Real or Fake? We're talking Christmas trees. Obviously...

Real or Fake? We're talking Christmas trees
5 December 2015

My house is totally divided on the whole question of whether to have a real Christmas tree or totally fake it with a lame old artificial Christmas tree.

Sorry. You can probably tell which camp I'm in. My husband is all about making life easy, so he's quite happy to drag our sorry-excuse-for-an-artificial-Christmas-tree out of the loft year after mournful year. Never mind the fact that it was a bit pathetic-looking the year we bought it and hasn't exactly fared well for having been shoved in a box for approximately 335 days of the year for the best part of a decade.

For me, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a real Christmas tree. I love everything about having a real tree at Christmas; from the traditional trek to a local Christmas tree farm to choose the perfect spruce, to spending most of November sweeping stray pine needles up off the living room floor.

And yes, I know that artificial Christmas trees are super-impressive these days and no longer have to resemble something from your Nan's house circa 1977. I'll admit I've seen artificial trees that were virtually impossible to distinguish from real ones (although that was in Harrods...), and I get that that secret to a truly impressive Christmas tree is to dress it well. Cover even the most expensive real tree in naff decorations and it, too, will just look sad. A real Christmas tree does not in itself a magical Christmas make.

But nonetheless, having a real tree at Christmas is all about magic. An artificial tree, to my mind, is a shortcut, and truly magical moments are rarely ever reached via shortcuts.

Is there anything quite so Christmassy as walking into the room where your real Christmas tree sits - resplendent in its ineffable realness - and having your senses assaulted by the unmistakably festive scent of a pine forest living in your lounge?

Of course not. That right there *is* Christmas. Pop a Baileys in your hand and whack Love Actually on the telly and you've got Christmas nailed. A real Christmas tree brings the quintessential smell of Christmas right into the heart of your home. No artificial Christmas tree can ever compete with that.

Of course, where my whole argument collapses on itself is in what happens to your Christmas tree once Christmas is over. The only thing sadder than the sight of an artificial Christmas tree desperately trying to fake-it-till-it-makes-it is surely the sight of all those spindly abandoned real Christmas trees littering gardens throughout January, dying a slow, unsightly death - along with all our best I'll-join-the-gym-in-January intentions.

For that reason, we're compromising this year and pulling out our faithful old faker of a Christmas tree. But I'm also going to be treating myself to a real Christmas tree for my office. (Mainly on account of the voucher you get when you buy a real tree from Ikea. Call it flawed logic but somehow getting £20 to splurge on tea-lights we don't need and napkins we'll never be able to find makes the frivolity of buying a real Christmas tree seem somehow less, um, frivolous.)

Yeah, so I never said my real-Christmas-tree-trumps-fake-Christmas-tree argument would win any awards but I just refuse to budge from the belief that a real Christmas tree is always best.

But enough about me and my flimsy defence for cutting down a poor defenceless tree in the name of feeling Christmassy - which camp are you in? Do you love the real thing or are you all about the affordability of fake when it comes to Christmas trees? Come and tell us all about your Christmas tree over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Christmas

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