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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Great Debate

When my husband and I were dating and talking about the future, we had a very important conversation.

Live Christmas tree vs. fake Christmas tree?

I was adamant that our future household would never ever EVER allow a fake tree to darken our doorway.


Going to the tree lot and picking out the perfect tree was a rite of passage in my family. Akin to picking out the perfect spot on the beach. I took my responsibility very seriously. Even after my teenage angst took some joy out of the magic of Christmas, I still loved the sight and smell of a fresh tree.

My husband grew up with fake trees and could not understand my unwavering devotion. He, being a smart man, realized I was not going to bend and joined me in picking out a tree for our first Christmas together.

Over the next few years we moved, lived on a second floor with an unforgiving flight of stairs, moved into a college dorm apartment, traveled for most of the holiday months, and basically humbugged decorating for Christmas.

Now, we have two kids, ages 5 & 3, and decided we should probably make more of an effort to get into the holiday spirit. We still travel a great deal so a live tree isn't a good option. *gulp* A decision was made. We would buy a fake tree. 

Off to Target we went. I tried to soften the blow by having the kids pick out their own ornaments and being overly enthusiastic.

As I write this, the fake tree is assembled, the lights are on, and the ornaments are up. It's the perfect height and evenly shaped. I don't have to water it, or worry about needles. But it still makes me a little sad. Not that I had to compromise - it's what's best for our family right now - more like a tradition of my childhood has ended.

In the end, live or fake, decorating our Christmas tree is a way to spend time together as a family. A way to share in the joy of the Christmas season. I really miss the smell, though.



  1. Aww. I agree with you that you can't replace the smell of a real tree. My family and I always had a real one growing up, but once I moved out on my own, the convenience factor of having a fake one in a one bedroom (or studio) apartment trumped the real thing. I was actually considering getting a real one this year for the first time since I went out on my own. While I know it's not the same, take comfort in the fact that the kids only care about what's underneath! :)

  2. My mom grew up with a cousin who had lots of allergies, including an allergy to pine, so they had a fake tree forever. My mom wouldn't even contemplate a fake tree until I'd left for college. Most years, we actually went to the kind of place where you pay $5-10, cut a tree down in the woods, and drag it to your car all on your own. Now she has a tiny, fake, Charlie Brown tree that sits on a table, under which she puts the gifts. I'm a little more practical than my mother but, if I wasn't away from home for all of Christmas, I would definitely get a real tree.