Opposing Viewpoints

With the holidays drawing near, Jack and Jenny take on one of the hottest debates of the century: Natural vs. Artificial Christmas trees

Jack and artificial trees:realforrealtree

Humbug. The debate of natural Christmas trees versus artificial trees and their place in the home has no merit. Real trees are just another hassle on the pile of seasonal stress. Sure it’s tradition, but tradition for tradition’s sake is balderdash.

Between shopping, dealing with fellow shoppers, and visiting relatives I’ve got enough on my hands without trucking out to the middle of nowhere to get a seasonal plant. And if I spent $40 on one tree a year, from ages 20 to 80, that’s $2400, not including gas. While the plastic variety with a one time payment is significantly cheaper. Without the hassle and a little cash in your pocket wouldn’t your holiday be a bit merrier?

You might say, “Artificial trees are a petroleum product and bane to nature!”, but how natural is a several acre plot of linear aligned trees? Neither manufacturing nor farming were products of Mother Nature or divine inspiration. If you wanted something natural to adorn your lounge, try a fern or a ficus.

Even if you spring for your winter foliage, you still need to set it up. You’ll need a little rug, that stool thing with the screws, and a poor sap to hold the tree. In the wise words of Trent Olson, “You can’t do that on your own; it’s the definition of a two man job.” You set in the screws, and your partner says it’s to the left, you adjust; it’s too far to the right. After many minutes and curses you’ve gotten it up, and gotten sappy and frustrated in the process. On the other hand, the superior tree comes out of the box in intuitive pieces, veritable Legos of Christmas decorations. Within minutes you’ve got a perfectly proportioned, functional tree.

In many ways a tree is like a child, it’s undeveloped, stubby and you have to put in effort to keep it alive. If you don’t water it and keep it from losing its needles, you’ve got this crummy log and a pile of plant matter to explain to your actual child. There’s no bigger bummer then a dead tree.

The long and the short is that a tree is a tree, no matter how small, and just inferior to the paragon of festive vegetation that is a plastic tree.

Jenny and natural trees:realtreeforrealll

I remember lying underneath my Christmas tree every year, staring up through the needles at the twinkle lights and sentimental ornaments as my cat maneuvered her way up the tree. The organic smell of pine spreading throughout the house, I’m reminded of the joyous season every time I get a whiff.

I cannot fathom why someone came up with the idea for a fake Christmas tree. Do they have absolutely no holiday joy whatsoever? The Christmas tree is an iconic symbol of family, togetherness, love and the kindred spirit. Who looked at a beautiful fir tree with the scent of childhood and thought, “Let’s make this same thing, but worse! Using toxic plastic and lead!” Because of the type of plastic used in these fake trees, they’re actually worse for the environment than chopping down a tree each year, but maybe in the spring we could plant another tree or two for each that we took the previous December. These plastic trees cannot be recycled if you choose to update to a fancy new model. I’m sure old Saint Nick frowns upon us filling even more landfills.

As for the cost, of course beautiful trees you saw straight from the ground like a lumberjack are going to cost more, but isn’t it worth it for the joy a real tree brings your home? Every year of my life my family has gotten a real tree; it fills the house with earthy, sappy smells. There is nothing in the world as jubilating as the smell of a Christmas tree, gleaming with colorful Christmas lights, memories dangling from every branch. Though you can purchase a bottle of tree scent, why would you subject yourself to whatever awful toxins might reside within the pressurized can of fake joy and phony love?

The effort to maintain a real tree throughout the month of Christmas is no harder than taking care of a goldfish; it’s often a good way for a young child to prove their responsibility. Fake Christmas trees are a heinous crime to the fleeting Christmas spirit and should be abolished to maintain the treasured joy of the holiday season. There’s nothing merry about a hunk of easily ignitable plastic residing near a sparking fireplace.