|This is not this year's tree but one we did awhile back that my son themed: Autumnal Frost tree.|
Since I was a kid, the holidays were usually sporadic as it seemed my mother couldn't decide if she wanted to celebrate them or not. I remember seeing her give away a large bag of ornaments once. On another hand, I do also remember her making a rather large display of white branches and lights and buying two tiny live potted trees to place next to this, and my presents were underneath on her glass coffee table.
But one thing I wholeheartedly remember is that when she did indulge in a tree, it was always fresh. I asked her once why didn't she get a fake one? Surely it was more practical to keep one to have when you needed it? (I was a kid, what did I know.) Her look of disdain and answer of "Eww, no" pretty much clammed me up.
I couldn't argue with the wonderful smell, though, and lying underneath to look up at the branches. It's still my favourite thing to lie beneath the tree once it's up.
As an adult, I got my first real big tree when I moved into my third apartment with my son. I remember how fresh and green it smelled, and a bit like oranges. I remember being happy to carry this tradition on for my boy. Technically, my first real tree was a potted one that I had in my second apartment, and we enjoyed her, but could not think of where to plant her afterward since we lived in the middle of the ghetto and I didn't drive. Ugh. I should have taken her to the park or something...
I only bought a fake tree once and it was due to the fact I'd been hospitalised and wasn't released until Xmas Eve-Eve, so I hadn't much time to find a fresh one. I reluctantly grabbed a white $10 tree from Family Dollar and used that for a few years until it got really grody... I decided it was time for a fresh one again.
When Peace came to live with us at Tha Cat Lair, we began buying a fresh tree from our local Home Depot. I loved the energy shift in the home when we did. I remember Peace asking why we didn't get a plastic one, much like I had when I was a kid. I answered the same as my mother did, LOL.
Prolly not with this face, though. (via giphy)
I did wonder, though, if it might not be more eco-friendly to have a fake tree. And I did what I do best next to what I really do: I researched it.
I found that plastic trees are actually not eco-friendly or sustainable. Faux trees leave a rather large carbon footprint--twice the size of a real tree. According to the Carbon Trust, a fake tree would have to be kept and reused for about ten Xmases or Yules to keep its environmental impact lower than that of a real tree. Plus a fake tree is kind of foul burnt in a landfill. A real tree can be recycled into mulch or something. I hear you can recycle or repurpose fake trees, but not sure how.
So, this is why I continue and it's my clowder's preference to go with fresh trees. Do your own research-- go with what's right for you--make up your own mind for next year. Happy tree shopping!