Christmas trees: Evergreens or forever plastic?

Some of my best childhood memories are of holiday seasons, and every memory is filled with the scent of evergreen trees. The aroma that fills the house every December is ingrained in my mind, an instant link to memories of selecting a Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving every year.

Baking with mom was fun and I always loved going to Grandma’s house, but nothing beats picking out the Christmas tree.

The anticipation would bubble inside of me as the family van ascended the mountain; I knew I would be able to run around searching for “the perfect tree” for as long as it took. After the selection was made, not even knowing that a steaming cup of hot chocolate was waiting for me when I got home could make me happier than the pride I felt driving home with what I knew was the very best tree flopping above me on the van’s roof.

With memories such as these, the idea of buying a fake tree and dragging it out of the closet every year is almost criminal. When a tree straight from the forest is substituted with an artificial tree, the smell of evergreen is replaced with dust and the excitement of picking out a tree is replaced with the dread of untangling the branches.

These factors turn the whole practice of setting up Christmas trees into a chore instead of a treasured family tradition, which I find intolerable.

Arguably, the effort to reduce the number of trees that are cut down in order to help our environment is a valiant cause that I do understand and sympathize with. All of the environmentalists out there think that they’re doing something great for the atmosphere but in my opinion, they are being deceived.

Is buying a fake tree that’s full of landfill-clogging polyvinyl chloride any better than cutting down a tree from an environmentally-sustainable tree farm? If the carbon footprint was substantially smaller, then I would understand why parents choose to deprive themselves and their children of the bonding experience that getting a Christmas tree can be.

However, environmentalists say that once all the petroleum that goes into making the plastic for just one of those trees is accounted for, the artificial trees don’t come out on top.

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Christmas trees: Evergreens or forever plastic?

by time to read: 2 min