Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Almost too fast for me. So many things left to do before December 25th, including getting the Christmas tree up and decorated.

We had an artificial tree growing up, but mom said she was allergic to the real ones. I’m not sure about that, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to clean up all the pine needles that could fall off a real Christmas tree. Once I moved out, I decided I would rather have a fake Christmas tree than purchasing a real one year after year.

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We have an artificial tree but have talked in the past couple of years about ditching it and getting a real Christmas tree. I suppose we could dig up one from the front yard, but it’s likely too big for our house, and it probably has a nest or two in it too.

Some people find themselves arguing over which is better – fake or real trees. Let’s face it. You can buy an artificial Christmas tree once, and have it for years, as we have. Ours has fiber optic lights, so there’s no need to add more lights to it. We just put it together, put it in the corner, and add some other decorations. My best girlfriend argued that nothing beats a real Christmas tree. She enjoyed going to the local nursery to pick out a fresh tree, and I do admit, her trees smelled so good.

On the downside, I don’t think artificial trees (especially ones with fiber optic lights) are recyclable, whereas real trees can be turned into mulch once the season is over. Fishing enthusiasts also know that you can sink a bare Christmas tree in a local pond to create a natural habitat for fish. According to the lakehomes.com website, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and some conservationist groups have approved disposing of Christmas trees in this fashion. I know this because my sister and I had to pick up discarded Christmas trees for our adoptive grandparents many years ago. We weren’t actually stealing them, but you’d have thought we were thieves that year. Wish I had pictures of that ordeal, but sadly, I don’t.

It’s suggested that you start with size and price, to determine which type of tree is best for your household. A full-size tree is good if you have a large area. A slim tree is better if you don’t have a lot of space. I’ve heard that there are flat back trees too, but I’ve never known anyone that had one.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing a Christmas tree.

Allergies

We have allergies at our house, and I know several people who are allergic to fir trees. According to an article on the Medical News Today website, Christmas trees, in general, can harbor mold spores, which could cause a problem for the approximate 13% of people who are affected by allergies to mold. It’s recommended you wash your tree before bringing it in to your home. Nobody wants to feel miserable during the holidays.

Permits

If you are opting for a real tree, and want to cut it down yourself, don’t forget you might need a permit to do so.

Water

Real trees do require water to keep them from drying out.

Pets

If you have pets, you might need to monitor your pets around the tree, and the ornaments. This is a big concern for me this year, and we got a new puppy in the spring. This will be his first Christmas, and I’m a bit nervous about him trying to eat the ornaments (and the tree!)

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