We grew up with live trees and if there were a way to do a live tree that was economical, we would. But even here in Alaska the average live tree costs $80 and many cost over $120. That’s more than a weeks worth of food for us and it isn’t justified when we have a fake tree sitting in the attic. 2 years ago my brother Christopher Moody was visiting us and we decided to go cut down a spruce. We came to find out that the only nice looking trees were the ones people used in their landscaping. We ended up falling through a frozen creek and soaking our legs up to the knee. We froze our hands and faces all to bring home a ratty-looking wild spruce. We won’t be doing that again. So while it doesn’t have the same Christmas nostalgia as a real tree, the 3 foot fake tree we have fits our current lifestyle.

  3. I never had a “real” tree. I am happy with the fake 🙂 it works for us…and with 3 wild ones I really don’t need the extra upkeeping work and disposal. I bought the tree about 10 years ago…still working just fine. We do have a couple of real alberta spruce planted outside…I enjoy those as well, and would like to actually get to decorate those…if I had some spare time.

  4. As your sister, I obviously grew up with a fake tree as well. BUT I have grown to love having a real tree each year and plan to continue that tradition all the way through… I much prefer picking it out and having the live tree.

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