Battle of the Christmas trees: real vs. fake

SIX NATIONS – Many homeowners in Southern Ontario saw their first snowfall this week and will soon be having to, or have had to already, decide what kind of tree to put up this holiday season. Real or fake?

This isn’t a topic that people normally find any grey area in — you either appreciate the ease and efficiency that comes with purchasing a store-bought artificial tree, or you love the smell and happy feelings attached with chopping down your own tree and hauling it home on the top of your car or dragging it behind you on your Ski-Doo.

Twenty-year-old Kate Pelleboer, a homeowner and farmer near Sarnia, Ont., has never, and will never, put a fake tree up in her home.

“A real tree means more to me than just the tree itself,” she says. “My family goes to the tree farm every year and we pick out a tree ourselves and cut it down ourselves. Then we all get together at a bonfire pit and warm-up while talking and spending time together.”

Kate has eight siblings and moved out of the family home after getting married earlier this year. This Christmas, being her first one away from home, she is sticking to the tradition of a real tree — even though her husband’s family has always sported an artificial one.

“It just smells better and feels so much more ‘Christmas-ey’ than a fake one,” she says. “And you get a new one every year, you don’t have to pull out the same old boring tree from your basement year-after-year.”

There are two arguments to every story though and the “real vs. fake” tree debate is no different. There are hundreds of families out there that have always found a place in their hearts for a fake tree and have good reason for their decision — like Justin Dejong, a ‘fake tree supporter’.

“I grew up with real trees, but as we got older we would often travel with the family around the holidays and [eventually] switched to fake ones,” says Justin, who lives in Hamilton.

He says he doesn’t know exactly when he and his family switched to fake trees but that to him it didn’t really matter and that now he would lean toward owning an artificial one.

“We would spend just as much time every year trying to remember how to build the damn thing and get the lights to work as we would have going out and cutting one down ourselves.”

“It’s much easier to clean up after, easier to take down, and it’s reusable year after year,” says Justin. “The cost effectiveness alone is worth it, but you’re also not trudging through the wet and cold, or cutting down nature — if you care about that sorta thing.”

So whether you’re a fan of real trees or fake ones it doesn’t really matter, as long as you do whatever it is that make you feel the happiest come this Christmas — you’ll do fine.

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