Face Off: Real Christmas trees are better

Erin O'Neill, Reporter

When someone says the word “Christmas,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe it’s presents, snow, Santa, holiday movies and music or winter break. For me, it’s the smell of a fresh-cut, real Christmas tree.

Real trees are so much better in so many ways. Is walking into a store and buying a fake tree in a cardboard box fun? No. Is going to a Christmas tree farm to cut down your real tree with family or friends fun? Yes.

For many people, the purchasing of a Christmas tree signals the beginning of the holiday season. Buying a Christmas tree is an annual tradition for some families, and choosing the tree can be a memorable experience all by itself.

Going to a farm and wandering through the endless aisles of trees is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit. Sure, you will probably spend a lot of time arguing over how tall the tree should be or trying to decide which one has the best shape, but all of these things make getting a real tree that much more exciting. Each Christmas tree is unique, and going out to find a tree is the perfect way to reduce and relieve all of the stress that comes with the holiday season. Once the tree has been strapped to the roof of your car, the holiday festivities can begin.

By going to a local tree farm, you are also supporting local businesses and boosting the economy in your town. The sale of Christmas trees helps employ over 100,000 workers in all 50 states where Christmas trees are grown.

Decorating a real Christmas tree can make for another memorable event. Put on your favorite holiday soundtrack, light a fire and arrange your ornaments to fill all of the natural branches of your real tree. Attempting to string lights on your tree can be a bit of a hassle, but when your beautiful tree is finished being decorated, the effort and creativity put into it will be worth it.

Christmas trees serve as a classic focal point in many houses during the holiday season. We gather around our trees to spend time with family and friends, watch movies, eat Christmas dinner, open presents or even simply admire the beauty in front of us. Christmas is a time to get real with family and friends, and there’s really no better place to start than with a real tree.

Real Christmas trees are also much more visually appealing. The fuller shape won’t leave you with awkward spaces and gaps, like an artifical tree might. Real Christmas trees can also be trimmed and shaped to perfection. Your tree doesn’t quite fit into the corner of the room? No problem. If your artificial tree doesn’t fit in your house you are forced to head to the store again to find a tree of a smaller size.

Real Christmas trees also smell amazing. The aroma and overall vibe of a real Christmas tree in your home cannot be achieved or replaced by green branches of plastic. Real trees will help make your home smell awesome, and if you will be entertaining guests at your house for the holidays, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it. Pine needles are a quintessential holiday scent, and several studies have found that this smell has a positive effect on the mind by lifting people’s moods and relieving anxiety.

Considering that finals take place just before Christmas, a tree that helps relieve anxiety is worth having.

You know what won’t relieve anxiety? When your Christmas tree goes up in flames. Artificial trees have been proven to be a fire hazard. Several fire departments around the country have conducted burn tests, and found real trees to be much safer.

Additionally, believe it or not, real Christmas trees are better for the environment. A fake tree is put back into its box and inevitably forgotten about until the next year, but according to AccuWeather, a real tree is considered a renewable resource, and can be recycled as mulch, compost or even wildlife shelter. Therefore, you are not doing any harm by cutting down a Christmas tree. They are considered to be a crop, and they are being grown and raised for the purpose of bringing holiday spirit to homes around the country.

Real Christmas trees also absorb carbon dioxide while they grow, which can help reduce the impacts of climate change. An environmental firm in Canada found that an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be more environmentally friendly than buying a fresh-cut tree each year.

Go green and purchase a real Christmas tree this holiday season.