o, artificial christmas tree

image from allthingschristmas.com

As a kid, I loathed artificial trees. They were fake and represented everything wrong with grown-ups. They didn’t smell of rich pine or shed needles all over the living room or give my dad a headache.

Fast-forward to adulthood. Two years ago, my then-boyfriend and now-husband and I purchased an artificial tree together. We saw it as a one-time investment, something to use for years to come. Possibly for the rest of our lives. The tree is easy to assemble, doesn’t make a mess, lives in the attic for the remaining 11 months of the year, and best of all, it is pre-strung with the right amount of white lights.

With two small children at home, we have minimal amount of time to decorate a Christmas tree. (And here I am, typing rather than decorating our tree, which remains in the attic less than a week before Christmas. I do have an excuse as my husband is painting the living room.)

But most of all, I have a fake tree because the parking lots turned into Christmas tree farms make me sad. The piles of trees that have been cut from the earth. From their roots. Trees that will be dying as the rest of us ring in the promise of a new year with big plans and high hopes…

It’s a nice tradition, don’t get me wrong. Back when it started, our planet was less populated, less concrete, less developed. Only a few trees were likely sacrificed and trees, like hair, grow back.

According to a Gallup poll, about 95% of Americans celebrate Christmas.  In case you are wondering, there are about 300 million Americans. Too many glorious trees to be cut and sold and bought and tossed.

It just doesn’t seem sustainable.

Everyone else I know buys a real tree, I am not judging this decision, like I said, it’s a nice tradition. One that I still kind of follow. With my fake tree. Never thought I’d say that, since I am generally opposed to most things “fake.” I prefer authenticity. Like living and breathing plants.

Therefore, I am starting a new tradition.

We will grow a pine tree from seed.

In a pot to sit in the living room. All year long. My family can decorate it next year as our petite Christmas tree. We will nurture and water and love our tree all year long.

One day, when it out grows our humble home, we will plant our tree in the earth.

This sounds like a tradition worth keeping.

What are your opinions on Christmas trees? Do you think the tradition of cutting down a tree for display in your home is outdated? Would you like to plant your own?

Go here to see more information on growing a pine tree from seed.


  1. i think this is a wonderful alternative! I am like you, I have an artificial tree that my husband and I bought about 10 years ago that’s still going strong, but I miss the freshness, the smell of pine, the authenticity of life, a living breathing plant…but for the same reasons didn’t feel right about cutting down something to throw it away…..again, love your idea…..bravo sweet bella


  2. I am SO with you… it’s so sad to know so many trees get ripped out of the ground and go to waste 😦 I have always had an artificial tree – it’s only 4 ft tall and not the most luxurious of fellows, but he’s been with me ever since I moved out of my parents’ home 6 years ago and I’d never trade him for a real tree!


  3. I am going to have to disagree with you. A real tree is much more sustainable. Mine is grown in Canada and I am supporting a Canadian farmer. Trees are picked up in our community and used in ecological restoration projects or chipped into mulch which is available in the Spring for free. Yuliya’s link has got some good info. I think the growing of a real tree is a much more environmentally friendly process than the production of a plastic one.


    1. Canada has it so together. I’ve always wished I was Canadian. French-Canadian perhaps. Thank you for sharing w/me. I’ll check to see if we have the same options available for tree-recycling. If so, I may pick up a real one at the last minute since I miss the fresh scent of pine…


    2. Canada has it so together. I’ve always wished I was Canadian. French-Canadian perhaps. Thank you for sharing w/me. I’ll check to see if we have the same options available for tree-recycling. If so, I may pick up a real one at the last minute since I miss the fresh scent of pine…


  4. It always struck me, now more than ever, the irony of emptying out acres of green just so we’d have a bit of green for a brief holiday each year. As a kid, we had a plastic tree which I also couldn’t appreciate for the same reason, but I’m now realizing how forward-thinking my parents were!

    And so sorry to be completely MIA – had no internet for a week – catching up now! Hope you are celebrating a happy, peaceful holiday week so far 🙂


  5. Actually, I think real trees are sustainable (although I have artificial). Those tree farms have tracks of land for trees to be cut this year, then some for the following year, on down the line for like 5 years. Replanting is an absolute. I think the problem is when they are just thrown away. But many communities gather them up and create mulch gardeners. We do that here in Corpus Christi and we also have a program where they are taken to the sand dunes to help build up the dunes an reduce erosion. I think that’s my favorite.


  6. All the green issues aside (not that I don’t care, trust me, I do), I may break down next year and go fake because we actually had to get TWO trees this year. Our first one died (I know, it’s been cut down, so technically it’s already dead) before Christmas. Which meant I had to decorate, undecorate, and redecorate a tree. Needless to say, it sucked.

    But I love your idea about growing one. The kids would love that.


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