Christmas Trees: Fake or Fresh?


Yoyo Qu and Sam Fletcher

The idea of having Christmas trees originated in the ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations. Clearly, artificial trees weren’t available at the time. That was until the year 1930 when the Addis Brush Company created the first artificial tree with green-dyed brush bristles. Unfortunately, the sole source of Christmas tree lighting came from candles, and the dried bristles were especially prone to fire. Until LED lights were developed, only recently has this phenomenon become a regular household item, and its popularity continues to grow. As a result, people have choices nowadays, and they should take into consideration of the pros and cons of either type of tree.

Without a doubt, fresh trees take a prominent role in bringing liveliness into people’s homes for the season. There is no denying the fact that the vast majority of people enjoy the Christmas tree scent, a great way to add to the holiday cheer! Moreover, the event of picking a different tree each year is habitual for many. The experience brings families together in the quest to find a perfect tree. “It’s a tradition that has been going on for around thirteen years now. My main purpose is to make as many memories as possible with my son, Noah,” says Mr. Harris, principal of Landrum Middle School. However, some have concerns that real trees are hard to maintain. The needles are known to easily fall off the tree and get strewn all over the floor. Cleaning the mess year after year is quite a chore. Additionally, environmental impact may be significant particularly in light of climate change, as Mrs. Ortbals put, “the mere prospect of cutting down millions of trees each year simply for enjoyment is not a movement I support.”

Artificial trees are preferred by many because of their convenience and lower cost. For one, people don’t have to constantly attend to the tree’s mess. The design allows it to be reused over and over, year after year. “Normally, we prefer to buy the fake trees; they come with built-in lights and require much less maintenance,” Mr. Lambert, the librarian says. Unfortunately, many find storage a problem, as it requires large storage space for the remainder of the year. Environmentally speaking, these artificial products are made from non-recyclable mixed plastics, and they leave a footprint. In addition, the trees are perfectly shaped and may lack the aesthetic character important for some.

Without a doubt, the debate continues over people’s preferences. Some favor keeping the tradition alive, while others have adopted the relatively new and convenient choice. It’s always good to have options that may fit people’s budget, taste, and environmental philosophy.