How to pick your Christmas tree

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

Real Christmas tree vs. fake Christmas tree vs. Christmas plant

December 7th, 2011

xmas tree

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Guest post by Jackie Davis, assistant editor. Do you have a Christmas tree yet? According to the Ontario Forestry Association, you should get a real tree, because it’s more environmentally friendly. (Plus, it smells like Nature, instead of a department store, or a mouldy basement.)

I miss real Christmas trees. We used to always have a real tree for my extended family holiday celebration on December 24. It was decorated with small, lit candles, which was a beautiful and terrifying tradition. My grandma would play a few bars of “O Christmas Tree” on the piano (never the whole song) while someone commented, “I think we should invest in a fire extinguisher.” Then we’d put all the candles out. Merry Christmas! Another year without burnt hair.

Now, I usually spend the bulk of my holidays at my parents’ house, where there is neither a fake tree nor a real tree. Instead, my mother likes to hang a string of white lights on the umbrella plant that sits beside the couch. This doesn’t look anything like a Christmas tree, and guests usually don’t understand what the plant is supposed to represent (“Why are there lights on that thing?”). But I think it’s charming, in a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree kind of way. And most importantly, there’s very little chance of a visit from the fire department.

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Penny Caldwell