Growing up, we always had two Christmas trees – a stylized, “decorator” tree in the front window and a “family” tree in the den. As an adult, I’ve taken my inherent love of all things Christmas to a whole new level and annually erect a Christmas tree in every room of our house (including the bathroom!). In the early days of my marriage, we always purchased real evergreens (the heady smell of pine was delightful, I admit). But these days, I choose an artificial Christmas tree instead. Here’s why:
Live Christmas trees can be fire hazards
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments respond to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year. These fires caused an annual average of 3 deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in property damage.
While flame retardant spray-on coating is available, an overly dry real tree is a significant danger. I once purchased a “bargain” cut tree which was trucked from Tennessee up to the East Coast. It was so dry by the time I took it down that every single needle fell off as I took down the ornaments. (No exaggeration. I was actually embarrassed to put it out for recycling, it looked so bad.)
An artificial Christmas tree helps extend the holiday season
The holiday season is simply too short for me – especially this year with Thanksgiving coming so late in November. I love to enjoy my decorations into early January. And a real tree, even fresh cut and well-watered, simply does not survive long in my house, which is heated with forced hot air. Artificial Christmas trees allow my decorations to remain in place and stay as lovely as the day I put them up (Bonus! No piles of dropping pine needles to clean up each morning.)
Faux trees are safer for pets
According to a recent article in Newsweek, Christmas trees are considered “mildly toxic” to pets. The oils from trees and tree needles can cause upset stomachs in animals, excessive vomiting and drooling. And pine needles, if especially sharp, can hurt the inside of a pet’s stomach and even puncture the intestinal lining.
A greater concern, however, is the tree’s water. Preservatives can often be found within the tree’s water supply. It’s easy for a pet to mistake a tree base for a water bowl, and serious stomach issues may result.
An artificial Christmas tree offers significant cost-savings over time
Nationwide, the average cost of a live evergreen cost is about $78, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, while the average cost of an artificial tree is between $100 – $150. Over time, the savings can really add up.
Of course, there are premium artificial Christmas trees, such as those from Balsam Hill. These are incredibly well made which makes the price tag ($599 for an unlit 7.5 ft. balsam fir) a bit easier to swallow.
Today’s faux Christmas trees are lifelike and beautiful
The artificial Christmas trees available today are a far cry from the faux versions I grew up with. Smaller branches, more realistic needles, “bark” covered trunks, and even variations in branch size and length all contribute to a tree that is wonderfully lifelike. I have actually had guests at our annual holiday party ask how I was able to find such a lovely tree year after year, never guessing it was artificial!
The easiest set up… ever
Every year, I look forward to decorating for Christmas. But, I truly don’t miss standing around in the freezing cold trying to get my family to agree on a tree or hauling it home on the car’s roof (and invariably scratching the paint).
I also will never miss valiantly attempting to make a live tree stand up completely straight. When my children were tots, I had a real tree with a very uneven, crooked trunk fall in our living room. It was terrifying.
Today’s artificial trees are hinged and open up like umbrellas. Simply attach the pieces together and make sure the base is screwed in securely. If you opt for a pre-lit tree, you won’t even have to fuss with lights. 15 minutes of set up and it’s time to hang the ornaments!
If you’re ready to make the switch to a faux Christmas tree, there are so many options. Amazon is a great place to start. There’s a tree for every budget and a style for every design aesthetic (unlit, lit, flocked, pink).
Whichever you choose, make this Christmas season merry and bright!
Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to real style for the way you live – from fabulous fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens and stunning interiors, holiday decorating, plus the latest products and tips for throwing parties, weddings, and events of all kinds.
DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation was received for this “Why Choose an Artificial Christmas Tree?” post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be beneficial for my readers.