Christmas Trees and Greens, Faux Real or Real Fir?

Christmas 2011
A perfect tree!
 We have always bought a real Christmas tree.  
It is a family tradition to go to "Steve's Christmas Trees," a tree lot that springs up every year on the corner, and buy our tree.
There is apple cider, Christmas music and the pine smell is heavenly!

Christmas 2010
The kids would run around the lot, each proclaiming that they had found the perfect tree.
Of course, I had the final say!

Christmas 2011
I had no say in the selection of this tree!
Can we say skinny?
This year, however, is different.  The "kids" are grown up, some with their own trees!
I found myself in Costco this week, actually contemplating purchasing a fake tree!
Some of my friends have switched to fake trees, and it occurred to me that there comes a time when setting up the tree becomes such a chore. 
We're getting too old for this!

Let's analyze, shall we?
An artificial tree is a one time purchase and comes fully lit.
No more tangled lights!  
Ok, that's huge!
Artificial trees today are very realistic.  Can you believe this is a fake tree?
I even read that you could weave real greenery into the tree, filling the gaps and creating the wonderful smell that is missing with an artificial tree.
Sounds good to me!
Artificial trees save real trees from being chopped down and also are more economical.
Buying a real tree year after year is expensive, let's face it.

While standing in Costco, admiring their beautiful faux trees, I made the choice to buy a real tree at least one more year.
However, I did end up buying faux pre-lit garlands for over the front door.
So, I'm not a total purist, and am already feeling guilty about it.
Somehow, feeling guilty about Christmas decorations isn't right!

But here is what I learned, and why I feel guilty.
Fake trees are manufactured with PVCs, a known carcinogen.
85% are manufactured in China and have lead content.

That means keeping your kids away from the tree.  Period.
Cancer and lead poisoning?  Not exactly how I want to spread Christmas cheer!

Real trees are, well, real!
They are renewable and compostable.
Sounds good, but then, there is the gas to transport them to Steve's Christmas Tree lot.
And then there are the pesticides used during their 8-10 year growing period!
And so the debate goes on and

Frank Lowenstein from The Nature Conservancy solves the debate once and for all!

So, we will get a real tree again this year. 
Next year?  Who knows!
Maybe the trees in our life will just get smaller and smaller until eventually we will have a little Charlie Brown tree on a table!

What's your opinion on the real vs. fake debate?
Do you like "faux real" or "real fir!"
Bottom line:  just enjoy your tree, and have a Merry Christmas!

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