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Fake or real - the difference is becoming less and less
Tips On Christmas Trees: Fake vs Real
Member Name: Mioliere
Tips On Christmas Trees: Fake vs Real
Advantages: Fakes last longer but real trees smell of Christmas
Disadvantages: The cost of both and the risk of needle drop with real trees
There is always a debate about the real Christmas tree versus the fake variety. Nowadays, the quality of artificial trees is excellent, and many of them are almost indistinguishable from the real kind.
Both types of tree have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a fake tree will never have that distinctive aroma that is associated with Christmas; on the other hand, a fake tree won't lose its needles when it has been on display for a week or so.
I much prefer a real tree but I also have a fake one - if you have two rooms to decorate, it's a good solution. My fake tree was purchased a few years ago from B&Q. It's 7' tall and cost £70. Since then, we have seen much cheaper trees that look just as good; the technology and inventiveness of the manufacturers and designers have really come a long way.
We bought our fake tree because we couldn't believe how realistic it looked. It is based on a Norwegian Spruce, is a lovely dark green in colour and has thick dense branches that can be altered to look quite natural. What it doesn't have is that unique smell and, much to our disappointment, it can't have artificial snow sprayed on it. It is very easy to assemble; the branches are graded and colour-marked so it is impossible to put them on the wrong part of the main trunk. It looks almost as lovely as the real thing - but not quite.
We love the fun of choosing our real tree. Sometimes, it can take ages because we pick through loads of trees just knowing that the perfect one must be there, somewhere.
Then there is the usual time spent filling the bucket with soil from the garden (we have yet to purchase one of those ready-made Christmas tree stands), and trying to get the tree into the house and in position with the least amount of mess. Trees will last longer if they are placed away from sources of heat such as radiators or fires and, if they are placed in soil, a jug of tap water every day will ensure that the needles don't drop.
Once in place, the first thing you notice is the smell of it - there is nothing quite like it and, if that doesn't put you in the Christmas mood, nothing will.
Now that the children have grown up, decorating the tree is a much more civilised event than it used to be, but I do miss their contribution (even if, most of the time, we would wait until they went to bed and 'tidy up' their efforts!).
I love getting the boxes of decorations out and making the tree look as good as possible. Both types of tree are easy to decorate, really. We usually put the lights on first, then the tinsel and then, last of all, the baubles and other hanging ornaments. Last year, I discovered little plastic hangers that I used to replace the fiddly bits of string that most of the baubles come with. This has made them much easier to hang and were not at all expensive. Once the trees are done, decorating the fireplaces and the rest of the rooms comes next and, of course, finding the best way to display the Christmas cards.
I am lucky - the decision each year on whether to have a real tree or a fake is easy. I have one of each and love each one just as much. If I could only have one, though, the real variety would win every time. You just can't beat it.
Summary: Once either is decorated, Christmas has arrived
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