Debate of the Season: Real or Fake?
By Laura Wengert
Photo courtesy of Flickr
As this year’s Christmas time rolls around, some families will venture to find that perfect Christmas tree, chop it down and bring it home. Other families will venture to their attic or basement to retrieve and brush off that dusty artificial tree that comes out of hiding once a year.
The use of fake Christmas trees is a nice alternative for those who can’t have the real thing, or just don’t want one.
But, in my opinion, fake trees ruin the spirit of Christmas. Junior Rachel Honis agrees even though her family has an artificial tree. “I wish we had a real one, they just seem more festive,” said Honis. “Fake ones just don’t make Christmas,” said sophomore Jack Healy. Sophomore Kayla Fulmer agrees. “(Having a real tree is) more in the Christmas spirit,” said Fulmer. They feel like home, she said.
However, senior Jayla Greene disagrees. “Lots of my family have real ones, but they’re too messy and smelly,” said Greene. True, real trees are messy and a little bit smelly. They reek of nature’s beauty, of freshness and tranquility. That’s not a bad thing in my opinion, or in sophomore James Dourdas’s. “They make the room smell nice,” said Dourdas. “It smells like the holidays,” agreed senior Emily Parker.
Some families, like freshman Joelle Beaulieu’s can’t have a real tree. “My cat will eat it,” said Beaulieu. Many other people like freshmen Kayley Rothenberger and Kevin Alkins prefer artificial trees because they are mess free. With an artificial tree, “we don’t have to worry about watering it,” said Rothenberger. “It’s easier to set up (a fake tree) and easier to clean up,” said Alkins. Real ones “seem like a lot of work,” he said.
Indeed, real trees can be a lot of work. But, if you’re creative like freshman Ella DiGiovani, then real trees pose no problems. “We put towels and stuff (under the tree) so when the needles fall they’re on the towel. We can just pick up the towel instead of cleaning the floor,” she said.
Plus the hard work is what makes getting a Christmas tree so special. When you stare at the same tree every year it gets boring. Getting a Christmas tree is like trick-or-treating on Halloween. People like to see something new, something fresh. The adults who hand out candy enjoy seeing new costumes from time to time. They hate seeing teenagers who wear the same last-second, throw-together every year.
Having a fake tree handed to you is like having someone get your prized Halloween candy for you, then just throw it to you when the night is over. It takes away all of the pride and accomplishment that goes along with braving the cold and defeating Mother Nature as she throws her worst storms at you, trying to knock you off course from your search for the holidays.
Having an artificial tree also takes away the experience and fun that goes along with chopping down a real tree. “ It’s tradition for us to go get a real tree. I’ve always grown-up with a real one,” said Parker. As a young child, it always made my day when my father would hand me an axe, giving me a few minutes in heaven with the trust that I probably didn’t deserve. Although as a child I was unable to come any where near even making a dent in a tree, it was the opportunity to wreak damage that drove my determination.
Well, that determination finally paid off. My dad and I just cut down our tree on Dec. 11 at Paige’s Farm in Manlius, N.Y. We hadn’t walked the walk of cutting down our own trees for a few years, and this time I was able to successfully contribute to cutting it down. It was nice to see my progress as a lumberjack increase over the years. All this has helped make my Christmas trees, and Christmases in general, so special.