Sunday, November 29, 2009

Real or fake...And I don't mean boobs

I am talking Christmas trees of course. I grew up with a fake tree. I was totally convinced that it was the only way to go so for the first several years of my marriage, we carried on with a 4.5 ft fake tree from walmart. When we moved to this house, I so badly wanted a bigger nicer tree. I also learned something that changed the way I do things.

A fake tree will sit in a landfill for more than a century.
Fake trees are made from petroleum products.

Over the years I have become more environmentally conscious. I try to pay more attention to my impact on the planet. I did not want to buy another fake tree, but I still did want a nice tree for our living room. So we found a tree farm and brought home our very first real tree. The small tree was kept (keep it out of the landfill! ) and I put it in my girls room which makes them feel special.

So why is it ok to kill a real tree? Well, we get ours from a farm rather than a forest so they were specifically grown just for this purpose. It also becomes our firewood for our first bonfire of the spring, which has become a lovely tradition and makes sure that nothing is wasted. One could also mulch it and recycle it back to the earth.

Our first tree was a disaster. I found the perfect tree in the discount line. It was a huge mammoth of a tree. It cost us $8. Now, we knew nothing of real trees. I don't know if I was expecting them to come with a stand or what because we didn't have one. My husband managed to fashion one out of 2x4s and a pie pan. Yeah. That didn't work so well. The tree was gorgeous but it fell over half a dozen times before we anchored it to the wall. The smell was amazing though and I fell in love with having a real tree.

We have done a real tree every year since. We pay a lot more now, mostly because we get the tree earlier than we did that year. We also invested in a nice stand and learned the difference between the pines and the spruces. Scotch pines are full and beautiful but they shed really, really bad. The needles are longer and are what we call vacuum killers because they clog the vacuum. Blue spruce is pretty but they are not fun at all to handle. This year we went with a red spruce and we cut it down ourselves (a tradition we started last year) We paid $31 for it which is definitely more than we spent that first year but picking our own tree is so much fun plus it is still cheaper than we would pay getting a precut somewhere else.

I will have to add pics later since my browser is not liking the idea, but I will say that it looks lovely. We have a lot of fun every year picking out our tree. The guys at the farm recognize us which is a nice little treat, and last year the local paper took our picture which ended up in the paper. That was really very cool for my kids.

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